Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Betteridge's Law and Psalmody

Dr. R Scott Clark has now reposted an article from 2008 titled Could Instruments be Idols? in which is argued: 
 In other words, how are we going to use Moses’ or David’s instruments without killing Aaron’s lambs or engaging in holy war?
The same way we sing the same songs of Moses and David using the words of Moses and Daivd without it.
The same instruments we want to borrow from Moses come covered with the blood of bulls and goats and resonating with the sounds of holy war against your local Canaanite city. 
As does the words sung. How can we sing about going to war, about God smiting his enemies and the like without "engaging in holy war?"    Well, of course one could argue that as Reformed believers who recognize that that church is typified by Israel, we engage in spiritual warfare daily through prayer and the preaching of the Word.  It seems that one wishes to acknowledge type and shadow in one instance but deny it in the other.

(Of course the Huguenot actually DID take the battle psalms into battle.)
How are we going to do what the medieval church did, borrow Mosaic elements (and for the same reasons) without gradually reproducing the Mosaic worship system just as the medieval church did?
The inconsistency in this argument is staggering. Everything here argued against instruments can likewise be argued against the usage of Psalms in worship.
Maybe the Reformed in the 16th and 17th centuries knew what they were doing when they rid our worship of instruments and of uninspired songs?
You already provided examples in a recent post proving this contention to be false, to quote:

The Strasbourg Psalter of 1545 seems to have included some non-canonical songs... 
The songbook used in Heidelberg in 1563 and 1573 seems to have contained non-canonical hymns... 
The Church Order of Dort (1619) provided for the singing of a song that may have been a paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer or it may have been a non-canonical song... 

How many exceptions to a rule must exist for the rule to be baseless?  I'm reminded of Betteridge's law, an adage which states: "Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

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