Question on EP

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fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by NaphtaliPress
Fred,
I'm curious what do you do with Exodus 15:20 as far as bringing in dance in public worship if Exodus 15ff speaks to public worship practices for the church?

[Edited on 5-8-2006 by NaphtaliPress]
Chris,

I don't see Ex. 15 as a normative example of corporate worship. But I do see the Scripture describing the song of Exodus 15 as a worship song:

Revelation 15:3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!

I also don't see how it s possible to avoid non-Psalter singing in pre-Davidic worship (or pre-tabernacle for that matter). If song is a commanded element of worship, it must have existed prior to the Psalter. There must have been non-Psalm singing, therefore, of which I would say that Exodus 15 is at least a type or sample.
 

Founded on the Rock

Puritan Board Freshman
hahaha I don't think threads on EP or theonomy die on the PB... although I haven't seen anything on theonomy in a while... I'm sure as soon as I post this though....
 

crhoades

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Founded on the Rock
hahaha I don't think threads on EP or theonomy die on the PB... although I haven't seen anything on theonomy in a while... I'm sure as soon as I post this though....
A theonomist, a principled pluralist, and a covenanter walk into a bar...
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by NaphtaliPress
Fred,
I'm curious what do you do with Exodus 15:20 as far as bringing in dance in public worship if Exodus 15ff speaks to public worship practices for the church?

[Edited on 5-8-2006 by NaphtaliPress]
Chris,

I don't see Ex. 15 as a normative example of corporate worship. But I do see the Scripture describing the song of Exodus 15 as a worship song:

Revelation 15:3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!

I also don't see how it s possible to avoid non-Psalter singing in pre-Davidic worship (or pre-tabernacle for that matter). If song is a commanded element of worship, it must have existed prior to the Psalter. There must have been non-Psalm singing, therefore, of which I would say that Exodus 15 is at least a type or sample.
I think it's interesting that even Bushell admits that the OT wasn't EP until the close of the OT canon.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by crhoades
Originally posted by Founded on the Rock
hahaha I don't think threads on EP or theonomy die on the PB... although I haven't seen anything on theonomy in a while... I'm sure as soon as I post this though....
A theonomist, a principled pluralist, and a covenanter walk into a bar...
:lol::lol::lol:
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
This was, for the most part, a very profitable and charitable discussion. I appreciate it and find it unfortunate that it did not continue.

Nope.

When we discuss first-day Sabbath observance, we begin in the Old Testament. Even when we discuss baptism (a New Testament rite), we begin with the Old Testament. Since psalmody clearly comes to us from the Old Testament, why would we begin the discussion with Eph. 5:19/Col. 3:16? Why not begin with where psalmody begins in the Bible, i.e. in the Old Testament? :2cents:
To this point, Lee Irons makes a very interesting point regarding continuity from OT to NT and "redemptive-historical transformation" (ie. change).

In addition, consider the general pattern of redemptive-historical transformation that occurs in the transition from Old to New Covenant worship. Although there is fundamental continuity between the worship of the two testaments, there is also change — change that reflects the newness of the New Covenant. For example, although the fourth commandment is an abiding element of the moral law and continues in the New Covenant, there is a change as well: we no longer worship on the seventh day but on the first day, to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. Note the pattern: there is both continuity and redemptive-historical transformation. The same applies to virtually all other aspects of worship. The passover has been transformed and fulfilled by the Lord's Supper (Mark 14:12-25; 1 Cor. 5:1-8); circumcision, by baptism (Col. 2:11-13). In view of this repeated pattern, would it not be odd if Israel's songs were brought over into the New Covenant without any redemptive-historical transformation? Nothing is taken from the Old Covenant and applied directly to the church without first being passed through a Christocentric hermeneutical prism. Just as light when passed through a prism is changed from a monochromatic flatness into all the dazzling spectra of the rainbow, so the Old Covenant forms of worship, when sent through the prism of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, are "transformed from glory to glory" (2 Cor. 3:18). This is exactly what we are doing when, in obedience to the command of Col. 3:16, we let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly so as to create a New Covenant hymnody reflective of the richness of that indwelling, Incarnate Word
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Again, I apologize for my rude comment, and hope that you will not be disuaded from continuing what may yet be a profitable discussion. I still await your remarks on Pliny's letter (see thread here).
Well - I hate to show up late...:D...but since you brought it up...

In the context of a casual or learned Greek literate listener - which Psalm explicitly sings of the Anointed (christos) as unto God Himself in a way which a Greco-Roman would find familiar?

Here is a link to a Homeric hymn to Apollo - here is a fuller text of hymns to many gods.

Here is the section of Pliny's letter:

However, they assured me that the main of their fault, or of their mistake was this:-That they were wont, on a stated day, to meet together before it was light, and to sing a hymn to Christ, as to a god, ...
Looks as if he may not have actually heard the hymns, but that the Christians themselves testified to hymnody (or "carmen-ody").
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Also one could speculate that the Christians would have testified to singing from "the Psalms" as opposed to the generic form - one would also speculate that Pliny as a historian and legalist would have been careful to contextualize...
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Also - it is hard to ignore the messianic overtones of this passage from Isaiah:

Isaiah 42:9-11 (English Standard Version)

9Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them."
10Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,
the coastlands and their inhabitants.
11Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,
the villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the habitants of Sela sing for joy,
let them shout from the top of the mountains
Why say sing a new song? Why not the songs of David or somesuch?

Seems fairly explicit to me.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
This was, for the most part, a very profitable and charitable discussion. I appreciate it and find it unfortunate that it did not continue.



To this point, Lee Irons makes a very interesting point regarding continuity from OT to NT and "redemptive-historical transformation" (ie. change).
That is an interesting point, Chris. Off the top of my head, though, I would point out that, although the particular ordinances of circumcision, passover, and the Sabbath have undergone transformation in bringing them to the New Testament, the Psalms cannot undergo a similar transformation. This is because the Psalms are not merely an ordinance (singing of praise is an ordinance, Psalms are not), but are the unchangeable Word of God. In fact, the ordinance of singing praise has undergone transformation, in that the instruments which were bound to the old dispensation have been abolished; so that our praise is now unaccompanied.

Although I'm familiar with the redemptive-historical argument for the use of uninspired hymns, I'm not really sure on how well it plays out: Under the Old Testament, we have an inspired, appointed hymnal; as redemptive history unfolds, and we come into the New Testament, the regulation on song is lifted so as to allow for a virtually infinite number of hymns, of varying degrees of orthodoxy and fitness for worship. I don't really see how this represents "progress." "Regress," maybe? ;)

And I'm not going to address the points you raise, JD, since I have addressed them numerous times already, and do not care to repeat myself. :D
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Sean, and all EP-ers:

I'm just cutting in here in hopes to try to make something a bit clearer to you. Can you appreciate the fact that, according to my understanding of the limits of doctrine and the place of music in worship, what you have said here has very little bearing on the discussion? I'm not saying that it has no bearing for you; nor am I saying that I'm just casting it out as irrelevant, or that I won't even think about it. I'm saying that we're talking apples and oranges almost all the time in these discussions.

I want to and can respect your devotion and desire. I will do nothing to undermine your faith. If you believe that EP is intrinsic to it, then I want to be sure not to damage that at all. That's always been my approach, and I want it to stay that way. I'm just trying to get across to you that there is much more to the non-EP position than you think; and am asking for the same respect.

I don't agree with JD in quite a few instances. I believe it puts the EP debate into the wrong context. To be more plain, if you're going to argue for the non-EP position then you can't do it in a tit-for-tat debate with EP-ers. The context for music in worship is altogether different for non-EP, and that's where the discussion has to be. We've already established that there is no direct command that only the Psalms are to be sung. The EP-ers, like yourself, are asserting that there is no command to sing songs other than the Psalms. It is the presupposition behind that question that should be the locus of the debates, it seems to me. Would such a command be required? And does this understand what the Word is saying about worship and music as a whole and in its parts? That's the point of difference, it seems to me.

I try to post in these discussions only sparingly. So as I see this thread coming back to the fore I think I should say this, in the hope that this thread will fade again, giving us time to rethink these things before the debate comes up again, that we will grow into it more.

Meanwhile, I want all EP-ers to know that if I have offended in any way, I ask forgiveness. I cannot state actual offences becaue I do not know where some of you would be offended. I stand firm on some things, just as you do, and make no apologies for that. But at the same time, I believe that it is more important to respect the fact that some are speaking out the very same conviction as I am, though coming down on different sides. That conviction ought to remain unviolated, though the particulars of how we manifest that conviction may be in error, whether for you or for myself.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Sean, and all EP-ers:

I'm just cutting in here in hopes to try to make something a bit clearer to you. Can you appreciate the fact that, according to my understanding of the limits of doctrine and the place of music in worship, what you have said here has very little bearing on the discussion? I'm not saying that it has no bearing for you; nor am I saying that I'm just casting it out as irrelevant, or that I won't even think about it. I'm saying that we're talking apples and oranges almost all the time in these discussions.

I want to and can respect your devotion and desire. I will do nothing to undermine your faith. If you believe that EP is intrinsic to it, then I want to be sure not to damage that at all. That's always been my approach, and I want it to stay that way. I'm just trying to get across to you that there is much more to the non-EP position than you think; and am asking for the same respect.

I don't agree with JD in quite a few instances. I believe it puts the EP debate into the wrong context. To be more plain, if you're going to argue for the non-EP position then you can't do it in a tit-for-tat debate with EP-ers. The context for music in worship is altogether different for non-EP, and that's where the discussion has to be. We've already established that there is no direct command that only the Psalms are to be sung. The EP-ers, like yourself, are asserting that there is no command to sing songs other than the Psalms. It is the presupposition behind that question that should be the locus of the debates, it seems to me. Would such a command be required? And does this understand what the Word is saying about worship and music as a whole and in its parts? That's the point of difference, it seems to me.

I try to post in these discussions only sparingly. So as I see this thread coming back to the fore I think I should say this, in the hope that this thread will fade again, giving us time to rethink these things before the debate comes up again, that we will grow into it more.

Meanwhile, I want all EP-ers to know that if I have offended in any way, I ask forgiveness. I cannot state actual offences becaue I do not know where some of you would be offended. I stand firm on some things, just as you do, and make no apologies for that. But at the same time, I believe that it is more important to respect the fact that some are speaking out the very same conviction as I am, though coming down on different sides. That conviction ought to remain unviolated, though the particulars of how we manifest that conviction may be in error, whether for you or for myself.
John, thank you for that. I have always admired your clarity and candor as you disrupt our discussions. :) I am never offended by disagreement which brethren may offer; and only hope that we can continue to sharpen each other as we press on to our eternity together, where disagreement will finally be at an end. :handshake: :pray2:

And I came to the conclusion long ago that going "tit-for-tat" is NOT the way to treat this discussion; and I consider examinations of Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 to be such. As I argued numerous times, on this very thread, I believe that our presuppositions -- the very presuppositions you speak of! -- are the real things we should be examining. When EPers (like myself) ask where hymns are appointed, our underlying presupposition is that particular songs and/or songbooks require divine prescription. When we go round in circles over the meaning of humnos, or the "new song," or redemptive-historical arguments (as interesting as all these may be), our underlying presupposition continues to be ignored, as well as the underlying presuppositions of our opponents.

As I have come to understand it, the Psalms were appointed for singing in worship. Because of this divine appointment, God must regulate which songs are sung in His worship; or else, He must relax this appointment and/or regulation. (I'm not sure that's entirely clear; I hope you understand my meaning.) If He has given particular songs to be sung in worship (and as far as I'm aware, everybody recognizes that He gave the Psalms for that purpose), then He must do so for any other songs to be employed. The question is how do we apply the RPW to song in worship? I answer, The Bible shows us, by the appointment of specific songs.

Again, as far as the "content" of our songs is concerned, I understand our (EP) presupposition to be that, in order to be "in line" with the RPW, we must sing only from songs and/or songbooks appointed by God for that purpose. As I understand it, the non-EP presupposition is that, in order to be "in line" with the RPW, we must sing only songs that are theologically accurate. If I have misunderstood or misconstrued your position, please correct me. And note also, I speak only of the "content" of song, not of the manner of singing, or anything else. I recognize that we must sing to all three Persons of the Holy Trinity, in the mediation of Christ, by the Spirit, with grace in the heart, love to God, and all the rest.----But if particular songs have been appointed to be sung in worship, I believe that determines which presupposition is correct; because divine appointment in this regard would indicate divine regulation (as explained above).

And I hope that I have not misunderstood or misconstrued what you were meaning by "presuppositions," John -- again, please correct me if need be.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Sean:

You have not misunderstood or misconstrued. I don't think you've understood all of what I meant, but you do get the gist of it. And that's close enough for now. I too must set myself to understanding yours better.

Until later, then.
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
That is an interesting point, Chris. Off the top of my head, though, I would point out that, although the particular ordinances of circumcision, passover, and the Sabbath have undergone transformation in bringing them to the New Testament, the Psalms cannot undergo a similar transformation. This is because the Psalms are not merely an ordinance (singing of praise is an ordinance, Psalms are not), but are the unchangeable Word of God. In fact, the ordinance of singing praise has undergone transformation, in that the instruments which were bound to the old dispensation have been abolished; so that our praise is now unaccompanied.

Although I'm familiar with the redemptive-historical argument for the use of uninspired hymns, I'm not really sure on how well it plays out: Under the Old Testament, we have an inspired, appointed hymnal; as redemptive history unfolds, and we come into the New Testament, the regulation on song is lifted so as to allow for a virtually infinite number of hymns, of varying degrees of orthodoxy and fitness for worship. I don't really see how this represents "progress." "Regress," maybe? ;)
Yeah, I hear you brother and these are all good things to discern.

It does indeed appear to be regress if we consider all the bad hymns that have unfortunately been approved. But then again, I must admit to many "bad" sermons that have been preached as well as many "bad" prayers that have been recited. With sinners comes sin, that is until we are, as the hymnist proclaimed, "free to sin no more."

Regarding the redemptive-historical transformation and what that should look like, Mr Irons continues:

Later in church history we find Isaac Watts continuing the tradition of the Odes. As he meditates on the Psalter from the perspective of its fulfillment in Christ, he produces New Covenant hymns which are psalm-like and psalm-based but which go beyond the original text of the Hebrew Psalter in their explicitly Christological reflection. "The hymnody springs from the psalmody; it is inspired by the psalmody. Watts' hymnody comments on, interprets, and continues the psalmody."24 For example, Watts takes Psalm 72, filters it through a Christocentric hermeneutic, and ends up with a classic New Covenant hymn:

Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
Does his successive journies run;
His Kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

But interestingly, the full impact of this hymn cannot be assessed unless the church already knows Psalm 72. It is only when we hear the echo of the Psalter in these hymns that their New Covenant hermeneutic can come home to us in its full force.

"One has to have the canonical text in mind when one hears the Christian interpretation. The beauty of this form is that in the movement from the text to the interpretation one catches sight of the movement from promise to fulfillment, which is of the essence of prayer. To glimpse this is an exciting experience … It is for this reason that psalmody should be balanced with hymnody and hymnody with psalmody. There is an important dynamic between the two … There is a sense in which Christian hymnody is the fulfillment of psalmody."25
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Chris:

That's where we're all in the same corner: the things that are being done in the name of worship in our time. We shouldn't just assume this, I think, but it should be plainly evident on both sides of the discussion.
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Chris:

That's where we're all in the same corner: the things that are being done in the name of worship in our time. We shouldn't just assume this, I think, but it should be plainly evident on both sides of the discussion.
I agree. What both sides should agree on is that the destitute state of modern worship services when it comes to the Regulative Principal. Being IP instead of EP does not mean I automatically approve of all hymns or modern styles and choruses. EP is so attractive because it appears to be a safe response to the shallow man-centered songs that are used as corporate response in today’s worship services.

Somewhere along the road those qualified to approve hymns failed to recognize what the purpose and intent of these hymns are to be. So what has been allowed to enter our worship services as acceptable has been bar tunes and praise choruses that ignore the Psalms and the Christocentric hermeneutic.

It appears two babies have been thrown out with the bathwater: As the sense in which Christian hymnody is the fulfillment of psalmody was lost, the Psalms were thrown out completely. Then in response to this sinful action, the Psalms were brought back in while throwing out the idea of hymnody all-together.
 
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JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I think that the "somewhere along the road" that Chris is talking about is the exceedingly rapid growth of music, as an industry, as defined by genres, in popularity, in what's in and what's passe, in types of instruments, in ways to harmonize, in presentation, and so much more, but mostly in expression. It's been rightly called an explosion. And too many are treating it like nothing has happened, just going with the flow.
 

Ravens

Puritan Board Sophomore
I've been thinking about EP for the past couple of days, and thought I'd throw some thoughts out for feedback. I lean towards EP, mainly due to the weight of Reformed tradition behind. Its currently a small "stresser" for me, as I would really like to understand it. But anyway, here are the thoughts I've been having.

1. The burden lies on the one who does not adhere to EP. I wouldn't even go so far as to say that the burden of "debate", i.e., on these boards, falls on the non-EP group. But when it comes to actually instituting worship in the church, then Psalmody has a very clear command prescribing it, as compared to other compositions, whose warrant is less clear.

That is, however you take "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs", it certainly is at least referring to the Psalter. That's clear. It might very well, at the end of the day, be referring to other compositions as well. But it isn't perspicuous that other compositions are intended, and since it's not perspicuous, I would think that the burden lies on the non-EP person when it comes to instituting worship in the church.

2. I'm not as convinced by the lexical arguments as I used to be. That is, that the Greek words for hymns or songs would have had entirely different connotations to Gentile readers.

I used to see that as a pretty convincing argument. However, I think it fails to take into account that many churches would have had a copy of the Septuagint, and, at the very least, they would have had ordained elders who were familiar with the Scriptures, and who would have understood the reference.

Its not as if the epistle was sent to a group of laity. It was sent to a church that had ordained leadership. And apparently Paul thought they were conversant enough with the Psalter to quote from it when talking about Christ's ascension in chapter 4. Certainly that's a more obscure reference than the simple song headings would be.

And, though I suppose this is speculation, it seems that the early church was, demographically, largely (though not solely) composed of many slaves, women, children, artisans, whatever. I mean I'm generalizing, but you get the point. God has always chosen the weak things of the world to shame the strong, and apparently that was the state of things by the time that Celsus critiqued Origen for running after slaves, women, and children. I doubt they would be thoroughly conversant in Herodotus, Homer, et al.

Also, one other thought. I'm not an expert on the particular etymology of baptizo. Well I'm not an expert on anything; but I've really only skimmed the arguments that touch on mode.

However, do not Presbyterians who affirm sprinkling or effusion say that the use of "baptizo" in the Septuagint and what not should be normative in our understanding of how it is used in the New Testament? I.e., how the word is used in Scripture is a better indication of New Testmanent intent than the raw "lexical" meaning of the word, or how someone outside of the church, unacquainted with the Scriptures, might happen to understand it.

If so, how is that any different from taking the ambiguous language in Colossians and Ephesians and drawing on the Septuagint's meaning. What is the difference between this, and how we treat baptizo when it comes to mode?

To summarize that point though, if the epistle was written to the church, and we know that they had elders in place, and I think its safe to assume that these elders would have had to be conversant with the Old Testament, that the reference to psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, *if* referring to the Psalter, wouldn't have been "lost" on the congregation.

3. I'm glad this thread has stated away from beating the "inspired" drum. I don't mean to be irreverent; I just don't think its the main issue. Kaalvenist was right to treat it in terms of authorization, and I think Puritansailor rightly diagnosed its use in these particular online debates as rhetoric, or jargon (whichever word he used).

Namely, if you make "inspiration" the issue, you automatically start going into sidebar discussions about the Song of Moses, Revelation, etc. Now, perhaps your view of corporate singining might end up being "inspired songs only", but even people who adhere to that base it on their belief that only inspired songs are authorized songs. Hence, even for that position, it ultimately comes down to authorization. So to always type "UH" or set up an "Inspired is clearly better" sign really doesn't further along the discussion.

4. Its not helpful when the EP side accuses the non-EP side of not holding to the RPW. I don't even see how that can be arrived at. Non-EP'ers still believe worship is regulated, and that we can only give the worship that God demands; they just disagree on what is, indeed, demanded. To act as if their position boils down to their right to offer God whatever they want is irresponsible and inaccurate.

5. I know a lot of focus is paid to the adjective "spiritual" in Ephesians, and the "word of Christ" reference in Colossians. But I've always skipped over the "teaching and admonishing" part for some reason. Does that have any significance relative to this issue? In other words, if the songs we sing are truly intended to teach and admonish, would that point to them being inspired texts? I know that's not a "lock", but does it point in that direction?

6. Personally, I don't really see Revelation 5 as relevant to this topic. I used to. I just came to change my mind on that in the past couple days. Now, I'm sure that I'll say a whole lot of eschatological, glorified error here, but someone smarter than I am can hopefully glean what I'm trying to say and rephrase it.

Regardless of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and Jesus saying he'll drink of the vine with the disciples in his kingdom, I think it would be tenuous to say that the Lord's Supper is going to continue in heaven as a regular ordinance. Maybe it will, who knows. Baptism surely won't. I figure people even debate on whether or not we will have Bibles. I would assume the majority view is that we have a more unmediated encounter with God. Well, certainly mediated through the Logos, but perhaps not via word and sacrament. Regardless, if we don't expect the teaching of the word, overseers, deacons, corporate prayers for those in authority, the Lord's Supper, and baptism to continue in the eternal state, and we don't make that continuance or lack thereof normative in our understanding of current church worship, then why would we treat the issue of song any different? I guess I don't see the relevance; but I understand why some might.

Anyway. I'm still undecided. I lean EP, and pray that I'll gain more clarity soon. I need to do some weightier reading on it, beyond sermons and articles, when I have the time.

But those are the thoughts I've been having.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I've been thinking about EP for the past couple of days, and thought I'd throw some thoughts out for feedback. I lean towards EP, mainly due to the weight of Reformed tradition behind. Its currently a small "stresser" for me, as I would really like to understand it. But anyway, here are the thoughts I've been having.

1. The burden lies on the one who does not adhere to EP. I wouldn't even go so far as to say that the burden of "debate", i.e., on these boards, falls on the non-EP group. But when it comes to actually instituting worship in the church, then Psalmody has a very clear command prescribing it, as compared to other compositions, whose warrant is less clear.

That is, however you take "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs", it certainly is at least referring to the Psalter. That's clear. It might very well, at the end of the day, be referring to other compositions as well. But it isn't perspicuous that other compositions are intended, and since it's not perspicuous, I would think that the burden lies on the non-EP person when it comes to instituting worship in the church.

2. I'm not as convinced by the lexical arguments as I used to be. That is, that the Greek words for hymns or songs would have had entirely different connotations to Gentile readers.

I used to see that as a pretty convincing argument. However, I think it fails to take into account that many churches would have had a copy of the Septuagint, and, at the very least, they would have had ordained elders who were familiar with the Scriptures, and who would have understood the reference.

Its not as if the epistle was sent to a group of laity. It was sent to a church that had ordained leadership. And apparently Paul thought they were conversant enough with the Psalter to quote from it when talking about Christ's ascension in chapter 4. Certainly that's a more obscure reference than the simple song headings would be.

And, though I suppose this is speculation, it seems that the early church was, demographically, largely (though not solely) composed of many slaves, women, children, artisans, whatever. I mean I'm generalizing, but you get the point. God has always chosen the weak things of the world to shame the strong, and apparently that was the state of things by the time that Celsus critiqued Origen for running after slaves, women, and children. I doubt they would be thoroughly conversant in Herodotus, Homer, et al.

Also, one other thought. I'm not an expert on the particular etymology of baptizo. Well I'm not an expert on anything; but I've really only skimmed the arguments that touch on mode.

However, do not Presbyterians who affirm sprinkling or effusion say that the use of "baptizo" in the Septuagint and what not should be normative in our understanding of how it is used in the New Testament? I.e., how the word is used in Scripture is a better indication of New Testmanent intent than the raw "lexical" meaning of the word, or how someone outside of the church, unacquainted with the Scriptures, might happen to understand it.

If so, how is that any different from taking the ambiguous language in Colossians and Ephesians and drawing on the Septuagint's meaning. What is the difference between this, and how we treat baptizo when it comes to mode?

To summarize that point though, if the epistle was written to the church, and we know that they had elders in place, and I think its safe to assume that these elders would have had to be conversant with the Old Testament, that the reference to psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, *if* referring to the Psalter, wouldn't have been "lost" on the congregation.

3. I'm glad this thread has stated away from beating the "inspired" drum. I don't mean to be irreverent; I just don't think its the main issue. Kaalvenist was right to treat it in terms of authorization, and I think Puritansailor rightly diagnosed its use in these particular online debates as rhetoric, or jargon (whichever word he used).

Namely, if you make "inspiration" the issue, you automatically start going into sidebar discussions about the Song of Moses, Revelation, etc. Now, perhaps your view of corporate singining might end up being "inspired songs only", but even people who adhere to that base it on their belief that only inspired songs are authorized songs. Hence, even for that position, it ultimately comes down to authorization. So to always type "UH" or set up an "Inspired is clearly better" sign really doesn't further along the discussion.

4. Its not helpful when the EP side accuses the non-EP side of not holding to the RPW. I don't even see how that can be arrived at. Non-EP'ers still believe worship is regulated, and that we can only give the worship that God demands; they just disagree on what is, indeed, demanded. To act as if their position boils down to their right to offer God whatever they want is irresponsible and inaccurate.

5. I know a lot of focus is paid to the adjective "spiritual" in Ephesians, and the "word of Christ" reference in Colossians. But I've always skipped over the "teaching and admonishing" part for some reason. Does that have any significance relative to this issue? In other words, if the songs we sing are truly intended to teach and admonish, would that point to them being inspired texts? I know that's not a "lock", but does it point in that direction?

6. Personally, I don't really see Revelation 5 as relevant to this topic. I used to. I just came to change my mind on that in the past couple days. Now, I'm sure that I'll say a whole lot of eschatological, glorified error here, but someone smarter than I am can hopefully glean what I'm trying to say and rephrase it.

Regardless of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and Jesus saying he'll drink of the vine with the disciples in his kingdom, I think it would be tenuous to say that the Lord's Supper is going to continue in heaven as a regular ordinance. Maybe it will, who knows. Baptism surely won't. I figure people even debate on whether or not we will have Bibles. I would assume the majority view is that we have a more unmediated encounter with God. Well, certainly mediated through the Logos, but perhaps not via word and sacrament. Regardless, if we don't expect the teaching of the word, overseers, deacons, corporate prayers for those in authority, the Lord's Supper, and baptism to continue in the eternal state, and we don't make that continuance or lack thereof normative in our understanding of current church worship, then why would we treat the issue of song any different? I guess I don't see the relevance; but I understand why some might.

Anyway. I'm still undecided. I lean EP, and pray that I'll gain more clarity soon. I need to do some weightier reading on it, beyond sermons and articles, when I have the time.

But those are the thoughts I've been having.
JD,

It sounds like you've been doing a lot of thinking since the discussion we had on EP a month or so (or however long it was) ago. If I remember correctly, you also seemed pretty convinced at that time by the "new song" argument, but I didn't see you mention that here. Have your views on that changed at all?

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that your hunger for truth and commitment to the RPW is encouraging and whether or not you end up in the EP camp, reading posts like this one really makes my day. I've been a little too zealous in the past and was therefore very thankful for point #4. How true it is. Also, I very much appreciate you pointing out #3. It is something with which reading through this thread has helped me. In general, I just found the post to be very well-written and edifying; again, not because you are leaning more towards EP but for reasons on which I can't put my finger for some reason. *shrug* :handshake: :up:
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
JD,

It sounds like you've been doing a lot of thinking since the discussion we had on EP a month or so (or however long it was) ago. If I remember correctly, you also seemed pretty convinced at that time by the "new song" argument, but I didn't see you mention that here. Have your views on that changed at all?

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that your hunger for truth and commitment to the RPW is encouraging and whether or not you end up in the EP camp, reading posts like this one really makes my day. I've been a little too zealous in the past and was therefore very thankful for point #4. How true it is. Also, I very much appreciate you pointing out #3. It is something with which reading through this thread has helped me. In general, I just found the post to be very well-written and edifying; again, not because you are leaning more towards EP but for reasons on which I can't put my finger for some reason. *shrug* :handshake: :up:

David, different JD. You are thinking of Longmire, not Wiseman. :)
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Well, I like the way Joshua is approaching this. I think there's a number of things missing in his equation, but he's going about it the right way, I think.

For me the issue is the RPW, or the second commandment.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
5. I know a lot of focus is paid to the adjective "spiritual" in Ephesians, and the "word of Christ" reference in Colossians. But I've always skipped over the "teaching and admonishing" part for some reason. Does that have any significance relative to this issue? In other words, if the songs we sing are truly intended to teach and admonish, would that point to them being inspired texts? I know that's not a "lock", but does it point in that direction?
The "teaching and admonishing" function demonstrates two things:

(1.) That "song" cannot be confused with prayer. Song belongs to the prophetic office and is of the nature of declaration; prayer belongs to the priestly office and is of the nature of offering.

(2.) As "song" is of the nature of declaration, there must be, (a.) an assurance that what is being sung is the truth of God without any admixture of error; hence the emphasis on the "spiritual" nature of the songs: (b.) that it is objective truth which the whole congregation may apply to themselves. The things which befell David happened to him as an ensample, and were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come. An uninspired composition is written from a personal perspective which cannot lay claim to being applicable to or normative for the whole congregation.

Blessings!
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Yes, there was a prayerful element in David's praise, as there was an element of praise in his prayers. But as I noted in a previous thread where you raised this point, there is a difference between praying and singing as modes of worship. The Bible presents them as two distinct things. If I were to ask you what the children of Israel did in Exod. 15, when they were delivered out of Egypt, I am sure you would answer, They sang, not, They prayed.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
:doh: :doh: :doh:

Well, thankfully the only part of my comment that was really contingent on that last convo was my question about the new song argument. The rest of it stands on its own.

:eek:
:D

some good points from the "other JD" - I am still strongly in favor of new song interpreted as new song unless specifically contextualized as "sing an old song in a refreshed manner". David was writing new songs and encouraged us to do the same - Isaiah proclaimed the mandate - Revelation confirms it.

Has the mandate and the RPW been abused? certainly - EVERY element has been - still does not require me to relinquish my Scripture bounded liberty.

Not sure what JohnV means by "tit for tat" - I really enjoy the conversation when it is "iron sharpening iron" and I am willing to explore the rationale - do I get vehement? sometimes...only to the degree that I am adamantly opposed to legalism and EP smells strongly of it to me.

I have no issue with brethren that hold to EP as a "safer" position, just as I have no issue with brethren that hold to complete abstinence from alcohol as the "safest" position to not stumble a brother.

By all means - take the safer path, just don't condemn me for my Christ-given liberty.

Richest blessings!
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Yes, there was a prayerful element in David's praise, as there was an element of praise in his prayers. But as I noted in a previous thread where you raised this point, there is a difference between praying and singing as modes of worship. The Bible presents them as two distinct things. If I were to ask you what the children of Israel did in Exod. 15, when they were delivered out of Egypt, I am sure you would answer, They sang, not, They prayed.
I'm sorry, sir, but I am not willing to draw such a marked distinction, nor do I believe Scripture or the Lord demands it. He has drawn positive attention to both elements in a manner that demonstrates we have liberty within the forms to worship Him. The fact is - God is orderly without being formulaic.

(want to make sure and be clear - I am using "sir" in the most respectful sense, Rev. Winzer.)
 
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Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I'm sorry, sir, but I am not willing to draw such a marked distinction, nor do I believe Scripture or the Lord demands it. He has drawn positive attention to both elements in a manner that demonstrates we have liberty within the forms to worship Him. The fact is - God is orderly without being formulaic.
The Levitical Law seems pretty formulaic to me.
 
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