Question on EP

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Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Is that a "tit" or a "tat"? :D

Was it formulaic to demonstrate God's character or our weakness?

:lol: It's a...tat. Actually the reference is lost on me. I should read the last few posts more carefully.

I don't know why the Levitical Law was formulaic. It seems to me that the necessary offerings were so detailed to show how careful God is about how he is to be worshiped. But aren't we just speculating when we ask "why?" You said God wasn't formulaic. I am just providing evidence to the contrary.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
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.

Gen. 1, God is orderly, and expresses it by distinguishing things that differ and giving them their own sphere and principles. I am thankful He has revealed His will to us in the same distinctive fashion: He tells us to SING certain songs, Eph. 5:19, and to PRAY with all supplication, Eph. 6:18. Methinks your confusing the two is just a little too convenient for the position you have taken. On the same basis the high church Anglicans argued the reasonableness of imposing set forms of payer. They sing a set form, why can they not pray a set form? The spiritual man is not so gullible.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
:lol: It's a...tat. Actually the reference is lost on me. I should read the last few posts more carefully.

:D

I don't know why the Levitical Law was formulaic. It seems to me that the necessary offerings were so detailed to show how careful God is about how he is to be worshiped. But aren't we just speculating when we ask "why?" You said God wasn't formulaic. I am just providing evidence to the contrary.

...but the evidence is circumstantial.

Are the Levitical Laws still in effect?

Did Christ follow the Levitical Laws formulaically?
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Is that a "tit" or a "tat"? :D

Oh, now I see the tit for tat thing. Yeah, my comment was something like that. Even aside from the light shed on such things by John I already knew that it wasn't going to get anywhere. I just said it anyway. :eek:
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Gen. 1, God is orderly, and expresses it by distinguishing things that differ and giving them their own sphere and principles. I am thankful He has revealed His will to us in the same distinctive fashion: He tells us to SING certain songs, Eph. 5:19, and to PRAY with all supplication, Eph. 6:18. Methinks your confusing the two is just a little too convenient for the position you have taken. On the same basis the high church Anglicans argued the reasonableness of imposing set forms of payer. They sing a set form, why can they not pray a set form? The spiritual man is not so gullible.

"confuse" - sorry - perhaps I do not understand. I understand what a song without a prayer is and a prayer without a song is - but just as one can have heat without light and light without heat or both together - so is song and prayer - I think you try to draw a stricter delineation than Scripture demonstrates.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
"confuse" - sorry - perhaps I do not understand. I understand what a song without a prayer is and a prayer without a song is - but just as one can have heat without light and light without heat or both together - so is song and prayer - I think you try to draw a stricter delineation than Scripture demonstrates.

You are welcome to your thoughts. They are of no concern to me without demonstration. Try and implement it in a congregation and see what confusion would ensue. When the congregation is called to prayer, they might just open their hymn books. When they are called to sing, they could close their eyes while one sings on behalf of the whole congregation. In fact, all of the New Testament's orderly instructions would be turned on their head. That is because the NT everywhere presupposes singing and praying are distinct modes of worship -- your thoughts notwithstanding.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
: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!

JD:

I wanted to answer this last night but I ran out of time. Sorry.

Its a matter of apples and oranges. Most of the arguments that the EP-ers appeal to can yield no more than a policy of EP. That's the limit of that approach. It is not a matter of who's got the biggest or best array of arguments or reasons if we're arguing a doctrinal EP. So the setting of "OK, lets put the arguments side by side" or "... against each other" can only result, at best, in a policy of, or a discretionary, EP and no more. That's what the RPW represents.
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
You are welcome to your thoughts. They are of no concern to me without demonstration. Try and implement it in a congregation and see what confusion would ensue. When the congregation is called to prayer, they might just open their hymn books. When they are called to sing, they could close their eyes while one sings on behalf of the whole congregation. In fact, all of the New Testament's orderly instructions would be turned on their head. That is because the NT everywhere presupposes singing and praying are distinct modes of worship -- your thoughts notwithstanding.

With all due respect, Rev. Winzer, I would disagree that they would presuppose, "ne'er the twain should meet" - particularly in light of the Psalms as both song and prayer - they would have had practical examples.

...and as far as practice in worship resulting in confusion - in my experience no one has been confused when the Lord's Prayer is sung - or when a Psalm is read or sung. In fact - I have seen the text of hymns declared.

Bottom line - if the leadership of the church do things in a Scripture-bound orderly fashion and clearly set expectations, order is maintained - God is worshiped.
 
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ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Bottom line - if the leadership of the church do things in a Scripture-bound orderly fashion and clearly set expectations, order is maintained - God is worshiped.

JD (Longmire):

You seem to utilize the broad evangelical argument that if we do anything with sincerity then God approves. When it comes to worship, we only worship in the way God commands. God is utterly Holy and all that we can bring to worship is our sin; everything else is a direct requirement from the word of God. I am not EP, but you and I are not like minded on this. I don’t see this as a liberty issue. God does not give man freedom to choose how and why we can worship Him. For such is contrary to our nature; our worship requires God to reveal His good and orderly manner for worship.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
JD (Longmire):

You seem to utilize the broad evangelical argument that if we do anything with sincerity then God approves.

Come on, CP - no aspersion casting, please - I ascribe to the RPW - maybe not as rigidly as some think it should be, but I do.

When it comes to worship, we only worship in the way God commands. God is utterly Holy and all that we can bring to worship is our sin; everything else is a direct requirement from the word of God.

Concur - and the elements are directly required - the means of practice are not so clearly delineated

I am not EP, but you and I are not like minded on this. I don’t see this as a liberty issue. God does not give man freedom to choose how and why we can worship Him. For such is contrary to our nature; our worship requires God to reveal His good and orderly manner for worship.

God has revealed His character in Christ by means of the Holy Spirit and Scripture - His character reveals His requirements for worship.

Our nature is indeed contrary...but the Holy Spirit inhabits us now, so our nature can be overcome to a degree. Our worship must indeed be Scripture-bound so that we can worship with Christ-given liberty in spirit and truth - not in Christ-abolished legalism and dogma.

The boundaries are established by God through the character of Christ, the council of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of Scripture. Where the elements (and I agree on the elements as defined by the RPW) are directly and specifically ordained in form, fit and function, they should be practiced in such a way - I just don't see all the elements - particularly song and prayer - as rigidly codified and segregated throughout Scripture as some try to assert.
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
JD:

I wanted to answer this last night but I ran out of time. Sorry.

Its a matter of apples and oranges. Most of the arguments that the EP-ers appeal to can yield no more than a policy of EP. That's the limit of that approach. It is not a matter of whose got the biggest or best array of arguments or reasons if we're arguing a doctrinal EP. So the setting of "OK, lets put the arguments side by side" or "... against each other" can only result, at best, in a policy of, or a discretionary, EP and no more. That's what the RPW represents.

Thanks for clarifying, John.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
...and as far as practice in worship resulting in confusion - in my experience no one has been confused when the Lord's Prayer is sung - or when a Psalm is read or sung.

I have emboldened your words which are relevant to distinct modes of worship in order to show you how inescapable the concept is. I rest my case on your own testimony. The next step for you is to recognise that the Bible provides distinct instructions for the performing of these distinct modes of worship.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Just Curious

Are there any PBers who made the switch from nonEP to EP while they were pastoring a church? How did it go over when you informed the sheep that they could no longer use the words 'Jesus' or 'Christ' in worship? I am truly curious how that went over. (I am pro-psalmody, but not yet EP)
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Are there any PBers who made the switch from nonEP to EP while they were pastoring a church? How did it go over when you informed the sheep that they could no longer use the words 'Jesus' or 'Christ' in worship? I am truly curious how that went over. (I am pro-psalmody, but not yet EP)

I would imagine that, due to Presbyterian polity (since most EPers seem to be Presbyterian), a pastor in a non-EP Presbyterian denomination would either have to keep his view to himself or change denominations. He can't bind people's consciences with something that wasn't part of the deal (constitution) when they became members.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I would imagine that, due to Presbyterian polity (since most EPers seem to be Presbyterian), a pastor in a non-EP Presbyterian denomination would either have to keep his view to himself or change denominations. He can't bind people's consciences with something that wasn't part of the deal (constitution) when they became members.

I take it each Presbyterian denom has their own policy concerning EP?
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I take it each Presbyterian denom has their own policy concerning EP?

Yes, I'm pretty sure that all denominations that are EP as a whole have it stated somewhere in their denominational standards.

However, I have heard of denominations that are not EP as a whole having individual EP congregations. There used to be an EP PCA church near me. I have also heard of such congregations in the OPC. I'm not really sure how this is handled. Perhaps the local congregation has the right to add it to its own constitution.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Am I ever having trouble with this post. My computer won't let me post it. I've got a touch pad instead of a mouse, and somehow I'm hitting something that makes the screen go blank, and then back to the "Today's Posts" page. Everything is gone. I've typed it out now three times just this afternoon, never mind the times I tried last night before I ran out of time. I just want to particularize what I meant by the "tit for tat" thing.

All I meant to say was that there are relatively few ground rules for declaring something as being what the Bible teaches. But there are quite a number of "no-no's". The WCF and BC state the most important ones quite clearly. Its a question of appealing to legitimate grounds, and these grounds sustaining only that which they are able to sustain, nothing more. Just as one example, the onus of proof for the E cannot be avoided or evaded. It may be true that there is an onus upon adding hymns that are not Psalms, but that in no way mitigates the onus that is on the E of EP. Shrugging it off merely takes EP off the discussion table. So you cannot get anywhere by debating who has bears the onus. Debating that back and forth yields no results, for it is plain as plain can be that he who asserts something as Bible teaching bears the burden of proof.

There's no such thing as proving something as Biblical teaching by appealing to accumulated arguments, the opinions of the church fathers, appealing to antiquity, traditions, and so on. Going back and forth on these produces nothing in the way of proving anything as Biblical teaching.
 

MrMerlin777

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Am I ever having trouble with this post. My computer won't let me post it. I've got a touch pad instead of a mouse, and somehow I'm hitting something that makes the screen go blank, and then back to the "Today's Posts" page. Everything is gone. I've typed it out now three times just this afternoon, never mind the times I tried last night before I ran out of time. I just want to particularize what I meant by the "tit for tat" thing.

All I meant to say was that there are relatively few ground rules for declaring something as being what the Bible teaches. But there are quite a number of "no-no's". The WCF and BC state the most important ones quite clearly. Its a question of appealing to legitimate grounds, and these grounds sustaining only that which they are able to sustain, nothing more. Just as one example, the onus of proof for the E cannot be avoided or evaded. It may be true that there is an onus upon adding hymns that are not Psalms, but that in no way mitigates the onus that is on the E of EP. Shrugging it off merely takes EP off the discussion table. So you cannot get anywhere by debating who has bears the onus. Debating that back and forth yields no results, for it is plain as plain can be that he who asserts something as Bible teaching bears the burden of proof.

There's no such thing as proving something as Biblical teaching by appealing to accumulated arguments, the opinions of the church fathers, appealing to antiquity, traditions, and so on. Going back and forth on these produces nothing in the way of proving anything as Biblical teaching.

Good post.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I have emboldened your words which are relevant to distinct modes of worship in order to show you how inescapable the concept is. I rest my case on your own testimony. The next step for you is to recognise that the Bible provides distinct instructions for the performing of these distinct modes of worship.

Not sure of your point - the Lord's Prayer can be sung or read without congregational confusion, just as a Psalm that is a prayer can be read or sung without confusion.

...or are you saying that there is a Scriptural mandate that once spoken words or prayers may not be sung?
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
There's no such thing as proving something as Biblical teaching by appealing to accumulated arguments, the opinions of the church fathers, appealing to antiquity, traditions, and so on. Going back and forth on these produces nothing in the way of proving anything as Biblical teaching.

concur
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Not sure of your point - the Lord's Prayer can be sung or read without congregational confusion, just as a Psalm that is a prayer can be read or sung without confusion.

...or are you saying that there is a Scriptural mandate that once spoken words or prayers may not be sung?

David's psalms may have been prayers but they were written purposefully to be sung. I'm sure that he also prayed many normal prayers which were not written under inspiration of the Holy Spirit and were not intended from the moment of their penning to be included in a divine song book for God's Church. There is a difference between the prayers in the Psalms and "regular prayers" and I'm not sure I understand why this is such a difficult point.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
David's psalms may have been prayers but they were written purposefully to be sung. I'm sure that he also prayed many normal prayers which were not written under inspiration of the Holy Spirit and were not intended from their penning to be included in a divine song book for God's Church. There is a difference between the prayers in the Psalms and "regular prayers" and I'm not sure I understand why this is so hard for you to understand.

I am not sure why it is so important to make the distinction. "You may sing these words of Scripture, but not these words of Scripture" seems ludicrous.
 
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Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I am not sure why it is so important to make the distinction. "You may sing these words, but not these words" seems ludicrous.

I'm not the one who made the distinction. For some reason God decided to inspire David to make some prayers that were singable and put those prayers in a book. He also decided to let David pray some normal prayers that weren't songs.

Perhaps it also seemed ludicrous for the guy who died when trying to keep the Ark from falling into the dirt that he had to get zapped? Or perhaps Nadab and Abihu found that it was ludicrous to say "you may offer one kind of fire, but not another."

The fact is, there are clear differences between the Psalms and other prayers, including the manner in which they were composed and the fact that they were commanded to be sung as well as read.

Not only am I offended because you're calling my view ludicrous, I also see it as calling God ludicrous since he's the one who gave the command which has become the object of name-calling.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I'm not the one who made the distinction. For some reason God decided to inspire David to make some prayers that were singable and put those prayers in a book. He also decided to let David pray some normal prayers that weren't songs.

Perhaps it also seemed ludicrous for the guy who died when trying to keep the Ark from falling into the dirt that he had to get zapped? Or perhaps Nadab and Abihu found that it was ludicrous to say "you may offer one kind of fire, but not another."

The fact is, there are clear differences between the Psalms and other prayers, including the manner in which they were composed and the fact that they were commanded to be sung and not read.


So, to read a Psalm is sin?


I'd be careful calling God ludicrous, if I were you.

Now, now - there goes that aspersion thing, again.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I'm not the one who made the distinction. For some reason God decided to inspire David to make some prayers that were singable and put those prayers in a book. He also decided to let David pray some normal prayers that weren't songs.

Perhaps it also seemed ludicrous for the guy who died when trying to keep the Ark from falling into the dirt that he had to get zapped? Or perhaps Nadab and Abihu found that it was ludicrous to say "you may offer one kind of fire, but not another."

The fact is, there are clear differences between the Psalms and other prayers, including the manner in which they were composed and the fact that they were commanded to be sung as well as read.

This is much clearer - I certainly understand having to go back and edit!

So it is sin to sing the Lord's Prayer?

Not only am I offended because you're calling my view ludicrous, I also see it as calling God ludicrous since he's the one who gave the command which has become the object of name-calling.

Now CC, let's not get into a round of "who offends whom", please?

Perhaps "ludicrous" was too strong a word - perhaps I should have said "mystifying" - since I truly am mystified at the forced delineation that is not mandated in Scripture.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Perhaps it also seemed ludicrous for the guy who died when trying to keep the Ark from falling into the dirt that he had to get zapped? Or perhaps Nadab and Abihu found that it was ludicrous to say "you may offer one kind of fire, but not another."

Just wanted to point out the invalidity of this argument.

a) These folk did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as we do.

b) These folk violated specific commands concerning the manner and method of definitively prescribed activities.

c) This has nothing to do with singing - as I have said in another thread - please show me one time in Scripture someone was punished for singing.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Just as one example, the onus of proof for the E cannot be avoided or evaded. It may be true that there is an onus upon adding hymns that are not Psalms, but that in no way mitigates the onus that is on the E of EP. Shrugging it off merely takes EP off the discussion table.

The onus for the E comes from the RPW, as has been stated multiple times before. What is not commanded is forbidden. That provides for the Exclusivity of the argument. In the absence of any evidence for anything other than inspired Psalms, we are not permitted to bring anything else to the mercy seat. The RPW establishes that point. If one does not accept the RPW according to this Puritan perspective of it, then the onus is upon them to prove our reformed and puritan forbears wrong.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Not sure of your point - the Lord's Prayer can be sung or read without congregational confusion, just as a Psalm that is a prayer can be read or sung without confusion.

The point is, good fellow, that you can't read, pray AND sing the Psalms all in one motion, as is clear from the very manner in which you state the case. The Bible clearly distinguishes these actions as modes of worship. The sooner you concede the obvious, the sooner this discussion can proceed apace.
 
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