Thursday, March 3, 2022

Why I am vehemently against Exclusive Psalmody (EP)

Those that are familiar with me know I am very staunchly against EP. It is definitely not because I am against Psalm singing. I love the Psalms and hold them in highest regard. They should be frequently sung in worship.


That being said, among the many issues I have with EP, there are 2 that preeminently stick out in my mind (all emphasis mine):

1. EP does not allow the "whole council of God" to be included in sung worship, vs allowing it in all other elements.

Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. [Acts 20:26-28 ESV]

2. EP diminishes the glory due the name of Jesus from His loving church by both omitting His New Testament (NT) revealed name in sung worship, as well as not singing of all His wondrous works and deeds as faithfully recorded in the NT.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. [Psalm 5:11 ESV]

Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! [Psalm 105:2 ESV]


I keep harping on this to hopefully dissuade any brethren that are practicing or considering EP from doing so and maybe, just maybe, bringing to light arguments EP church leadership may not have considered.

I do not consider EP as heresy, but it is a significant error, therefore I feel a sense of responsibility to speak out against it. I know I may seem obsessive or harsh in terms of my approach, but I genuinely care that the Bride is given the opportunity to practice Her right to fully sing praises to, and in the revealed name of, Jesus.

How can we have pure worship without including all of the Lord's revealed Word as a source in every element?

The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. [Psalm 12:6 ESV]

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. [Philippians 1:9-11 ESV]

I abjectly apologize for the times I have been uncharitable and promise to do a better job of tempering my responses.

-JD





Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Argument against Exclusive Psalmody from the Psalms

Exclusive Psalmody (EP) is a doctrine that has been adopted by some historically reformed churches. In brief, EP adherents claim that the 150 Psalms of the Old Testament (OT) are the only Biblically warranted songs allowed in worship. This supposedly aligns with the reformed Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW) that is summarized as "if commanded, required - if not commanded, prohibited".


The argument against EP and aligned to the RPW is as follows:


1. The Psalms are a trustworthy guide to proper worship.

2. The Psalms command that we sing of the works and deeds of the Lord:

[Psalm 9:11 ESV] Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds!

[Psalm 105:2 ESV] Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!

[Psalm 107:22 ESV] And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

3. The works and deeds of the Lord Jesus are most fully revealed in the New Testament.

4. The Psalms command new songs (Psalms 33:3Psalms 40:3Psalms 96:1Psalms 98:1Psalms 144:9Psalms 149:1)

Therefore, new songs concerning the works and deeds of Jesus from the NT are commanded and required for proper worship.

Therefore, EP is an erroneous doctrine.

The New Testament is replete with the revealed and explicit works and deeds of Jesus that the Psalms only obscurely reference in "types and shadows", thus the church is commanded to sing new songs of this newly revealed truth. EP demands we exclude in sung worship the revealed works and deeds of Jesus as clearly revealed in the NT.

Remember, to invalidate the conclusions, you must first invalidate the premises or prove non sequitur.

“The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New" - St. Augustine


*I reserve the right to tune the wording/format for (hopefully) additional clarity. Just be aware if you are quoting this.



Sunday, February 27, 2022

Exclusive Psalmody and the Name of Jesus

Exclusive Psalmody (EP) is a doctrine that has been adopted by some historically reformed churches. In brief, EP adherents claim that the 150 Psalms of the Old Testament (OT) are the only Biblically warranted songs allowed in worship. This supposedly aligns with the reformed Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW) that is summarized as "if commanded, required - if not commanded, prohibited".

The EP adherent claims that because there is (arguably) nowhere in the New Testament (NT)/New Covenant (NC) commanding the composition of new songs for use in worship, then songs that are written outside of the Bible (so called "uninspired" songs) are prohibited, thus only the inspired songs of the Psalms are proper and allowed in worship.

In contrast, Inclusive Psalmody (IP) acknowledges that while the Psalms are an incredible resource for sung worship, the church is also edified by the use of newly composed hymns and other spiritual songs, much in the same manner as newly composed prayers and sermons. (With the obvious acknowledgement that not everything newly composed is edifying and should be subject to the 1 Thessalonians 5:21 rule with Scripture as the prime source of evaluation.)

There are many arguments for and against EP, but I believe the strongest EP counterargument is the fact that EP implicitly prohibits the NT revealed name of Jesus in sung worship.

The EP position is that the word yeshua/ישוע is used many times in the Psalms and it is the root source of the name of Jesus. That is 100% accurate. However, they go on to assert that this satisfies any requirement concerning the use of Jesus' name in sung worship. The complication arises when the context of the word in the Psalms is considered. It is always used to speak of salvation, not the name of the One who is the revealed source and author of salvation, namely Jesus. EP uses theological/linguistic gymnastics to support a false conclusion.

The OT, including the Psalms, only speak of Jesus in "types and shadows", not directly using His revealed NT name. To rightfully sing of Jesus as Lord and Savior, one must sing incorporating the proper name of Jesus (i.e., Joshua, Yeshua, Ἰησοῦς, ישוע) to refer to the revealed Jesus, which the Psalms do not do.

This is not to imply that the Psalms are not to be used, or that Jesus' name be inserted into every element of worship constantly. It is to point out, again, that EP, by its very nature, never allows the revealed proper name of Jesus in sung worship.

I have compiled some references and uses of our Lord and Savior's revealed proper name to illustrate how EP is an erroneous doctrine. Keep in mind, this is in no way an exhaustive study concerning the name of Jesus, just some powerful examples (all from ESV - emphasis mine).

Our Lord refers to benefits of His revealed name: 

John 14:13 - "Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

Matthew 18:20 - "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."

At Saul/Paul's conversion, the Lord announces Himself by His revealed name:

Acts 9:4-5 - And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

The NT authors held the revealed name of Jesus in very high regard and its use as integral to the proper practice and worship of the church.

Acts 4:11–12

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Philippians 2:9–11

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

2 Thessalonians 1:12

so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 3:23

And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

Jesus' name is so vital it will be inscribed on believers' foreheads as we worship Him at the end times and in eternity:

Revelation 22:3-4

No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

If it will be on our heads then, it certainly should be on our lips as we sing in worship now!

Finally, Jesus authorizes John's vision by His name:

Revelation 22:16 ESV - 16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."

Ultimately, the Psalms themselves command that we sing of the deeds of the Lord (Psalms 9:1, 11, 107:22) . How can this happen if we don't sing about the deeds of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament?

The Scriptural evidence is clear. Jesus' revealed NT/NC name should be used in every component of worship. This fact overrides every other EP argument and effectively invalidates the EP position.

To be clear, I love the Psalms and certainly believe they allude to Jesus and are rightfully to be sung in worship. It is the exclusivity of Psalms as sung worship that is the focus of concern.

Due to the overwhelming Scriptural evidence and support, it is reasonable to conclude that EP doctrine, its adherents, and teachers are in error. It is my prayer that anyone practicing, teaching, or considering EP repent and align themselves to the truth of Scripture over the fallacies of this man-made doctrine.

Semper reformanda! 

P.S.
Gary Crampton has a very good article outlining why EP is a flawed doctrine, here.
For additional information on the EP error, see Sam Waldron's essays here.



Saturday, January 8, 2022

4 Faces of Manhood

 We are looking at this in our men’s Bible study and I wanted to make sure and capture it.




Friday, January 7, 2022

Why I believe the Bible is true, authoritative, infallible, inerrant and perfectly sufficient in all matters of faith and practice

The title of this post is meant to be provocative, particularly in this day that Scripture is being attacked and perverted. In reality, Scripture has always been twisted, disparaged and misused. It claims to be the very Word of God, and there is nothing the Adversary loves more than to cast doubt on the truth of that Word.

From the very beginning, Satan has questioned His Word:

Genesis 3:1–5

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (ESV)

Briefly, I want to outline the reasons that I believe that the Bible is the authoritative source of truth (ASoT):

  1. Jesus authenticates it
  2. The Holy Spirit lives in me and testifies to it
  3. The Holy Spirit has stewarded it throughout the ages
  4. The harmony of its message across time, cultures, and languages
  5. The historical evidence of preservation
Jesus, who is the embodiment of truth, authenticates it

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (ESV)

John 17:17
"Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." (ESV)

John 10:35b
"Scripture cannot be broken" (ESV)

The Holy Spirit lives in me and testifies to it

John 16:13–15
"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you." (ESV)

2 Timothy 3:16–17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (ESV)

The Holy Spirit has stewarded it throughout the ages

2 Timothy 3:16–17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (ESV)

2 Peter 1:21
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

This is the number one misconception that people have about Scripture and one even believers can fall for to cause doubt in the Scriptures. The reasoning goes, "the Bible was written and compiled by Man, man is fallible, therefore the Bible is not infallible". The challenge to that reasoning is that the Holy Spirit is appointed to keep the written word of God holy. So, even though Man is used as the means of writing and compiling Scripture, the Holy Spirit is the source and administrator of the delivered Word. This precludes any error being introduced that would invalidate the truth of the Scriptures.

The harmony of its message across time, cultures, and languages

The Bible is a compilation of 66 individual books, written over the course of about 2000 years by 40 separate authors, in 3 different languages, spanning 3 continents. With that in mind, the overarching harmony of its message, "God loves His people and will save them", is amazing to consider.

The historical evidence of preservation

Scripture, Old and New Testaments, has more documentation, full and partial, than any other ancient documents. Despite numerous attempts to censor, suppress, and destroy it, the Lord has protected His Word for His people over time. To doubt the historicity of the Bible is to doubt any ancient historical accuracy.

Again, this is not meant to be exhaustive, but a resource for those that are seeking to strengthen their faith and be comforted that, as Scripture testifies:

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever. (ESV)

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (ESV)







Wednesday, January 5, 2022

SoulCon Challenge - Week 1 - Day 3

Will be in 2 parts - the first is the 5k challenge - wow! was that tough for me - I have been sooo sedentary between Covid and working an IT job that doesn't really require physical activity. Please pray for continued endurance!!

Monday, January 3, 2022

SOULCON challenge - Week 1 - Day 1

This is a challenge sponsored by my church and SOULCON (part of Gibborim Studios).


I was very convicted by the message this last Sunday concerning stewardship of the body.

I am going to capture my progress and some thoughts as I enter into this 6 week challenge.


Week 1 challenge:


Daily - as many push-ups and sit-ups as possible in 2 minutes per exercise - I did 35 knee pushups, because I can’t do regular and 45 crunches, because I can’t pull myself up :(

Do at least 1 5k (3.1 miles) this week - I did 2 miles today.

“Pain is weakness leaving the body.” 

Weakness is currently leaking freely out of my knee, hip, and shoulders, right now!


Weight: 274lbs


I am in terrible shape.

I am also not a very good TikTok-er :)

@oddxian

##soulconchallenge ##type2diabetic ##lifechanges ##solideogloria

♬ Inspiration - WavebeatsMusic
@oddxian

##soulconchallenge ##redemptionchurchogden ##solideogloria

♬ original sound - oddXian

Why I am vehemently against Exclusive Psalmody (EP)

Those that are familiar with me know I am very staunchly against EP. It is definitely not because I am against Psalm singing. I love the Psa...