Why do you choose an uninspired hymm over an inspired Psalm?

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by uberkermit, Apr 8, 2009.

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  1. uberkermit

    uberkermit Puritan Board Freshman

    Please carefully read the following before replying!

    This post is a branch from the following comment by Puritan Sailor made here:

    The part I am interested in the above quote is the very last sentence (I made the text bold for emphasis). For the EP'er, there is no choice to make - it is simple: sing the Psalms (Though I acknowledge some might include some or all of the other songs in Scripture). For the person not adhering to EP, but who will allow that Psalms may be sung in the worship of God, they must choose to sing a Psalm or to sing a hymn (or possibly both).

    Now for the question -- why do you choose an uninspired hymn over an inspired Psalm?

    Note: I would appreciate it if only non-EP'ers would reply, and that this not turn into a debate. There are other threads for that. If one of those threads does not suit you, please start your own. I am looking for brief statements from non-EP people as to their choice of uninspired hymns over inspired Psalms.
     
  2. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    I suppose it would be for the same reason we allow preachers to write their own sermons rather than simply reading one of Paul's epistles.
     
  3. Kim G

    Kim G Puritan Board Junior

    I don't sing uninspired hymns over inspired Psalms. I sing both.

    Just like I read the inspired Bible and listen to an uninspired preacher. And like I pray inspired prayers from Scripture as well as my own uninspired prayers.
     
  4. Whitefield

    Whitefield Puritan Board Junior

    To sing of the covenant of grace under the new administration, and not be limited to only singing of the covenant of grace under the old administration.
     
  5. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    ^^All of the above. :)
     
  6. Tripel

    Tripel Puritan Board Senior

    Exactly. I have heard a lot of wonderful sermons that stick with me until this day. Are they better than the Word of God? No. But they flesh out what is in the Word in a way that I could not. Hymns are no better than the Psalms. One is inspired and one isn't. But there are hymns that capture wonderful truths from Scripture, and present them beautifully.
     
  7. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    Whether the song is inspired or not, I am singing with my heart to the Lord. There is no difference to me. The only benefit to the inspired song is that I know without question the theology is right :up: As long as a hymn's theology is right, then there is no problem (and this is solved by the music coordinator at my church anyway)!
     
  8. Classical Presbyterian

    Classical Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

    Because God can use whatever He wants to bring forth His praise.

    I never sing uninspired hymns.
     
  9. bug

    bug Puritan Board Freshman

    The psalms look forward, they speak of the promise. Isaac Watts wrote in relation to the psalms 'where the original runs in form of prohecy concerning Christ and his salvation, it is not necessary that we should sing in the style of prediction when the things foretold are brought into open light by full accomplishment.'

    Don't get me wrong the psalms are great. I love singing them, but if the Jews were not limited to them why should we be? Isn't it good to sing of redemption accomplished, Christ risen as things that have happened. If we will sing a new song (rev 5:9) in heaven, whats wrong with singing a new song here and now?
     
  10. baron

    baron Puritan Board Graduate

    Being new to Reformed thought I never herd of singing psalms in church. Never attended a church that was EP.

    Uninspired music is all we sing in church. Our church would not even know how to sing the psalms.

    As far as inspired versus uninspired as mentioned in other posts all preaching is uninspired. I have heard pastors though refer to their preaching is the mail call from God and if you don't accept delivery, than it goes back to sender which is God unopened.

    Maybe a diffrent thread But How Do You Sing The Psalms?
     
  11. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    The same way you sing Hymns. Words set to a tune.
     
  12. PresReformed

    PresReformed Puritan Board Freshman

    Every reply to the question lacks an understanding of the regulative principle of worship. The preaching of the word and the singing of psalms are two different elements of worship that are regulated differently. Most of the answers boil down to, "because that is what I like or what I want to do". We are to offer to God what He has prescribed and what He accepts, not what is pleasing to us. The question can just as easily be posed as, "Why would someone follow Cain's example instead of Abel's?" To argue that preaching is not confined to the inspired words of scripture, therefore I can sing uninspired hymnody would be equivalent to arguing that because women can participate in singing the psalms therefore women can also preach. Apples and oranges.
     
  13. Whitefield

    Whitefield Puritan Board Junior

    Please, the OP says this thread is not for debate.
     
  14. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    It's not that I would prefer a hymn over a Psalm. I like both. I like how people can take truths from the Bible, interpret them, and give us songs which can be understood similar to preaching. They seem to have more indepth doctrine with which we can sing/learn about and thus praise God for. The Psalms are wonderful in that they are praises to God. My fav Psalm is 145.
     
  15. Tripel

    Tripel Puritan Board Senior

    Greg,
    I think the OP was pretty clear that this thread is not intended to be a discussion of the interpretation of the RPW. The question was simply:

     
  16. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Moderator

    I believe we should sing both, for the record. But as to why I sing hymns, it's because God commands us to sing praise to him for who he is, and what he has done. Since God has performed more works on behalf of his people and revealed more of his nature and character since the composing of the psalms, there is more to sing about. :2cents:
     
  17. E Nomine

    E Nomine Puritan Board Freshman

    I find hymns traditional and beautiful and glorifying to God.

    The composers of the hymns are equally uninspired to the translators of the Psalter who took liberties revising the Psalms to ensure they rhyme in English and to the editors of the Psalter who set the Psalms to recent melodies that clearly were not used in worship in Biblical times.
     
  18. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

    I will answer with a question:

    Why do you choose an uninspired pastor over the inspired word of God?

    Sure, what he says he derives from the inspired word, but so is the uninspired song.
     
  19. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    Two reasons:

    1) I would like to sing more psalms (although still not only the Psalms) if only we had better psalters. Most of the arrangements and versifications are just plain horrible. Let's be honest, nobody is heaping praise upon the musical excellence of our Psalters as they might, say, a book of Baroque cantatas, or even a book of simple Elizabethan lute songs (which, I would argue, are much more singable than the Psalters which were produced contemporaneously). So that is just the musical matter.

    2) The more important matter is always the spiritual matter. God has gifted his people with creative souls, and the regenerate heart is gifted in various ways by the Holy Spirit. One can only assume (acknowledging that the various lists of spiritual gifts found in the epistles are not considered comprehensive and final by almost every theologian that I can think of) that God has gifted some of his people with the ability to write songs of praise for his people to sing to him. An EP position effectively (in the same way that Owen argues against ministers being restricted and bound to a set prayer book) quenches the work of the Spirit in the life of the Church, and binds the consciences of believers who feel compelled to use the gifts that God has granted them as his sons and daughters.

    We sing hymnody and praise songs, along with the better Psalter reditions, because it glorifies God and edifies the Church through musical excellence, and it allows and encourages Christians to use their God given gifts, also to His glory and to the edification of the Church.
     
  20. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritanboard Softy

    Unlike some here aren't EP who yet feel the need to assert that they like singing the Psalms and would like to see it done with greater frequency (as if that will gain them credibility with EPers), let me just say: I sing Psalms sometimes. And I wouldn't change it.

    Here's why (knowing that I'm writing nothing new and that I won't convince anyone of anything):

    The Psalms were sung (at least sometimes) in worship context in the Old Covenant. They recount things from an Old Covenant perspective and look to the future through the veil that was appropriate for an administration repeatedly referred to in the NT as a "shadow." But now the shadow is gone, and we know more fully. As the NT tells us, we are to praise the exalted, resurrected Christ who purchased our pardon with his blood. Veiled shadowy references which were intentionally NOT explicit due to the covenantal administration in which they occured just don't foot the bill.

    Further, and this may really get some of you in a lather - though producing that effect is not my intent, I want (yes, I WANT) explicitness in terms of who we're praising. The language of the Psalms is of course consistent with NT revelation, but it is not as clear as that revelation. As such, references to "God" - or even "annointed one" - are about as ambiguous as it comes. It is NOT clearly and uniquely Christian. (!)

    There's a reason why in the chaplaincy we're advised and (highly!) encouraged to read and preach from the OT (particularly the Psalms!) when we're in mixed company... it is precisely because the verbage, the language, is not explicitly Christian. It is safe. It doesn't offend Jew, Muslim (!), or Christian. The "problem" is, I'm not a minister of monotheism. I'm a Christian and I worship the risen Christ, the 2nd person of the Trinity by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, the 3rd person of the Trinity. And my songs will reference my praise and admiration of the fact that my sins have been attoned and I've been adopted as a child of God. I'm convinced that to the extent that our songs don't ascribe glory to Jesus for what he has decisively accomplished on our behalf, to the extent that our songs don't do that, then to that extent they are sub-Christian.

    I love my ER forefathers and brethren, but I am convinced that they were and are sincerely wrong on this issue.
     
  21. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    People sing hymns for the same reason they confess the Apostle's Creed.
     
  22. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Most of the time, the congregation doesn't get to "choose". The elders get to choose.
     
  23. Jon Peters

    Jon Peters Puritan Board Sophomore

    This really rings true to me. Back in the early nineties when I was becoming more and more Reformed, I came to embrace EP. I asked my pastor at the time (Pastor Lewis (deceased), formerly of Covenant OPC in Berkeley) why he was not EP. His only answer to me at the time, which I quickly dismissed, was, "If I can only sing the Psalms, how can I sing the name of Jesus?" This comment, through 15 years of being EP, always stuck with me; I couldn't shake it.

    So, my answer to the OP and my (partial) defense of the non-EP position is: So I can sing the name of Jesus! We live in a new covenant people! It's not the old covenant without the sacrifices, it's a new covenant. I think we Reformed have a tendency to flatten out the distinction between old and new, maybe because we are afraid of sounding dispensational, but we have to remember we live in a time where Christ has been revealed to us, not under types and shadows.
     
  24. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    Quite interesting, Ben. Thanks for sharing that bit of info on the chaplaincy.

    And, yeah, we're Christian ministers (or, maybe even more explicitly, ministers of the Gospel) all the way - no vague and generic "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" (which, as you point out, even Muslims can affirm) for us!
     
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