Question for Hymn Singers

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PaulCLawton

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello folks, I have a simple (simplistic?) question for hymn-singers, first a little background since knowing where I am coming from may be relevant:

  • Converted in high school
  • Was not aware that Christians sang the Psalter until after 10+ years as a Christian
  • Could be convinced of the EP position but trying to guard against the newish Reformed tendancy to immediately take the most conservative position possible on every issue
  • Prefer Psalms to hymns

My question to hymn-singers is: Have you ever sung a hymn that was better than a psalm?
 

Zach

Puritan Board Junior
That's a good question. What do you mean by better?

I've sung hymns that I believe are musically better. I think there are hymns that I prefer to sing over some Psalms. For example, my favorite hymn is "The Church's One Foundation" and I would rather sing it than some obscure selection from the Psalter.

Is there a better hymn than Psalms? I don't think so. Obviously, one is the inspired word of God and the other is not. I think that makes them different. It's like comparing apples to oranges.
 

Reepicheep

Puritan Board Freshman
Is there one Psalm better than another Psalm?

I love singing Psalms. I also like songs/hymns that are more explicitly Trinitarian, and so sing more than Psalms only. I also like songs/hymns that are more explicitly declarative of Christ's finished work than most of the Psalms provide. Biblical songs/hymns, like biblical prayers and sermons, are an enriching part of worship.

There...that should end any future debates about exclusive Psalmnody. :lol:
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
I think that there are a variety of hymns which were traditionally (?) placed in subject sections (i.e. communion hymns). The traditional hymns spring out of a deep understanding of the christian faith, expressing Biblical truths. This is why traditional hymns have meat on the bones. The psalter is likewise a variety of psalms suitable to different occasions (i.e. Psalm 45 - marriage ?).

Modern choruses have a different agenda and I think are designed to lend themselves to an "experience" of worship. They affirm the singers salvation and standing and express gratitude and confidence. In this I find them lacking in variety and incapable of the depth of the Psalter or traditional hymns.

I had occasion to reflect on this when visiting a Reformed Baptist church which had their hymn book divided into themed sections and included a psalter. Modern choruses are repetitive - literally! There has also been the development of medleys(?) with sustained singing for 1/4 hour. One chorus follows another without introduction. This is facilitated by the use of technology when no hymn numbers need to be given out, the projector just puts the next one up.

This also facilitates the "editing" of hymns. I also detect the "disc jockey" approach where some modern choruses use traditional verses but then go off in a totally different direction.

The minister also seems to have abdicated from choosing hymns, allowing the worship team to select independently. Where once the minister/preacher could choose hymns to reinforce the exposition of scripture there now seems to be a divorce between the two.

One of my favourite hymns is "How Firm a Foundation". It expresses completion of the canon and the sufficiency of scripture as well as the perseverance of the saints and many other key doctrines. It was the favourite hymn of General Robert E. Lee and deservedly so. I could go through each verse and put scriptural quotations or allusions to each. It is in short, an exposition of scripture every bit as a sermon is.

Sadly sermons are often not expository and I downgrade them to a "homily", likewise modern hymns do not deserve the epithet and I downgrade them to "choruses".



How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.


Written after Christ and the completion of the canon, hymns have a bit of an unfair advantage (I.M.H.O.) That said the Psalter is divinely ordained [BIBLE]Ephesians 5:19[/BIBLE] and I think Baptists (i.e. me) need to think very seriously why we do not use the Psalter.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
During the Reformation the "altar" gave way to the pulpit in terms of prominence. In modern church architecture the pulpit seems to be losing prominence and giving way to the projector screen. Just a thought but our architecture does tell us something!
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
How Firm a Foundation

Found on the web this gives some idea of how scriptural one of my favourite hymns is.



October 25th, 2007 · 6 Comments

This Sunday (October 28) is Reformation Sunday. Of course, we’ll sing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (EIN’ FESTE BURG), as well as “All People That on Earth Do Dwell” (OLD HUNDREDTH, representing the Genevan Psalter tradition) and “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want” (CRIMOND, representing the Scottish Psalter tradition). But one of the hymns we’ll be singing isn’t a Reformation-era hymn at all. It’s an 18th Century hymn, usually sung to an early American tune: “How Firm a Foundation” (FOUNDATION), because the text is so appropriate for the day on which we celebrate, among other things, Sola Scriptura.

This hymn, written by that most famous of poets, “Anonymous,” first appeared in a 1787 collection edited by a London Baptist minister named John Rippon, entitled A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors. The hymn asks the question, “What more can he (God) say than to you he has said?” In other words, “Listen to God’s promises to you from the Scriptures: is there anything else you can think of that he forgot to promise you?” Indeed, what more can he say?

The first stanza introduces the concept of the surety of God’s promises to us. The remaining stanzas are paraphrases of several of those Scriptural promises. I was unable to find any source that identified all of the Scriptural allusions in the hymn. I’m sure there is such a source, but I couldn’t find one this week. (Routley doesn’t even mention the hymn in A Panorama of Christian Hymnody, and Routley was my best hope.) But with a little intuition and a big ol’ copy of Young’s Analytical Concordance on my desk, I was able to trace them all down.

After each stanza (with the exception of Stanza 1, of course) I’ll print the verse(s) upon which that stanza is based. (Stanzas 3 and 4 are based on the same passage.)

How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he has said,
To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed,
For I am your God and will still give you aid;
I?ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.”

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41.10)

“When through the deep waters I call you to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
And sanctify to you your deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply;
The flame shall not hurt you; I only design
Your dross to consume, and your gold to refine.”

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43.2-3)

“E’en down to old age all my people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne.”

So even to old age and grey hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come. (Psalm 71.18)

They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green. (Psalm 92.14)

“The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I?ll never, no never, no never forsake.”

For [God] has said,
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13.5)

[Jesus said,] “All that the Father gives me will come to me,
and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6.37)

As Dr. Kistemaker points out in his commentary on Hebrews (and he pointed this out in class too, if you were paying attention), the author of this hymn must have known his Greek. It’s evident in the last stanza. Hebrews 13.5 in Greek contains five negatives. Double negatives are a no-no in English (much less quintuple ones), but in Greek, the more the merrier. The more negatives a writer can pile on, the more emphasis is given to that negative. So the hymn writer wisely interprets “I will never leave you nor forsake you” as “I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.” It’s not vain repetition: it’s bringing out something that’s actually in the text.
 

irresistible_grace

Puritan Board Junior
I am not a "hymn singer" (on the uninspired sort) in corporate worship but I am a hymn singer throughout the day so I hope I am allowed to answer your question...
NO! & YES!

NO! = God's WORD is the BEST & better than any hymn
YES! = There are other portions of Scripture that I love to sing that I think are better (pragmatically speaking) than a Psalm. I love singing Ephesians 2:8-9!!!

EP is not about what we think is better ... It is about what God requires ;)
 

ProtestantBankie

Puritan Board Freshman
Well, I enjoy reading Beeke, Boston and Brooks more than reading Job for example.
But I do not contend that it should influence the Canon of Scripture!

I'm EP, but there's some hymns I love. Onward Christian Soldiers for example, is the rallying cry of my early Christian zeal.
 

R Harris

Puritan Board Sophomore
Actually, a far better question is this, which is the question Michael Bushell posits in his book The Songs of Zion: The Bibilcal Basis for Exclusive Psalmody:

Can you find a better hymn writer than the Holy Spirit? I fear for the person who answers yes to that question.

G.I. Williamson made a strong but similar point at the Flat Rock, NC psalmody conference back in 1990. If the Book of Psalms is truly deficient as a manual of praise for Christ's Church, then why is there no New Testament Book of Psalms? Given that there is no explicit command in the NT for anyone (TE, RE, or lay person) to start cranking out lots of uninspired hymns, at the very least one has to be careful here. Who decides if the new, uninspired hymn has the correct doctrine or not? There are 6000 denominations in the US alone right now, not to mention doctrinal divisions over the past 1900 years. A Lutheran may despise a Methodist hymn, and an Arminian Baptist may despise a Calvinistic Presbyterian hymn.

Only the Book of Psalms is universal and ecumenical. It is not the Baptist hymnbook, or the Trinity Hymnbook, or the Lutheran hymnbook, or the Pentecostal hymnbook, it is GOD'S hymnbook, and He wants His praises sung back to Him in the corporate worship of His people.
 

jawyman

Puritan Board Junior
Only the Book of Psalms is universal and ecumenical. It is not the Baptist hymnbook, or the Trinity Hymnbook, or the Lutheran hymnbook, or the Pentecostal hymnbook, it is GOD'S hymnbook, and He wants His praises sung back to Him in the corporate worship of His people.
I am not EP, but Randy's post has me thinking. I don't know if I am doing it consciously or not, but when I'm serving in the pulpit I typically choose the Psalms over hymns. As far as this statement goes; I cannot disagree. Thank you again, Randy for your post.
 

Rev. Todd Ruddell

Puritan Board Junior
The question might be reframed a bit: Are there any hymns better **as offerings to the Lord** than the Psalms. We must remember who it is that we're singing to, and to whom it is that we offer this service of worship, and then consider what He has authorized and required us to bring.
 

irresistible_grace

Puritan Board Junior
Actually, a far better question is this, which is the question Michael Bushell posits in his book The Songs of Zion: The Bibilcal Basis for Exclusive Psalmody:

Can you find a better hymn writer than the Holy Spirit? I fear for the person who answers yes to that question.

G.I. Williamson made a strong but similar point at the Flat Rock, NC psalmody conference back in 1990. If the Book of Psalms is truly deficient as a manual of praise for Christ's Church, then why is there no New Testament Book of Psalms? Given that there is no explicit command in the NT for anyone (TE, RE, or lay person) to start cranking out lots of uninspired hymns, at the very least one has to be careful here. Who decides if the new, uninspired hymn has the correct doctrine or not? There are 6000 denominations in the US alone right now, not to mention doctrinal divisions over the past 1900 years. A Lutheran may despise a Methodist hymn, and an Arminian Baptist may despise a Calvinistic Presbyterian hymn.

Only the Book of Psalms is universal and ecumenical. It is not the Baptist hymnbook, or the Trinity Hymnbook, or the Lutheran hymnbook, or the Pentecostal hymnbook, it is GOD'S hymnbook, and He wants His praises sung back to Him in the corporate worship of His people.
:amen:
 

Zach

Puritan Board Junior
Josh, if uninspired expressions of joy and thankfulness are not fit for the worship God we might as well throw out our prayers in the worship service. They are uninspired acts of joy and thankfulness! But our Lord encourages us to enter into his worship with prayer. Look, I understand where you are coming from with the EP position. But our songs, including our singing of Psalms, are an offering of thankfulness and joy before the Lord that I am convinced is prayer to the Lord. I see no reason to condemn uninspired prayer nor do I see any reason to condemn the prayers singing of uninspired joy to the Savior with thankfulness in our hearts. I say this all as someone who sings, almost exclusively, out of the Psalter in my private worship. I love to sing the Psalms! I just am unconvinced that the Lord commands us to only sing the Psalms in worship.

So to answer your question, I like both apples and oranges. Though different, they are both tasty and a delight.
 

MLCOPE2

Puritan Board Junior
EP is not about what we think is better ... It is about what God requires ;)
All too often this is the number one response I get from opponents (and I use that term loosely) of the EP position. "I don't like...", "I prefer...", "I think..." rather than "God has said...".

In response to the OP: No, qualitatively no.
 

Rev. Todd Ruddell

Puritan Board Junior
Concerning prayer we have a command from the Lord: "After this manner pray ye". This has been understood historically to allow for conceiving prayers, along with all the other examples in Scripture and commands to pray, without inspired prayers that we are commanded to pray.

As far as singing is concerned, we have the command to sing Psalms. We have a Psalter, the title of which is "Book of Praises". I do not agree with those who understand the relevant passages in Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 to refer to uninspired composition--however, this is what would be required--a command to compose and to include them.

Crossing the regulation for one element of worship, prayer, with another, singing, and declaring that praying is singing and singing is praying and therefore they are regulated the same way by God's Word is not a Scriptural way to proceed. They are different elements, and are regulated differently by God's Word.
 

seajayrice

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hello folks, I have a simple (simplistic?) question for hymn-singers, first a little background since knowing where I am coming from may be relevant:

  • Converted in high school
  • Was not aware that Christians sang the Psalter until after 10+ years as a Christian
  • Could be convinced of the EP position but trying to guard against the newish Reformed tendancy to immediately take the most conservative position possible on every issue
  • Prefer Psalms to hymns

My question to hymn-singers is: Have you ever sung a hymn that was better than a psalm?
Just to make sure we share the same lexicon, better is a judgment of quality or grade. Grade and quality have different meanings. "A thing is good when it has all the properties it needs to fulfill its purpose" - (Hartman) can apply to both terms. Quality and grade are not necessarily synonymous with value. Word for word, a hymn can be of greater quality with regards to its theological import than a psalm. However, I suspect the thrust of your question pertains to grade. That quality being the intrinsic value we assign to a thing. So I'd answer your question as yes and no respectively.
 

PaulCLawton

Puritan Board Freshman
Actually, a far better question is this, which is the question Michael Bushell posits in his book The Songs of Zion: The Bibilcal Basis for Exclusive Psalmody:

Can you find a better hymn writer than the Holy Spirit? I fear for the person who answers yes to that question.
Yes, that is certainly a better question. Is that not what the one who chooses a hymn over a Psalm in public worship doing?
 

PaulCLawton

Puritan Board Freshman
[/QUOTE]I am not EP, but Randy's post has me thinking. I don't know if I am doing it consciously or not, but when I'm serving in the pulpit I typically choose the Psalms over hymns. As far as this statement goes; I cannot disagree. Thank you again, Randy for your post.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Jeff, your line of thinking is sort of what I was getting at in my original question. Let's say that hypothetically the EP position is wrong, I still wonder in what situation one would one say to oneself "I think I should choose the uninspired over the inspired".
 

Zach

Puritan Board Junior
I just am unconvinced that the Lord commands us to only sing the Psalms in worship.
When discussing Exclusive Psalmody, 9 times out of 10 it boils down to an incipient Normative Principle that the non-EPist is not aware he is bringing to the table on this question. It is fine that you don't see the LORD commanding us to sing only Psalms. Neither do I. No such command is required. What is needed to prove EP is not a command but a lack of a command. Either there is a command to compose and sing uninspired worship songs in the Bible, or there isn't. If there isn't, then they are not warranted. If there is, then all of us must sing them. Where is this command to sing uninspired praise songs in the Bible?

Let me put it another way. It's understandable to be unconvinced of something. But why not say, "I'm unconvinced that the Bible requires uninspired hymns to be sung in worship"? Why is uninspired hymnody the default position? If one is not sure, then isn't the default to be EP until uninspired hymnody can be shown to be required in the Bible? Isn't that the Regulative approach?

To address the OP: the use of uninspired hymns in corporate worship necessarily implies the insufficiency of the hymnal God has prepared for His Church. Whether we realize it or not, we are saying we think we can do better. How very wrong we are to think so. Only experience singing the Psalms in worship will show how very inadequate their competitors are for the task of not only worshipping the LORD but edifying His saints. There is no comparison. The Psalms are especially fitted for that purpose. We rob ourselves of immense profit by allowing them to be displaced by the songs of men.

Psalm 42:8, "Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life."
It is not about an incipient Normative Principle. God's word commands us to sing Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs. The debate over that is another topic, but when I say I am unconvinced that the Lord commands us to sing only the Psalms I am not just saying, "I don't see the easy proof text."
 

PaulCLawton

Puritan Board Freshman
Actually, a far better question is this, which is the question Michael Bushell posits in his book The Songs of Zion: The Bibilcal Basis for Exclusive Psalmody:

Can you find a better hymn writer than the Holy Spirit? I fear for the person who answers yes to that question.
Yes, that is certainly a better question. Is that not what the one who chooses a hymn over a Psalm in public worship doing?
It gets worse. That point would be valid even if most hymns sung in Reformed churches were written by orthodox Christians, but precious few of them were. If we took all the Unitarian, Arminian, and rabid anti-Calvinist authors out of the Trinity Hymnal, it would have maybe a dozen hymns left in it. There wouldn't be any Trinity Hymnal left to speak of. A substantial number of those hymns were written to the false god of Unitarianism. I wonder whether Reformed folk would feel as comfortable singing them if they knew that?
I've always wondered about that as well, I can remember singing a Harry Emerson Fosdick ditty in one evangelical church. Is there possibly a parallel there with the efficacy of the sacraments not being tied to the faith and godliness of the one who administers? Not to conflate sacraments and uninspired hymns of course, but I think an argument could be made that the truth of the thing stands on its own regardless of the intent.
 

markkoller

Puritan Board Freshman
Have you ever sung a hymn that was better than a psalm?
Better is a very subjective and often dangerous place to begin a discussion. Often better means what do I prefer, which should never be the standard for worship. A Reformed approach recognizes that our preferences are not only dangerous, they are irrelevant. An awareness of the depravity of man should drive us away from our preferences and more toward the positive commands of the Scripture. Why would we trust our preferences? I sing Psalms only, not because they are better (though they are inherently), but because they are the words of Christ and ultimately the words of life. My preferences do not enter into the discussion. The Word of God is sufficient for worship, it does not require our approval.

Only the Book of Psalms is universal and ecumenical. It is not the Baptist hymnbook, or the Trinity Hymnbook, or the Lutheran hymnbook, or the Pentecostal hymnbook, it is GOD'S hymnbook, and He wants His praises sung back to Him in the corporate worship of His people.
Nice. It is good to be reminded that God does not desire our creativity, he desires our obedience.

The question might be reframed a bit: Are there any hymns better **as offerings to the Lord** than the Psalms. We must remember who it is that we're singing to, and to whom it is that we offer this service of worship, and then consider what He has authorized and required us to bring.
Yes, this is the ultimate question, "What does God require of us?", not "What do we want?"

To address the OP: the use of uninspired hymns in corporate worship necessarily implies the insufficiency of the hymnal God has prepared for His Church. Whether we realize it or not, we are saying we think we can do better. How very wrong we are to think so. Only experience singing the Psalms in worship will show how very inadequate their competitors are for the task of not only worshipping the LORD but edifying His saints. There is no comparison. The Psalms are especially fitted for that purpose. We rob ourselves of immense profit by allowing them to be displaced by the songs of men.
This is well said. Truly, there is no comparison between the inspired Word of God and the mere words of men.
 

PaulCLawton

Puritan Board Freshman
Have you ever sung a hymn that was better than a psalm?
Better is a very subjective and often dangerous place to begin a discussion. Often better means what do I prefer, which should never be the standard for worship. A Reformed approach recognizes that our preferences are not only dangerous, they are irrelevant.
I think "danger" in the context of this discussion is a bit much. The intent of my question was to assume hypothetically that the EP position is false; I wonder in that situation why the non-EP would prefer uninspired songs to the Psalms. I am interested in what would make a man choose a hymn over a Psalm even if EP is false; the intent of my question was not to debate the truth of the EP position; I belive there are other places on this board where that is covered.
 

markkoller

Puritan Board Freshman
Have you ever sung a hymn that was better than a psalm?
Better is a very subjective and often dangerous place to begin a discussion. Often better means what do I prefer, which should never be the standard for worship. A Reformed approach recognizes that our preferences are not only dangerous, they are irrelevant.
I think "danger" in the context of this discussion is a bit much. The intent of my question was to assume hypothetically that the EP position is false; I wonder in that situation why the non-EP would prefer uninspired songs to the Psalms. I am interested in what would make a man choose a hymn over a Psalm even if EP is false; the intent of my question was not to debate the truth of the EP position; I belive there are other places on this board where that is covered.
Why would you object to someone noting that we should be suspicious of our preferences? Just curious, no offense intended, brother. You asked which was better, many have noted that this is not the proper question to ask. Instead, you should ask what God prefers.

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Pro 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
I just am unconvinced that the Lord commands us to only sing the Psalms in worship.
When discussing Exclusive Psalmody, 9 times out of 10 it boils down to an incipient Normative Principle that the non-EPist is not aware he is bringing to the table on this question. It is fine that you don't see the LORD commanding us to sing only Psalms. Neither do I. No such command is required. What is needed to prove EP is not a command but a lack of a command. Either there is a command to compose and sing uninspired worship songs in the Bible, or there isn't. If there isn't, then they are not warranted. If there is, then all of us must sing them. Where is this command to sing uninspired praise songs in the Bible?

Let me put it another way. It's understandable to be unconvinced of something. But why not say, "I'm unconvinced that the Bible requires uninspired hymns to be sung in worship"? Why is uninspired hymnody the default position? If one is not sure, then isn't the default to be EP until uninspired hymnody can be shown to be required in the Bible? Isn't that the Regulative approach?

To address the OP: the use of uninspired hymns in corporate worship necessarily implies the insufficiency of the hymnal God has prepared for His Church. Whether we realize it or not, we are saying we think we can do better. How very wrong we are to think so. Only experience singing the Psalms in worship will show how very inadequate their competitors are for the task of not only worshipping the LORD but edifying His saints. There is no comparison. The Psalms are especially fitted for that purpose. We rob ourselves of immense profit by allowing them to be displaced by the songs of men.

Psalm 42:8, "Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life."
While this forum never has the Thanks button, I wanted you to know this was helpful and succinct.
 

irresistible_grace

Puritan Board Junior
I just am unconvinced that the Lord commands us to only sing the Psalms in worship.
When discussing Exclusive Psalmody, 9 times out of 10 it boils down to an incipient Normative Principle that the non-EPist is not aware he is bringing to the table on this question. It is fine that you don't see the LORD commanding us to sing only Psalms. Neither do I. No such command is required. What is needed to prove EP is not a command but a lack of a command. Either there is a command to compose and sing uninspired worship songs in the Bible, or there isn't. If there isn't, then they are not warranted. If there is, then all of us must sing them. Where is this command to sing uninspired praise songs in the Bible?

Let me put it another way. It's understandable to be unconvinced of something. But why not say, "I'm unconvinced that the Bible requires uninspired hymns to be sung in worship"? Why is uninspired hymnody the default position? If one is not sure, then isn't the default to be EP until uninspired hymnody can be shown to be required in the Bible? Isn't that the Regulative approach?

To address the OP: the use of uninspired hymns in corporate worship necessarily implies the insufficiency of the hymnal God has prepared for His Church. Whether we realize it or not, we are saying we think we can do better. How very wrong we are to think so. Only experience singing the Psalms in worship will show how very inadequate their competitors are for the task of not only worshipping the LORD but edifying His saints. There is no comparison. The Psalms are especially fitted for that purpose. We rob ourselves of immense profit by allowing them to be displaced by the songs of men.

Psalm 42:8, "Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life."
While this forum never has the Thanks button, I wanted you to know this was helpful and succinct.
:agree:
 
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