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14270Re: Calvin's Preface to the Psalter (EP)

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  • gmw
    Jan 3, 2006
      I agree about the Regulative Principle of Worship, which of course is
      of great importance in the discussion of Exclusive Psalmody. However,
      I must agree with Deejay about the significance that the "psalm,
      hymns, and spiritual song" composers spoken of in Scripture are
      specifically said to be prophets or prophetesses.

      From Brian Schwertley's work on Psalmody:

      "A careful examination of the Scripture passages which discuss the
      songs used in worship and how worship songs were composed reveals that
      God only authorizes and accepts divinely inspired songs for the praise
      of Himself. 'If when the Bible speaks of the source of worship song,
      it portrays the text as one produced by divine inspiration, then
      inspiration is a biblical norm for this ordinance as well.'

      "There are so many examples in the Bible which show the connection
      between writing songs of praise for the church and prophetic
      inspiration that it is astounding that this point has been largely
      ignored by those who claim to hold to the regulative principle. There
      is the example of the prophetess Miriam who, by divine inspiration,
      composed a song to celebrate God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt
      (Ex. 15:20-21). We also have the inspired song of Deborah the
      prophetess (Jdg. 5). There are the Spirit-inspired songs of the
      prophet Isaiah (e.g. 5:1, 26:1 ff., etc.) as well as the divinely
      inspired song of Mary (Lk. 1:46 ff.). If 1 Corinthians 14:26 refers to
      Christians composing songs for public worship, these songs were 'as is
      universally admitted, charismatic songs and therefore products of the
      immediate inspiration of the Holy Spirit.' (The question of whether
      the new covenant church should sing divinely inspired songs outside of
      the book of Psalms is dealt with below.)

      "The Old Testament saints whom God used to write the Psalter wrote by
      the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Note once again that prophetic
      inspiration and the writing of songs of praise go hand in hand. King
      David, whom the Bible calls a prophet (2 Chr. 29:25-30), wrote his
      songs by a special gift of the Holy Spirit (2 Sam. 23:1, 2; Ac. 1:16).
      The New Testament repeatedly refers to David as a prophet when it
      quotes his songs (cf. Mt. 22:43-44; Mk. 12:36; Ac. 1:16-17; 2:29-31;
      4:24-25). The worship of the temple musicians and singers is referred
      to as prophecy in Scripture (1 Chr. 25:1-7). This designation, when
      applied to song content, obviously means that what they sang was the
      product of divine inspiration. Thus, the temple musicians and singers
      who were involved in writing songs for worship did so under the
      special operation of the Spirit. Heman (who was appointed by David as
      a worship leader of the sanctuary) is called a 'seer' (1 Chr. 25:5) in
      Scripture; a term synonymous with the word 'prophet.' Bushell writes,
      'Prophetic titles and roles are consistently attributed to the chief
      temple musicians and singers. Asaph, for example, one of David’s
      principle musicians (1 Chr. 6:39; 15:17; 16:5 ff.; 2 Chr. 5:12),
      appointed by him over the service of song and by Solomon in the Temple
      service, is also called a ‘seer’ and placed alongside David as far as
      authority in Temple music is concerned (2 Chr. 29:30). Nor ought we to
      miss the significance of the fact that some 12 of the Old Testament
      Psalms (50, 73-83) are attributed to Asaph, thus confirming his role
      as a writer of inspired worship song. Jeduthun, another chief temple
      singer, is also called a "seer" (2 Chr. 35:15; cf. 25:1; and Pss. 39,
      62, and 77 titles).' The writing of worship songs in the Old Testament
      was so intimately connected with prophetic inspiration that 2 Kings
      23:2 and 2 Chronicles 34:30 use the term 'Levite' and 'prophet'
      interchangeably. The worship of Jehovah is so important that nothing
      less than infallible Spirit-inspired lyrics are acceptable for praise
      in the church."

      -- see more on this subject, as well as the footnotes re: the
      quotations, in point 5 of Chapter 2 at


      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Nikolai"
      <psalmos@s...> wrote:

      > Deejay,
      > those wishing to sing Wesley's song deny there's such a requirement
      > and I agree with them, there's no such requirement found in Scripture.
      > Our position, IMO, rests entirely on the Regulative Principle (WCF
      > ch.XXI). Those who say they accept ch.XXI of the Confession as truly
      > reflecting scriptural view of worship and at the same engage in
      > un-scriptural worship practice such as hymn signing are either
      > confused or lying.
      > Nikolai
      > EPC od Australia, Brisbane
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