[Covenanted Reformation] Re: Calvin's Preface to the Psalter (EP)
- <crazy_calvinist@y...> wrote:
>>Well as far as I can see, whether other songs from Scripture or thePsalms, 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.<<
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.
EPC od Australia, Brisbane
- 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 Godâs 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 Davidâs
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 âseerâ 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 email@example.com, "Nikolai"
> 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.
> EPC od Australia, Brisbane
- gmw wrote:
>>From Brian Schwertley's work on Psalmody:All I can gather from Mr. Schwertley's quote is that the songs recorded
> "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.
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.
EPC of Australia, Brisbane
- Hi Nikolai,
Some quick comments below:
> gmw wrote:But the very quote you included in your response here says much more
> >>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.
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 BibleNo Bible believing Christian disputes what you said, but obviously not
> believing Christian does.
all Christians believe what Schwertley was actually saying -- that
Scripture only gives warrant for the use of divinely inspired songs in
> The contention is not about whether or not theYes, agreed, of course. I've surely not denied this.
> songs in the Bible are inspired, the contention is about can we sing
> uninspired songs in worship.
> I simply think insisting that Biblical songSomeone wishing to sing hymns in worship (hymns here meaning uninspired
> writers were inspired prophets will not impress someone wishing to sing
> hymns in worship.
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 scriptureOf course, and both uninspired (strictly speaking) preaching and prayer
> exposition and prayer every Lord's day.
have Scriptural warrant.
> The only way, in myAnd I agree with this. If you are understanding anything I'm saying to
> 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.
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.