Psalmody and Worship

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larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
So, in context, we, the NT, new covenant church, are commanded to be taught by the Psalms. The Psalms command that we sing a new song. So, just as preaching and praying may have "uninspired" yet regulated content, so may our song.
Except that, again, the "new" that is referenced in a particular psalm speaks of itself as it is a "new" psalm as it's being written. That's the immediate context of the term "new" as it is used in the Book of Psalms.

Certainly there is an aspect that we sing new Psalms, but that aspect is in singing the Psalms in light of the NT, having the full revelation of God to make our understanding of the Psalms more complete. Therefore we sing them anew because we sing them according to the New Covenant dispensation.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
JD,

One significant difference between prayer, preaching and singing is that in singing the content is immediately professed by all. You cannot withhold your "amen". This is one among other reasons to distinguish between the elements in worship. The Psalter is a canon of songs given to the Church to be professed by all in singing and it is all "amen".

Just my little 2 cents in this long discussion. :book2: :)
I understand your reasoning in light of your presupposition, but the entirety of worship is\should be communial\unified participation. The "amen" is for all the elements in unity.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Not to be argumentative, but one could just as well use the same rationale for preaching and praying only Scripture.

Truth is - until we are in Heaven, there will be imperfect worship done by well-meaning, but imperfect people here on the earth.

That's not to say we give up striving, just be careful not to embrace extreme principles out of contra-reaction.
JD,

One significant difference between prayer, preaching and singing is that in singing the content is immediately professed by all. You cannot withhold your "amen". This is one among other reasons to distinguish between the elements in worship. The Psalter is a canon of songs given to the Church to be professed by all in singing and it is all "amen".

Just my little 2 cents in this long discussion. :book2: :)
One can also do like I do; familliarize myself with song texts before singing them. Anything not an expression of biblical truth, I don't sing. I'm blessed in that I have worked only with thorougly biblical worship leaders: I can count the number of times I have objected to unbiblically themed song texts in the last 32 years on the fingers of 1 hand.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Except that, again, the "new" that is referenced in a particular psalm speaks of itself as it is a "new" psalm as it's being written. That's the immediate context of the term "new" as it is used in the Book of Psalms.
I don't think that I disagreed with this.

Certainly there is an aspect that we sing new Psalms, but that aspect is in singing the Psalms in light of the NT, having the full revelation of God to make our understanding of the Psalms more complete. Therefore we sing them anew because we sing them according to the New Covenant dispensation.
Certainly, but look at my earlier post - if we were commanded only to sing the Psalms, we would not be having this debate. We are, however, commanded to be taught by the Psalms in context of the new covenant.

In the same way that preaching and praying may now have uninspired elements, which they did not have in the OT, our new songs may also.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Let's consider Church history...

It wasn't until the 4th century that uninspired hymns began to be written (Michael Bushell, The Songs of Zion, p. 122)

These first uninspired hymns were created by heretics (G. I. Williamson, The Singing of Psalms in the Worship of God, pp. 16-17)

So if the Church had the authority to write its own hymns, why didn't it do so in the first few centuries?

The reality is that we haven't found even 1 hymn fragment out of all the early Church documents that we have.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Certainly, but look at my earlier post - if we were commanded only to sing the Psalms, we would not be having this debate. We are, however, commanded to be taught by the Psalms in context of the new covenant.
I agree that we're to be taught by the Psalms, just like every other book in the Bible...that doesn't mean that we are to create new ones.

We are commanded to sing psalms, we are commanded to sing nothing other than psalms. The regulative principle does not give us the option of writing new songs because it is not commanded.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
In the same way that preaching and praying may now have uninspired elements, which they did not have in the OT, our new songs may also.
You are saying that in the OT they didn't have uninspired preaching and praying? I can't agree with that.
Please give an example of uninspired preaching or praying in OT Temple worship that was not punished by God?
Job prayed for his children.
Ezra explained the Scriptures to the people.

During the OT worship the priest would also have to pray for the sins of the people, and individuals were to pray for their own sins.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Certainly, but look at my earlier post - if we were commanded only to sing the Psalms, we would not be having this debate. We are, however, commanded to be taught by the Psalms in context of the new covenant.
I agree that we're to be taught by the Psalms, just like every other book in the Bible...that doesn't mean that we are to create new ones.

We are commanded to sing psalms, we are commanded to sing nothing other than psalms. The regulative principle does not give us the option of writing new songs because it is not commanded.
And I say non sequitur, sorry. EP creates an unnecessary tension between the command and compliance, thus violating the RPW.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
You are saying that in the OT they didn't have uninspired preaching and praying? I can't agree with that.
Please give an example of uninspired preaching or praying in OT Temple worship that was not punished by God?
Job prayed for his children.
Ezra explained the Scriptures to the people.

During the OT worship the priest would also have to pray for the sins of the people, and individuals were to pray for their own sins.
Let's make sure we are precise - please point to a Scriptural example of unpunished uninspired and proclaimed preaching or praying in OT Temple worship.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Let's make sure we are precise - please point to a Scriptural example of unpunished uninspired and proclaimed preaching or praying in OT Temple worship.
That's like asking for a Scriptural example of females taking communion.
You have not been able to prove your presumption that there were only inspired prayers and preaching
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Certainly, but look at my earlier post - if we were commanded only to sing the Psalms, we would not be having this debate. We are, however, commanded to be taught by the Psalms in context of the new covenant.
I agree that we're to be taught by the Psalms, just like every other book in the Bible...that doesn't mean that we are to create new ones.

We are commanded to sing psalms, we are commanded to sing nothing other than psalms. The regulative principle does not give us the option of writing new songs because it is not commanded.
And I say non sequitur, sorry. EP creates an unnecessary tension between the command and compliance, thus violating the RPW.
I don't know the "tension" that you are talking about.
The RPW basically tells us that we worship God how He commands to be worshiped. So unless we are commanded to create and sing new songs they can't fall within the lines of the RPW.

And please don't bring up the Psalms mentioning "new songs"...we've been through that, it's referring to the particular song that it's written in because it would have been new.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Let's make sure we are precise - please point to a Scriptural example of unpunished uninspired and proclaimed preaching or praying in OT Temple worship.
That's like asking for a Scriptural example of females taking communion.
You have not been able to prove your presumption that there were only inspired prayers and preaching
Larry, I am not presuming, OT Temple worship was strictly regulated as to what was spoken and who spoke, prayed or sung, there were no proclaimed unauthorized uninspired activities.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I don't know the "tension" that you are talking about.
The RPW basically tells us that we worship God how He commands to be worshiped. So unless we are commanded to create and sing new songs they can't fall within the lines of the RPW.
1. We, the NT new covenant church, are commanded to be taught by the Psalms.

2. The Psalms command a new song be sung.

And please don't bring up the Psalms mentioning "new songs"...we've been through that, it's referring to the particular song that it's written in because it would have been new.
Again - I did not disagree with the original context, you just refuse to understand that the NT context is different in application. So, I'll stop wasting your and my time by circling and circling.

Much the same way Doug and I have agreed to disagree :)

Blessings!
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Larry, I am not presuming, OT Temple worship was strictly regulated as to what was spoken and who spoke, prayed or sung, there were no proclaimed unauthorized uninspired activities.
Then please back it up with a Scriptural example that shows only inspired preaching and praying was allowed.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Again - I did not disagree with the original context, you just refuse to understand that the NT context is different in application. So, I'll stop wasting your and my time by circling and circling.
You are stating that the NT context interprets the OT "new song" as creating and singing new songs for the NT Church...but you never show where in the NT this is done.

If that was the NT context as the apostles understood it, why didn't they write and/or sing uninspired hymns? There is not a shred of solid evidence that any uninspired hymns were written before the 4th century.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
And how would we sing new songs if we were constrained only to the Psalms?
They are not "new" in construction but new as in our hearts sing a new song, different from that which we sang with our old hearts...

It is a difference in the person singing the same song with a new heart not a new song with new words.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Again - I did not disagree with the original context, you just refuse to understand that the NT context is different in application. So, I'll stop wasting your and my time by circling and circling.
You are stating that the NT context interprets the OT "new song" as creating and singing new songs for the NT Church...but you never show where in the NT this is done.

If that was the NT context as the apostles understood it, why didn't they write and/or sing uninspired hymns? There is not a shred of solid evidence that any uninspired hymns were written before the 4th century.
circle, circle...
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Let's consider Church history...

It wasn't until the 4th century that uninspired hymns began to be written (Michael Bushell, The Songs of Zion, p. 122)

These first uninspired hymns were created by heretics (G. I. Williamson, The Singing of Psalms in the Worship of God, pp. 16-17)

So if the Church had the authority to write its own hymns, why didn't it do so in the first few centuries?

The reality is that we haven't found even 1 hymn fragment out of all the early Church documents that we have.
Ambrose was certainly no heretic and if the church fathers are to be considered unquestionably authoritative why are you not a member of an episcopal church since Igatius had that misunderstanding of eldership in the early 100's?
 

FrielWatcher

Puritan Board Sophomore
Let's consider Church history...

It wasn't until the 4th century that uninspired hymns began to be written (Michael Bushell, The Songs of Zion, p. 122)

These first uninspired hymns were created by heretics (G. I. Williamson, The Singing of Psalms in the Worship of God, pp. 16-17)

So if the Church had the authority to write its own hymns, why didn't it do so in the first few centuries?

The reality is that we haven't found even 1 hymn fragment out of all the early Church documents that we have.
Ambrose was certainly no heretic and if the church fathers are to be considered unquestionably authoritative why are you not a member of an episcopal church since Igatius had that misunderstanding of eldership in the early 100's?
I guess it is how we respond to precedent and new ideas? How much psalms has to be present, who created the meter in which to sing - are we singing it appropriately. Even though A Mighty Fortress is psalmic and obnoxiously God exalting in both tone and theology, it doesn't count?
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Let's consider Church history...

It wasn't until the 4th century that uninspired hymns began to be written (Michael Bushell, The Songs of Zion, p. 122)

These first uninspired hymns were created by heretics (G. I. Williamson, The Singing of Psalms in the Worship of God, pp. 16-17)

So if the Church had the authority to write its own hymns, why didn't it do so in the first few centuries?

The reality is that we haven't found even 1 hymn fragment out of all the early Church documents that we have.
Ambrose was certainly no heretic and if the church fathers are to be considered unquestionably authoritative why are you not a member of an episcopal church since Igatius had that misunderstanding of eldership in the early 100's?
I was under the impression that Ambrose wrote his hymns after the Arian hymns were already popular. That would make the first uninspired hymns produced by heretics.

Did i every say that the church fathers are to be considered unquestionably authoritative? I simply said, "let's consider Church history." Are you opposed to such consideration?

Do you agree that hymns were not written until the 4th century? If so, why wouldn't the apostles or those prior to the 4th century written any if they were given the authority to do so?
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Let's consider Church history...

It wasn't until the 4th century that uninspired hymns began to be written (Michael Bushell, The Songs of Zion, p. 122)

These first uninspired hymns were created by heretics (G. I. Williamson, The Singing of Psalms in the Worship of God, pp. 16-17)

So if the Church had the authority to write its own hymns, why didn't it do so in the first few centuries?

The reality is that we haven't found even 1 hymn fragment out of all the early Church documents that we have.
Ambrose was certainly no heretic and if the church fathers are to be considered unquestionably authoritative why are you not a member of an episcopal church since Igatius had that misunderstanding of eldership in the early 100's?
I was under the impression that Ambrose wrote his hymns after the Arian hymns were already popular. That would make the first uninspired hymns produced by heretics.

Did i every say that the church fathers are to be considered unquestionably authoritative? I simply said, "let's consider Church history." Are you opposed to such consideration?

Do you agree that hymns were not written until the 4th century? If so, why wouldn't the apostles or those prior to the 4th century written any if they were given the authority to do so?
One could certainly infer from church fathers' practice that the apostles had forbidden human compositions, but that is not the only fair deduction that may be drawn from the data. It is equally possible that the church overreacted to its post-apostolic exclusion from Judaism (by the recasting of the 18 benedictions that followed the destruction of Jerusalem - If I recall correctly this took place in Jamnia in the 90's). If that was the case the church may have hewed to the Psalms alone in an attempt to be seen as entitled to remain within the pale of Judaism.
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
JD,

One significant difference between prayer, preaching and singing is that in singing the content is immediately professed by all. You cannot withhold your "amen". This is one among other reasons to distinguish between the elements in worship. The Psalter is a canon of songs given to the Church to be professed by all in singing and it is all "amen".

Just my little 2 cents in this long discussion. :book2: :)
I understand your reasoning in light of your presupposition, but the entirety of worship is\should be communial\unified participation. The "amen" is for all the elements in unity.
The key term here is "immediately". When we sing we cannot withhold our amen "immediately" because we are singing. In preaching we can use reason to reflect on Scripture and what is taught and it is not always "amen". We can reflect in our minds and say "I don't agree with what he is saying here". In prayer it is also not always *amen* either given the "possible" content of prayer. These are extemporaneous actions necessary for the life of the Church and her needs because they are actions of man interpreting Scripture and praying (with lack of wisdom at times). They will necessarily be imperfect. The Psalter is given as a book of *inspired* praise that can be sung by all "immediately" with full assent. Teaching and prayer, though given as elements in worship are not all necessarily immediately assented to. Their nature is quite different.


Ok, it's late...that is my best for now. ;) I will likely have to clarify some another time.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I understand what you are getting at, I just don't agree. :) The "amen" of worship is not predicated on the perfection of the elements as a whole or individually. And as far as I know, neither is there a requirement for "immediacy" or perfection in one element vs the other.

Finally, following your rationale, why would we not have a time of Scripture reading, Scripture praying and Psalm singing and have a perfect worship service that all could reasonably and immediately say the "amen" to every time?
 

FrielWatcher

Puritan Board Sophomore
I understand what you are getting at, I just don't agree. :) The "amen" of worship is not predicated on the perfection of the elements as a whole or individually. And as far as I know, neither is there a requirement for "immediacy" or perfection in one element vs the other.

Finally, following your rationale, why would we not have a time of Scripture reading, Scripture praying and Psalm singing and have a perfect worship service that all could reasonably and immediately say the "amen" to every time?
I appreciate that comment - if sermonizing and praying are those to be imperfect parts of a worship, psalmody is excluded? The singing has to be the ultimate perfect part of worship. But look, if our singing has to be perfect from the psalms, oh buddy, imagine how perfect our teaching has to be for how are we warned that teachers are under so much more obligations (James 3:1).

Shouldn't the sermon be even more exacting than the singing?
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
I understand what you are getting at, I just don't agree. :) The "amen" of worship is not predicated on the perfection of the elements as a whole or individually. And as far as I know, neither is there a requirement for "immediacy" or perfection in one element vs the other.

Finally, following your rationale, why would we not have a time of Scripture reading, Scripture praying and Psalm singing and have a perfect worship service that all could reasonably and immediately say the "amen" to every time?
I think you missed my main point, that is, the distinctive difference between
singing and teaching/prayer.

Our own heart, which in this life remains affected by sin and comes short of the glory of God, is not sufficient to represent the truth of God, to be confessed immediately in singing by all.

Can you at least see the difference between that which is *confessed immediately by all" and that which isn't?

Can you think of reasons why teaching and prayer are not immediately confessed by all?




:)
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I understand what you are getting at, I just don't agree. :) The "amen" of worship is not predicated on the perfection of the elements as a whole or individually. And as far as I know, neither is there a requirement for "immediacy" or perfection in one element vs the other.

Finally, following your rationale, why would we not have a time of Scripture reading, Scripture praying and Psalm singing and have a perfect worship service that all could reasonably and immediately say the "amen" to every time?
I think you missed my main point, that is, the distinctive difference between
singing and teaching/prayer.

Our own heart, which in this life remains affected by sin and comes short of the glory of God, is not sufficient to represent the truth of God, to be confessed immediately in singing by all.

Can you at least see the difference between that which is *confessed immediately by all" and that which isn't?

Can you think of reasons why teaching and prayer are not immediately confessed by all?




:)
Can you make a Scriptural argument for your assertion? :)
 
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