Friday, January 22, 2016

Objections to Psalmody: Preaching Sermons and the RPW

Perhaps the most common objection we hear: "Exclusive Psalmody implies that we should only read Scripture and never preach sermons, therefore EP is false."
Answer: The reading of scripture to the church (1 Tim. 4:13), the singing of psalms by the church (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19), and the exhortation of the church by way of preaching (2 Tim. 4:2) are distinct elements of worship commanded in Scripture. From the examples we see in Scripture, preaching or exhortation is not merely the reading of Scripture, but instruction given expounding upon Scripture:

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. (Neh. 8:8)
And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. (Acts 15:32)
So EP does not imply that no preaching is allowed, when we understand why it is that we sing and why it is that pastors preach: because they are commanded to. In reality, the non-EP objector, by the same argument he uses to justify non-inspired songs, actually implies that it is lawful to read books other than Scripture to the congregation, as long their content is derived from Scripture. How repugnant it would be to have Calvin's Institutes, or some other theological work, read to the church each Lord's Day instead of the Scripture.

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