"Worship, Redemption, and Regulation" (Article by David Reese)

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Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
I've been studying the RPW, and as I've done so, I came across an article by David Reese, pastor of the Springs Reformed Presbyterian Church here in Colorado Springs.

Here's a link to the article: Worship, Redemption, and Regulation

His basic argument is that the RPW applies specifically to worship that centers on the gospel. In other words, it applied in the OT to Temple worship, but not in the synagogues. In the NT, it applies to the corporate worship of the church, but not in other settings. Is this reasoning typical in the Reformed tradition? Does it hold water? Was synagogue worship not regulated by the RPW?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I would argue that synagogue worship was just as regulated as Temple worship.

Synagogue was simply regular corporate worship, minus elements of worship that were impermissible at any location other than the one place designated for them. Weekly holy convocation (Lev.23:3) centered on the Word. I cannot agree that law-instruction excluded gospel-hope in a true Word-ministry in Israel.
 

Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would argue that synagogue worship was just as regulated as Temple worship.

Synagogue was simply regular corporate worship, minus elements of worship that were impermissible at any location other than the one place designated for them. Weekly holy convocation (Lev.23:3) centered on the Word. I cannot agree that law-instruction excluded gospel-hope in a true Word-ministry in Israel.

That is how it seems to me as well. I understand why he's wanting to make that argument, but for the reasons you've mentioned, it doesn't seem to follow well.
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
WORSHIP, REDEMPTION, & REGULATION:
I agree with the redemptive-historical argument for the abiding jurisdiction of the Regulative Principle in New Testament worship by David J. Reese

I believe that Reformed Protestant Worship should not include anything that is not commanded by God
in the Bible by either precept, example, or deducible from good and necessary inference. If it is not following that position than it should be considered forbidden in worship. The Westminster Larger Catechism states concerning the prohibitions of the second commandment that, “any religious worship not instituted by God himself…” is forbidden (WLC #109).Therefore in worship, we are only to offer to the Lord what He has asked us to offer to Him. i.e. it is why as an ex roman catholic I renounce the rc mass as an abomination because it denies the essence of Christ crucified once only for the salvation of all who place their faith in Him alone. It is not biblical, but man made.
RPW should therefore stress that the centrality of the Gospel in worship is Christ and Him crucified and salvation by election, justification and sanctification of the elect in faith. That must be in my thinking the key to understanding worship and its regulation in the Reformed Protestant fold and as a Presbyterian I hold that position.
 

Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
WORSHIP, REDEMPTION, & REGULATION:
I agree with the redemptive-historical argument for the abiding jurisdiction of the Regulative Principle in New Testament worship by David J. Reese

I believe that Reformed Protestant Worship should not include anything that is not commanded by God
in the Bible by either precept, example, or deducible from good and necessary inference. If it is not following that position than it should be considered forbidden in worship. The Westminster Larger Catechism states concerning the prohibitions of the second commandment that, “any religious worship not instituted by God himself…” is forbidden (WLC #109).Therefore in worship, we are only to offer to the Lord what He has asked us to offer to Him. i.e. it is why as an ex roman catholic I renounce the rc mass as an abomination because it denies the essence of Christ crucified once only for the salvation of all who place their faith in Him alone. It is not biblical, but man made.
RPW should therefore stress that the centrality of the Gospel in worship is Christ and Him crucified and salvation by election, justification and sanctification of the elect in faith. That must be in my thinking the key to understanding worship and its regulation in the Reformed Protestant fold and as a Presbyterian I hold that position.

No one is challenging the RPW. Nor is a rejection of the article's basic thesis a rejection of the RPW. I'm more just thinking through whether his specific argument follows. The article's thesis is that only Temple/Tabernacle worship was regulated by the RPW, whereas it seems to me that the typical Reformed position has been that all corporate worship is governed by it.
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
WORSHIP, REDEMPTION, & REGULATION:
I agree with the redemptive-historical argument for the abiding jurisdiction of the Regulative Principle in New Testament worship by David J. Reese

I believe that Reformed Protestant Worship should not include anything that is not commanded by God
in the Bible by either precept, example, or deducible from good and necessary inference. If it is not following that position than it should be considered forbidden in worship. The Westminster Larger Catechism states concerning the prohibitions of the second commandment that, “any religious worship not instituted by God himself…” is forbidden (WLC #109).Therefore in worship, we are only to offer to the Lord what He has asked us to offer to Him. i.e. it is why as an ex roman catholic I renounce the rc mass as an abomination because it denies the essence of Christ crucified once only for the salvation of all who place their faith in Him alone. It is not biblical, but man made.
RPW should therefore stress that the centrality of the Gospel in worship is Christ and Him crucified and salvation by election, justification and sanctification of the elect in faith. That must be in my thinking the key to understanding worship and its regulation in the Reformed Protestant fold and as a Presbyterian I hold that position.

No one is challenging the RPW. Nor is a rejection of the article's basic thesis a rejection of the RPW. I'm more just thinking through whether his specific argument follows. The article's thesis is that only Temple/Tabernacle worship was regulated by the RPW, whereas it seems to me that the typical Reformed position has been that all corporate worship is governed by it.

Joel I will agree with what you said however I think in a Presbyterian church I believe worship should be structured by the gospel. I believe there should be a logic related to the Gospel in the church service. I also believe Reformed Protestant theology should be a basis of our Reformed worship. I believe the way we worship should demonstrate what we believe as Reformed Protestants and Presbyterians. Our Reformed Protestant worship should reflect what we believe. If it doesn't reflect our theology then it should not be part of our worship or in our service..
 

Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
Dudley,

I don't disagree with you at all. In fact, that may be what I appreciate most about Reformed worship (that it is structured by the gospel). However, that wasn't exactly what the article was suggesting. It was going beyond that to say that only worship focused on the gospel (by which it meant Temple/Tabernacle worship as opposed to synagogue worship) is regulated by the RPW.
 
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