A recent article was published on the OPC website New Horizons entitled Do We Really Need a Psalter Hymnal? An exert from the beginning of the article sums up the position of Donald Poundstone:
“Our church’s Psalter-Hymnal Committee deserves credit for translating and versifying the book of Psalms and setting individual psalms to singable music. Sadly, this is the best that can be said for a radical and unnecessary project.”
From general contacts and friends, I have been assured that Mr. Poundstone’s comments reflect a minority opinion among other OPC ministers. Thankfully, the poorly presented material in this article does not reflect the overall position in that otherwise fine denomination.
Dr. Dennis Prutow
Dr. Dennis Prutow of the RPCNA, an Exclusive Psalmody denomination, presents a very good response here.
Peter J. Wallace of Michiana Covenant PCA presents another response here, though not from the perspective of Exclusive Psalmody. Still, Mr. Wallace has very clearly pointed out a few of the mistakes in Mr. Poundstone’s article. Wallace also presents his view here in the same issue of New Horizons.
Eric B. Watkins writes the article entitled Singing the Psalms with the Psalmist in the New Horizons.
The following Psalter Reviews have been added to the Articles Online page. Thanks to Logan for these insightful reviews!
1650 Psalter A Review by Logan West
Comprehensive Psalter A Review by Logan West
Psalms for Singing 21st Century A Review by Logan West
Scottish Psalmody A Review by Logan West
Sing Psalms A Review by Logan West
The Psalter of 1912 A Review by Logan West
Book of Psalms for Singing A Review by Logan West
Book of Psalms for Worship A Review by Logan West
Complete Book of Psalms for Singing A Review by Logan West
Collected Reviews A Review by Logan West
The Selah Psalm Blog is a definitely worth your time!
From their website:
“Today, we are surrounded by many choices in worship, and it seems every church is different. Church worship may range from hymn-singing, to rock music, to gospel choir. The songs sung in worship, and how they are sung has caused great controversy and division. Churches have adapted and even split apart in order to sing and worship according to their personal preference, devotion to tradition, or other values. But what if a goldmine of praise music has been right under our noses this whole time? In the middle of the Bible, we find 150 ancient, God-breathed songs: the outpourings of the heart written by people with real trials and stories of God’s deliverance. From the Old-Testament times, during the life of Jesus, in the early Church, and even up until the early 1600’s, Psalms were sung in Christian churches, almost without question. Most Christians today agree that the Psalms can be comforting and personal, but wouldn’t think of actually using them for their original purpose. However, there’s no point in singing the Psalms if we do not stop to meditate on them, or if they are simply not understood. The Psalms have infinite depth when we recognize their power as the inspired Word of God, and understand what they mean in their context and in our lives.”
How the Blog was Started
“An interesting story resides behind the creation of the blog, and it goes like this. Once there was a rather weak Christian who attended the Theological Foundation for Youth conference. Who this person is doesn’t really matter, but for the sake of story let’s name this person Blind. Blind had been singing the Psalms for several years, yet never truly appreciated or thought about the Psalms. Now at the conference, Blind discovered something very strange; other similar-aged young people seemed to love the Psalms. In fact, many of the people at the conference understood the Psalms and memorized them. This love for the Psalms puzzled Blind, so Blind went home and started to study the Psalms both through personal devotions and with a friend. Through the Psalms this rather weak Christian found new strength from the promises and words of guidance in the Psalms. I was Blind, but now I see. The Psalms filled me with joy, so I was pained to find that many other young people in the Reformed church, though exposed to the Psalms, still sang the Psalms with eyes that could not see. I remember all those godly saints I met at the Theological Foundation for Youth conference, and I proposed this idea of a Psalm blog to them and other lovers of the Psalms that I met. As a result, “Selah” was created.”
The Mission of the Blog Authors
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Col 3:16
“Colossians 3:16 encompasses our mission and purpose for this blog. In the previous verses of Colossians 3, God calls His people to love one another and love Him, since we have received such abundant love from Christ. This is our chief goal and purpose, to gain and promote a greater love for God and for each other.”
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom”
Verse 16 gives how we can achieve this goal. We are to be directed by Christ word such that it resides in us and directs us in all we do, and specifically we can gain this relationship with Christ’s words through singing the Psalms.
“teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
“By singing the Psalms together, we use the words of Christ to teach and admonish one another, and the articles of this blog are intended to help the readers’ understanding and encourage their excitement for the Psalms.
- Through personal explanations, we wish to help readers understand the Psalms especially when singing them. Since all of us are relatively young, ranging from early high school to college aged, our respective elders check each explanation.
- Through the testimonies, we wish to encourage readers to meditate and apply the Psalms to their own lives by sharing how God has already taught and guided us with the Psalms.
The Psalms are meant to be sung; however, God is praised by the thankful and dependent heart of the Christian, not the mere singing of words. Just like Blind, each author of the Psalm blog possesses a love for God and our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We hope that in reading the explanations and testimonies, readers will discover the beauty of the songs of God, sing “with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”, and as a result gain a greater love for God and fellow Christians.”
Jonathan Leach was elected as the Moderator for the meeting
Daniel Hemken is examined by the Presbytery
Bob McFarland introduces the Dallas Fellowship as a new church plant
Joe Allyn is examined by the Presbytery
Joe Allyn takes his ministerial vows before the Presbytery
Kyle Borg pronounces his first benediction after his ordination service.
Daniel Hemken preaching
Daniel Hemken taking his ministerial vows before the Presbytery
Sunset descending into Dallas on Thursday evening