Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

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

Expand Messages
  • Whit Roberts
    ... of ... I don t have a Scriptural warrant for you. Your exhortation is wise. I need to consider whom I am following regarding this area, and if I am
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 1, 2006
      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Edgar A. Ibarra
      Jr." <puritanpresbyterian@y...> wrote:
      >
      > Whit,
      >
      > Do the Scriptures allow for man-made hymns? If so where?
      >
      > Scripture, not man or men, are our ONLY rule for faith and pratice
      > (WSC #2, #3). If the Word of God allows it in the public worship
      of
      > God, then we can, if not, then we cannot.
      >
      >

      I don't have a Scriptural warrant for you.

      Your exhortation is wise. I need to consider whom I am following
      regarding this area, and if I am following man, then I need to
      repent.

      Whit
    • Don Nelson
      ... I am perplexed. It seems to me that if such hymns were included in the Scriptures, then that would make them inspired. There are many songs in the
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 2, 2006
        > > Do the Scriptures allow for man-made hymns?

        I am perplexed. It seems to me that if such hymns were
        included in the Scriptures, then that would make them
        inspired. There are many songs in the Scriptures other
        than in the Book of Psalms, and singing is encouraged
        in places where specific content is not recorded.

        Consider an analogous situation: man-man speaking.
        Hours of sermons are included in our public worship. I
        do not understand how a comparatively few minutes of
        singing is such a problem. Logically then, the
        forbidden thing is the singing voice. Would it be OK
        to recite a hymn as long as we do not sing it?

        Don N



        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
        http://mail.yahoo.com
      • Whit Roberts
        ... What of the other inspired hymns in Scripture such as Mary s canticle and the inspired songs of Israel during the time preceding the Psalms? Whit
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 2, 2006
          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Don Nelson
          <donstudybible@y...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > > > Do the Scriptures allow for man-made hymns?
          >
          > I am perplexed. It seems to me that if such hymns were
          > included in the Scriptures, then that would make them
          > inspired. There are many songs in the Scriptures other
          > than in the Book of Psalms, and singing is encouraged
          > in places where specific content is not recorded.
          >
          > Consider an analogous situation: man-man speaking.
          > Hours of sermons are included in our public worship. I
          > do not understand how a comparatively few minutes of
          > singing is such a problem. Logically then, the
          > forbidden thing is the singing voice. Would it be OK
          > to recite a hymn as long as we do not sing it?
          >
          > Don N
          >

          What of the other inspired hymns in Scripture such as Mary's
          canticle and the inspired songs of Israel during the time preceding
          the Psalms?

          Whit
        • Nikolai
          ... Whit, attempting to argue for EP position by showing that it is commanded by Scripture will always end in a failure. There s simply no such command in
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 2, 2006
            Whit Roberts wrote:
            > I am open to an
            > explanation since if EP is affirmed by Calvin and commanded by
            > Scripture, then I am willing to go back to EP.

            Whit,
            attempting to argue for EP position by showing that it is commanded by
            Scripture will always end in a failure. There's simply no such command
            in Scripture. This, however, does not mean we are left in the dark as to
            what do we sing in worship. For example, one can easily show that psalms
            were used in worship and therefore we use them in worship too. The
            burden is then entirely on those wishing to sing something else to show
            on what basis, scripturally speaking, are we to accept their innovation.
            If they wish to add un-inspired hymns to worship singing, let them
            provide a scriptural warrant for it, else all such innovations are
            nothing but will-worship, a worship driven by imaginations of men rather
            than God's will.

            Nikolai
            EPC of Australia, Brisbane
          • Nikolai
            ... Don, to sing anything but the Psalms, you would need to show that what you are referring to as songs (in Scripture) was used in worship in the same way you
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 2, 2006
              Don Nelson wrote:

              > I am perplexed. It seems to me that if such hymns were
              > included in the Scriptures, then that would make them
              > inspired. There are many songs in the Scriptures other
              > than in the Book of Psalms, and singing is encouraged
              > in places where specific content is not recorded.


              Don,
              to sing anything but the Psalms, you would need to show that what you
              are referring to as songs (in Scripture) was used in worship in the same
              way you intend to use these songs in worship. Similarly, if you intend
              to use un-inspired poetry in worship for singing, the burden once again
              is entirely on you to provide a scriptural warrant for such worship
              practice. It is no different if I were to propose to the session that in
              addition to Scripture reading on the Lord's day, we are to read a
              commentary, maybe some Christian poetry or even perhaps a newspaper. The
              burden would be entirely on me to scripturally justify my proposals. For
              reason one hardly can explain, there's a widespread belief in, as
              strange as it may appear, reformed churches that singing is exempt from
              the Regulative Principle of Worship. Maybe it is because singing is no
              longer important?


              > Consider an analogous situation: man-man speaking.
              > Hours of sermons are included in our public worship. I
              > do not understand how a comparatively few minutes of
              > singing is such a problem.

              I'm sure Nadab and Abihu didn't see any problem either offering a fire
              to the Lord "which he commanded them not" (Leviticus 10:1). Please note
              how such seemingly innocent offence was penalized by the Lord. Singing,
              considering how much effect it can have on our minds, seems to me much
              more serious matter than burning fire.



              > Logically then, the
              > forbidden thing is the singing voice. Would it be OK
              > to recite a hymn as long as we do not sing it?


              Don, if Regulative Principle of Worship has any meaning to you, then
              logically as well as scripturally the burden is on you to provide a
              warrant for singing or reciting poetry, prose or what not. We do have a
              warrant for psalm singing, we do have a warrant for reading of
              scripture, we do have a warrant for prayer as well for exposition and
              teaching of scripture. If someone wishes to stage drama, a rock concert
              or anything else they may fancy, let them provide a warrant. Until then,
              all we need to remember is "the acceptable way of worshiping the true
              God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will,
              that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices
              of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation,
              or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture."

              It seems to me, the "not prescribed in the Holy Scripture" clause has
              little bearing on Christian minds in modern reformed churches all the
              while "the suggestions of Satan" have all the green light the evil one
              wants.

              Nikolai
              EPC of Australia, Brisbane
            • Edgar A. Ibarra Jr.
              ... Alas, the dilema for supporters of singing man-made hymns. They would not argue so anyways. If God allowed man to write their own songs to offer up as a
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 2, 2006
                >Don Nelson <donstudybible@y...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > > > Do the Scriptures allow for man-made hymns?
                >
                > I am perplexed. It seems to me that if such hymns were
                > included in the Scriptures, then that would make them
                > inspired. There are many songs in the Scriptures other
                > than in the Book of Psalms, and singing is encouraged
                > in places where specific content is not recorded.

                Alas, the dilema for supporters of singing man-made hymns. They
                would not argue so anyways. If God allowed man to write their own
                songs to offer up as a sacrifice of praise in the public worship of
                God we would have some form of indication of that in the NT, but we
                do not. Do not mis-understand me, I believe there are many
                beautiful and wonderful hymns, my favorite was "Christ shall have
                dominion" which is a parapharse of a Psalm. Now for those who would
                argue that we can sing the song of Mary, for example, then that line
                of argumentation is still not an argument in favor of man-made
                hymns, but of inspired hymnody and you are still limited as to the
                number of hymns outside of the Psalms. Many in Geneva did sing
                other songs besides the Psalms, but they were INSPIRED hymns. The
                counter to singing such hymns is this, were those hymns intended for
                public worship or just an expression of the people overtaken by the
                Holy Spirit and the work of God that was upon them? The Psalms were
                meant for worship, but the "inspired hymns" were not. As for the
                hymns before the Psalter, that was allowed as God was still
                revealing Himself (i.e. progressive revelation was occuring) to man
                and until He settled things, there was some liberty in certain
                areas. HOWEVER, when the Psalter was completed, that was it, no
                more were to be added, like the closing of the canon of Scripture.
                We see the Song of Moses for example incorporated into the Psalter.

                >
                > Consider an analogous situation: man-man speaking.
                > Hours of sermons are included in our public worship. I
                > do not understand how a comparatively few minutes of
                > singing is such a problem. Logically then, the
                > forbidden thing is the singing voice. Would it be OK
                > to recite a hymn as long as we do not sing it?

                Now man-made sermons are allowed in the public worship of God as God
                states that His ministers are to teach and instruct and open the
                Word of God unto His people. That is part and parcel of the office
                of the Teaching Elder or Pastor. Examples of this are replete in
                the NT, especially in the book of Acts, starting in Ch. 2. It would
                not be ok to recite hymns as a means to get around the prohibition,
                that is dishonest at best and blasphemous at worse. The only
                elements of worship that are allowed to be man-made are prayer and
                sermons. Just like we would not read a chapter out of Calvin's
                Institutes followed by a chapter out of the Bible, we cannot sing a
                man-made hymn followed by a Psalm (now even one wants to get cute
                and reverse the order it is still not acceptable).

                Keep it simple and stick to the Word of God and all will be well.

                >
                > Don N

                Thank you Don & Whit for your questions and I hope they are
                helpful. Although my answer(s) are short and therefore may not
                totally satisfy I hope they aid in some way. If you want to study
                the issue more there are great resources on this subject on
                www.truecovenanter.com and sermons by Pastor Greg L. Price via
                sermonaudio.

                Sola Scriptura,

                Edgar Ibarra
                Albany, NY
                RPNA-Covenanter in belief & practice
              • Crazy Calvinist
                Well as far as I can see, whether other songs from Scripture or the Psalms, the qualification for being able to write songs meant for worship was one had to
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 3, 2006
                  Well as far as I can see,  whether other songs from Scripture or the Psalms, the qualification for being able to write songs meant for worship was one had to be a prophet. or prophetess. I don't think Charles Wesley qualifies.
                   
                  ~Deejay

                  "Edgar A. Ibarra Jr." <puritanpresbyterian@...> wrote:
                  >Alas, the dilema for supporters of singing man-made hymns.  They
                  would not argue so anyways.  If God allowed man to write their own
                  songs to offer up as a sacrifice of praise in the public worship of
                  God we would have some form of indication of that in the NT, but we
                  do not.  Do not mis-understand me, I believe there are many
                  beautiful and wonderful hymns, my favorite was "Christ shall have
                  dominion" which is a parapharse of a Psalm.  Now for those who would
                  argue that we can sing the song of Mary, for example, then that line
                  of argumentation is still not an argument in favor of man-made
                  hymns, but of inspired hymnody and you are still limited as to the
                  number of hymns outside of the Psalms.  Many in Geneva did sing
                  other songs besides the Psalms, but they were INSPIRED hymns.  The
                  counter to singing such hymns is this, were those hymns intended for
                  public worship or just an expression of the people overtaken by the
                  Holy Spirit and the work of God that was upon them?  The Psalms were
                  meant for worship, but the "inspired hymns" were not.  As for the
                  hymns before the Psalter, that was allowed as God was still
                  revealing Himself (i.e. progressive revelation was occuring) to man
                  and until He settled things, there was some liberty in certain
                  areas.  HOWEVER, when the Psalter was completed, that was it, no
                  more were to be added, like the closing of the canon of Scripture. 
                  We see the Song of Moses for example incorporated into the Psalter.

                  >


                  Yahoo! Cars NEW - sell your car and browse thousands of new and used cars online search now

                • Nikolai
                  ... Psalms, the qualification for being able to write songs meant for worship was one had to be a prophet. or prophetess. I don t think Charles Wesley
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 3, 2006
                    <crazy_calvinist@y...> wrote:


                    >>Well as far as I can see, whether other songs from Scripture or the
                    Psalms, the qualification for being able to write songs meant for
                    worship was one had to be a prophet. or prophetess. I don't think
                    Charles Wesley qualifies.<<


                    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
                  • gmw
                    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
                    Message 9 of 15 , 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
                      http://www.reformed.com/pub/psalms.htm

                      gmw.

                      --- 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
                      >
                    • Nikolai
                      ... All I can gather from Mr. Schwertley s quote is that the songs recorded in scripture are inspired. Nobody disputes that or at least no Bible believing
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jan 4, 2006
                        gmw wrote:

                        >>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.


                        All I can gather from Mr. Schwertley's quote is that the songs recorded
                        in scripture are inspired. Nobody disputes that or at least no Bible
                        believing Christian does. The contention is not about whether or not the
                        songs in the Bible are inspired, the contention is about can we sing
                        uninspired songs in worship. I simply think insisting that Biblical song
                        writers were inspired prophets will not impress someone wishing to sing
                        hymns in worship. After all, we do listen to uninspired scripture
                        exposition and prayer every Lord's day. Analogically, there seems to be
                        nothing wrong with singing uninspired songs. The only way, in my
                        opinion, to actually defeat those wishing to sing uninspired songs is by
                        invoking the Regulative Principle, that is, *they* must, not us, to
                        produce a scriptural warrant for their practice. This is when the two
                        passages from Ephesians and Colossians are brought up but they are of no
                        help for them of course.

                        Obviously, with those denying the Regulative Principle altogether
                        different methods should be used but eventually, the goal is still to
                        show that God should not be worshiped according to imaginations of men
                        or suggestions of Satan no matter who we're speaking to, Reformed,
                        Baptists, Charismatics or whoever.

                        Nikolai
                        EPC of Australia, Brisbane
                      • gmw
                        Hi Nikolai, Some quick comments below: ... But the very quote you included in your response here says much more than simply songs recorded in Scripture are
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jan 4, 2006
                          Hi Nikolai,

                          Some quick comments below:

                          Nikolai wrote:

                          > gmw wrote:
                          >
                          > >>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.
                          >
                          >
                          > All I can gather from Mr. Schwertley's quote is that the songs recorded
                          > in scripture are inspired.


                          But the very quote you included in your response here says much more
                          than simply "songs recorded in Scripture are inspired." It's saying
                          that the songs which God provides and accepts of, to be used in worship,
                          are inspired. And so, Scripture only gives warrant for the use of
                          inspired songs in worship.

                          > Nobody disputes that or at least no Bible
                          > believing Christian does.

                          No Bible believing Christian disputes what you said, but obviously not
                          all Christians believe what Schwertley was actually saying -- that
                          Scripture only gives warrant for the use of divinely inspired songs in
                          worship.

                          > The contention is not about whether or not the
                          > songs in the Bible are inspired, the contention is about can we sing
                          > uninspired songs in worship.

                          Yes, agreed, of course. I've surely not denied this.

                          > I simply think insisting that Biblical song
                          > writers were inspired prophets will not impress someone wishing to sing
                          > hymns in worship.

                          Someone wishing to sing hymns in worship (hymns here meaning uninspired
                          songs as opposed to the inspired hymns commonly called the Psalms) will
                          not likely be impressed with anything we insist! Someone wishing to
                          worship God biblically, however, may very well be impressed with the
                          nature of the songs used in worship given by inspired prophets and
                          prophetesses. Now, no one is "simply" insisting that our worship songs
                          must be inspired without also having an eye to the Regulative Principle
                          of Worship. What I'm saying is this:

                          Given the Regulative Principle of Worship, we must have Scriptural
                          warrant for our acts of worship. Scripture gives warrant for the use of
                          inspired songs in worship, which songs were delivered by inspired men
                          and women. Scripture gives warrant for no other type of song.
                          Therefore, we only have warrant from Scripture to sing inspired songs
                          delivered by inspired people, in worship.

                          How we come to limit those songs to the 150 Psalms, is, of course,
                          another (yet related) issue.

                          > After all, we do listen to uninspired scripture
                          > exposition and prayer every Lord's day.

                          Of course, and both uninspired (strictly speaking) preaching and prayer
                          have Scriptural warrant.

                          > The only way, in my
                          > opinion, to actually defeat those wishing to sing uninspired songs is by
                          > invoking the Regulative Principle, that is, *they* must, not us, to
                          > produce a scriptural warrant for their practice. This is when the two
                          > passages from Ephesians and Colossians are brought up but they are of no
                          > help for them of course.


                          And I agree with this. If you are understanding anything I'm saying to
                          disagree with your statement of yours, then either I'm being unclear, or
                          you are misunderstanding me, friend.

                          The issue is not that God commands us to /sing only divinely inspired
                          Psalms/, but that God /only commands us to sing divinely inspired
                          Psalms/. Given the Regulative Principle, this is enough to warrant
                          Psalmody, and nothing else.

                          Good'ay.
                          gmw.

                          >
                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.