Paedobaptism —> Exclusive Psalmody

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by Harley, Jan 20, 2018.

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  1. Harley

    Harley Puritan Board Sophomore

    Have any of you here found that after understanding and becoming paedobaptists, that exclusive psalmody also became much easier to understand and accept?

    There had always been an objection in my mind that the Old Testament was types and shadows, and so the Psalms were insufficient. However, as I’ve come to see that Israel was a church, they had the Gospel, and that there is an abundance of real spiritual riches in the Old Testament—far more than I ever thought there could be—singing the psalms has become a real delight.

    Had it happened this way for anyone else?
  2. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Sorry brother, not yet. I'm glad to hear your experience though.
  3. Cymro

    Cymro Puritan Board Junior

    My experience was that once I was illumined respecting the Covenant of grace, then that became like the Rock that was smitten from which twelve streams flowed. Out issued Paedobaptism, then exclusive psalmody, no musical instruments, amillenianism, the doctrine of “the Israel of God,” light on the doctrines of grace, Presbyterianism and so on. All doctrines that were opposite to my former position, so that my pride was dented and I had to be humbled by the Lord. I felt that I had been taught by God rather than adopting the tradition I had been born again into. Can only describe it as a diffusion of light in my darkened soul.
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  4. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    It seems to have happened almost backwards for me- searching for what God has commanded in worship led to the Psalms and seeing the continuity of the Covenant from old to new. I couldn't articulate what I was seeing, at first. Then amazement ensued.
  5. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    There are some Baptists who are EP, so I don't think there are "necessary" connections; but there may be "accidental" connections, factors that were formerly overlooked or had a lower priority have acquired a new power to influence thought because of a major reorganization of patterns of mind.

    Typical thinking is web-like in connection, not "maximally efficient" by any means, and not especially linear (o, so logical) or leaping (o, so irrational). Far leaps are seldom successful, and not often used (but artists and other "creative" thinkers are sometimes said to use such intuitions). Strictly logical steps require more of a disciplined approach.

    So, most of our day-to-day thinking is small-step (safe) and patterned after repeated success.
  6. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    I don't know a lot about the history of Baptists and exclusive psalmody, but it does seem that the two viewpoints are infrequently married together. I've noted before that the section on religious worship in the WCF that reads "singing of psalms with grace in the heart" becomes "teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord" in the LBCF. Also, today, there are some EP Baptists, but they are few and far between, even relative to Presbyterians.
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  7. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    My first impulse is to think the relatively freer Baptist worship tradition is probably more connected to the historic Baptist desire for a free church government than it is to Baptist views about the Old Testament.
  8. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Yes, I can see how a person raised to think the Old Testament has little to say about Jesus, except in a handful of types-and-shadows places, would find the Psalms insufficient. If one were moving to an exclusive psalmody position, that would be one barrier to overcome.

    Yet I don't think this alone is enough to make the argument for exclusive psalmody. One could realize, as I do, that the Psalms speak wonderfully about Christ and still believe other hymns belong in worship. A strong EP argument includes more than just a strong sense of continuity between the Old and New Testaments.
  9. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    Second this.
  10. Beezer

    Beezer Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm sympathetic to the EP position. Over the summer I had a series of wonderful conversations with a RPCNA pastor who increased my understanding of those who hold that position.

    Though he's not an EP man I don't think, I quite enjoyed Robert Godfrey's book Learning to Enjoy the Psalms.
  11. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    I agree, that this is not enough. But I feel like (despite my example here being a Presbyterian) that a Baptist is generally less more to make this kind of argument:

    and then, on the business of making all the Psalms available for singing in accurate translation:

  12. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I wonder if that fellow's position got any interaction or reaction since 2014; did it affect the psalter hymnal project any in the OPC? I would like to know from Dr. Strange or others if it truly reflects the historical position of the OPC?

  13. nick

    nick Puritan Board Freshman

    I baptized my kiddos after becoming EP. This probably has more to do with Baptist treating their kids like believers in practice, so I didn't feel as pressed to look into whole house baptism.
  14. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    The author of that article was one who worked on [corrected acc. to Dr. Strange, see below] the Revised Trinity Hymnal. [This labor would give him a natural interest in the continued usefulness of that service book to the church where he and his parents spent their lives in service].

    The March 2014 New Horizons also carried this article, , a strong defense of singing all 150 Psalms. If you compare the 2 articles, I think it's easy to see which one is likely to have the strongest appeal to the membership.

    The PH project is complete, the OPC/URC joint effort (as it became). I don't believe the opposition had any impact overall on the impetus for completing the project. For one thing, the project was to be approved by the OPC GA, but (as I understand) the funding was by a special foundation set up as a bequest with trustees following specific guidelines for its use laid down by the donor before he died. TPH was (I think) the first approval, meeting all the trust's guidelines.

    I was at one of the more recent GAs, as the project was moving forward; and there was never any serious opposition (though, the author of the article was courteously given time [as he was at other GAs] to voice his dissent--that's how we do things).

    As for history: on certain things, the OPC has been just as much a child of its era as other bodies. It's of note that the OPC has (obviously) backtracked on the strength of the opposition to a full-Psalter inclusion. Witness that for decades, many congregations have gone to a supplemental service book, just to find all 150 Psalms. Those numbers have only grown over the years.

    My guess is: if J. Murray was alive today, he would have his way and might have stayed an OPC man (until he returned to Scotland). He reportedly would have supported the original TH if it had just included an unexpurgated Psalter. I honestly think "inclusive Psalmody" has won the day in the OPC, the long-haul battle rather than the short-term.

    That could mean the TPH is death of the TH in the OPC far in the future someplace (the PCA can keep it alive, in my opinion, all by itself). But I do not think the TPH is also the death of the OPC. The OPC could expire, but Psalmody is not likely to deliver the death-blow.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  15. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Junior


    A little correction with respect to Don Poundstone (the author of the NH article critical of the Trinity Psalter Hymnal). Don was a member of the Trinity Hymnal Revision Committee (1990), not the one for the Trinity Hymnal (1961).

    I have talked with Don about this a few times and have nothing but affection and respect for him. He's a good brother and friend but we disagree on this. That the GA has gone forward on this project with overwhelming support (and we are going to print this Spring, D.v.) indicates where the OPC is on this.

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  16. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    That was my experience as well. I became a paedobaptist at 19 and an EPer six months later. Seeing the continuity between the OT and NT eliminated most objections that I had previously heard to EP. Of course, it does not always work this way. I think there may also have been an element of learning that you cannot just dismiss something because it seems unusual to you. I had never heard of EP until I was 18 and just assumed that it was an odd practice. Once I discovered that I had been wrong about baptism, I became open to the possibility that I may have also been wrong about EP.
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