Category Archives: Uncategorized

New addition to the site: Heart and Voice, Instrumental Music in Christian Worship not Divinely Authorized by James Glasgow, 1873

I found a great review of this book from The Original Secession Magazine January 1873-1874, Vol XI, Publisher J. Maclaren, p 387-388 and there is historical context provided below as well. As you will see, the students in the church were gradually carried along to reject a cappella singing. “Most of the students sympathized with the party of liberty, which, year by year, grew stronger as these young men were licensed and ordained.” It was in this context that Glasgow wrote Heart and Voice.

Heart and Voice: Instrumental Music in Christian Worship not Divinely Authorized” By James Glasgow, D.D., Irish General Assembly’s Professor of Oriental Languages. Belfast: C. Aitchison.

“This is a learned and laborious work. Indeed, from the amount of textual criticism it contains, we fear that superficial readers will be disposed to vote it dry. They may insinuate, too, as one critic of the book whose notice we have seen actually does, that so much digging about Hebrew and Greek roots is not productive enough to repay the labour. But the ready and sufficient answer to such shallow and flippant animadversions is, that the real teaching of Scripture on any subject can only be ascertained by a critical investigation of its meaning; and that, particularly, when the advocates of instrumental music betake themselves to the original text of Scripture, and profess to find an unanswerable argument for the organ in the meaning of this and that Hebrew and Greek word, it becomes absolutely necessary to follow them there, and to shew that their philological argument is as baseless as any and every other argument they employ.

The learned professor does all this, and more. Anxious to get to the very bottom of this important and recently much-debated question, he goes through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and subjects to a thorough critical examination every passage which bears, or may be supposed to bear, on the subject of instrumental music. Then, gathering up and summarizing the results, he makes it plain beyond all reasonable question that, while instrumental music was sanctioned under the Davidic dispensation, and in connection with the ritual and symbolic worship of the temple, the whole testimony of Scripture combines to shew that it is no part of moral-natural worship, that it passed away with the old ceremonial system of which (for a time) it formed a part, and that it is simple Judaism to attempt to re-introduce it into the spiritual worship of the gospel day. In the concluding chapters, he reviews and refutes the leading arguments for the use of instruments in public worship; states some subordinate objections to it; and gives a very valuable summary of opinions against it, from the testimonies of the early Fathers and of the Reformers down to those of recent writers on the subject.

On the whole, this is not a book to gallop through at a sitting. Nor is it a book which critics of the calibre who think it enough to ask you, “Does not David say, ‘Praise the Lord with a harp'”? are capable of judging. But all who are competent to follow the author through his inductive investigation of the teaching of Scripture on the subject, and who are prepared to accept of Scripture as the sole and sufficient rule of worship as well as of faith and morality, will rise from its perusal, feeling that he has proved the use of organs in the public praise of a Christian congregation to be as purely a piece of will-worship as the incense and the images of Romanism.”

——-

The sad historical context of the book is found in A History of the Irish Presbyterians by William Thomas Latimer:

“The growth of an emotional form of worship in the Irish Presbyterian Church was now exhibited by the introduction of instrumental music to the public services of the sanctuary in some town congregations which boasted of their culture. This matter came before the Assembly in 1868, by a reference from the Synod of Armagh and Monaghan regarding the use of a harmonium in the congregation of Enniskillen.

Presbyterianism had, at one time, been strong in County Fermanagh. Under Captain M’Carmick and the Rev. Robert Kelso, a movement was originated by the leading Presbyterians which saved Enniskillen from King James, and rendered it possible to defend Londonderry. Burdy, in his life of Skelton, admits that in the middle of the next century Presbyterians were still a substantial body in County Fermanagh; but the Synod failed to establish a number of churches sufficient for their accommodation, and they were gradually absorbed by Episcopacy. Even when a revival came, it was Methodism which annexed that district. From 1837 the Rev. Alexander Cooper Maclatchy had been in charge of our Enniskillen congregation, and being somewhat Episcopal in his tendencies, he introduced a harmonium to improve the congregational psalmody. Mr. Maclatchy’s action was opposed in Presbytery, Synod and Assembly, by the Rev. James Gardner Robb, an exceedingly ready and logical debate. When this matter came before the Assembly in 1868, it was proposed to refer it to a commission, but an amendment of Dr. Cooke was carried to the effect, that ” the common law” of the Church excluded the use of instrumental music in the public worship of God, and that Presbyteries should be instructed to see that congregations conform to this ” law.”

The injunction was disobeyed, and, as an excuse for their disobedience, the “liberty” party asserted that no “law” had been passed by the Assembly, either then or previously, which prohibited an instrumental aid from being employed in the congregational psalmody. Thus the controversy was continued. Year by year resolutions were passed by the Assembly ordering disobedient congregations to abstain from using instruments in the service of the Sanctuary; but these resolutions were disregarded, and the “purity” party, although able to carry prohibitions, were unable to induce the Church to punish those who disobeyed her orders.

In these debates and in the war of pamphlets and newspaper articles, the Revs. Dr. William Dool Killers, John Macnaughtan, Henry Wallace, Dr. Robert Watts, Dr. H. B. Wilson, Dr. Thomas Y. Killen, and Dr. R. Workman, were among those who advocated the principle of permitting congregations to introduce an instrumental accompaniment in the service of praise; while the Revs. Dr. Nathaniel M. Brown, Dr. Corkey, Dr. Glasgow,* Dr. John Kinnear, George Magill, Dr. Petticrew, Dr. Robb, Dr. Robinson, and Dr. James Maxwell Rogers, advocated the principles of purity in the worship of God, and obedience to the injunctions of the Assembly. The great majority of elders were on the same side, but Mr. Thomas Sinclair lent his powerful aid to those who advocated what they termed “liberty.” Most of the students sympathized with the party of liberty, which, year by year, grew stronger as these young men were licensed and ordained.

When the purity party had a majority in the Assembly, they might have easily passed a law, with penalties annexed, prohibiting any congregation from employing an “instrument” except for the defined purpose of aiding the congregational psalmody, and only when sanctioned by a very large majority of voters. But the opportunity was neglected, and “instruments” are now introduced by “Sessions” when often there is a considerable proportion of the people against the innovation.

When Dr. Johnston was moderator, he carried a resolution pledging the Assembly, in 1873, to pass no law on the question, and binding the congregations which employed instrumental music to give up its use. But this resolution failed to settle the matter in dispute. Several of the offending ministers denied that they had entered into any agreement, and they continued to defy the authority of the Assembly.”

* Rev. James Glasgow, D.D., appointed Missionary to India in 1840, and Assembly’s Professor of Oriental languages in 1865, died in 1890. Dr. Glasgow was modest, kind-hearted, and possessed of great learning.

Is God jealous in the matters of his worship? Yes

From Matthew Henry’s A Scripture Catechism in the Method of the Assembly’s 

Matthew henryQ. 52. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, are God’s sovereignty over us, his property in us, and the zeal he has to his own worship.

1. Is there good reason why we should take heed of idolatry? Yes: Turn ye not to idols, neither make to yourselves molten gods, I am the Lord your God, Lev. 19:4. Has God a sovereignty over us? Yes: for he is a great God, and a great King above all gods, Ps. 95:3. Ought we therefore to worship him, as he has appointed us? Yes: O come let us worship, and bow down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker, Ps. 95:6. And not to worship idols? Yes: for they can do neither good nor evil, Isa. 41:23.

2. Has God a property in us? Yes: for we are the people of his pasture, Ps. 95:7. Ought we therefore to worship him? Yes: He is thy Lord, and worship thou him, Ps. 45:11. And not to worship other gods? Yes: for hath a nation changed their gods? Jer. 2:11.

3. Is God jealous in the matters of his worship? Yes: The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God, Exod. 34:14. Is he much displeased with those who corrupt it? Yes: They provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities, 1 Kings 16:13. Do those who do so hate him? Yes: Idolaters are haters of God, Rom. 1:25, 30. Will he visit their iniquity? Yes: In the day m when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them, Exod. 32:34. Will he visit it upon the children? Yes: Our fathers sinned, and are not, and we have borne their iniquities, Lam. 5:7. And is it just with him to do so? Yes: for they are the children of whoredoms, Hos. 2:4. But will he visit it for ever? No: but to the third and fourth generation, Exod. 34:7.

4. Will those who love God keep his commandments? Yes: If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, John 15:10. Will he show mercy to such? Yes: for he hath said, I love them that love me, Prov. 8:17. Will he show mercy to thousands of such ? Yes: for the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, Ps. 103:17.

For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14

From John Flavel’s An Exposition of the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism:

John_flavelQ. 6. What is the first reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The first reason annexed is God’s sovereignty, I the Lord; which shews that it belongs to God only to institute his own worship, and make it effectual; and therefore to do that in his worship which he never commanded, is sinful and dangerous; Jeremiah 7:31. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

Q. 7. What is the second reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The second reason is God’s propriety in us: He is our God, and we belong to him; and therefore to corrupt his worship, greatly aggravates our sins; Hosea 9:1. Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people; for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, &c.

Q. 8. What is the third reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The jealousy of God over his worship and worshippers; so that this sin of corrupting his worship will dreadfully incense his wrath, as it did, Leviticus 10:1-2. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire thereon, and offered strange fire, before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.

Q. 9. What is the first instruction from the second commandment?
A. That it is an heinous sin to neglect the worship of God in that manner he hath appointed us to worship him, as in prayer; Jeremiah 10:25. Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name. Hearing the word; Proverbs 28:9. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

Q. 10. What is the second instruction from the second commandment?
A. That those who suffer for endeavouring to preserve the purity of God’s ordinances, and nonconformity to the contrary injunctions of men, have a good warrant to bear them out in all such sufferings; Deuteronomy 4:2. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you.

Q. 11. What is the third instruction from the second commandment?
A. That it is highly sinful and dangerous to innovate and prescribe by human authority such symbolical rites in the worship of God, as he never appointed or allowed in his word; Matthew 15:9. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Q. 12. What is the fourth instruction hence?
A. Hence we learn how much parents and children are obliged to worship God constantly, spiritually, and agreeably to his will revealed in his word; otherwise the jealousy of God will visit them both in the way of judgment: For as obedience entails a blessing, so disobedience entails a curse on posterity; Exodus 34:14. For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

New Location: Vancouver Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland

Vancouver Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
Burnaby Community Room
3605 Gilmore Way,
Burnaby, BC
Canada V5C 4S8

Vancouver Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland

We are a Reformed church in Vancouver, BC, Canada, adhering to the original Westminster Confession and Standards with its covenanted uniformity in doctrine, worship and government. Our church has joined the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, a direct descendant of the historic Church of Scotland of the Reformation.

We cherish:

Puritan piety
Worship regulated by the Word of God with a Capella singing and exclusive psalmody
Calvinistic doctrines of Grace
The Presbyterian form of governance

Service Times: Lord’s Day 9:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m.

Location: We are currently reviewing public meeting places. In the meantime, are worshiping at different locations in Greater Vancouver.

Please contact us to find out our current meeting location.

Here is what you can expect when you come to one of our services:

We aim for reverence in our worship.
The preaching of God’s Word and prayer are central components of our worship.
We use the Scottish Metrical Psalter for our singing (without instrumental accompaniment).

Our standard order of service is as follows:

Opening Psalm
Prayer
Scripture Reading
Psalm
Sermon
Prayer
Closing Psalm

What is ‘Biblical’ Worship? Biblical Hermeneutics and Evangelical Theologies of Worship by Michael A. Farley

What is ‘Biblical’ Worship? Biblical Hermeneutics and Evangelical Theologies of Worship. by Michael A. Farley

JETS 51/3 (September 2008) 591-613

Farley ends up rejecting a Puritan RPW (surprise!), but the article contains many resources for research if you’re interested.

Songs of the Spirit, The Place of the Psalms in the Worship of God, edited by Kenneth Stewart

Songs of the Spirit coverSongs of the Spirit can be purchased from Peter and Rachel Reynolds Books. It is £5 and the proceeds go to hospices in Scotland. Estimated postage costs are: USA (0-7): £1.80; USA (8-9) & Rest of World including EU: £3.30

A sample chapter is here. View Sample

Songs of the Spirit is an important study on the subject of praise. We need sound teaching on biblical worship. The worship that God commands from us, rather than that which we choose to give to Him. A variety of authors from various Churches have contributed to this volume. They share a common conviction that we must worship God in the songs that He Himself has inspired. “It is the conviction of all who contribute to this book that the recovery of earnest, intelligent and spiritual unaccompanied singing of Psalms in the praise of the church is a major part of the repentance and renewal so badly needed in the church today.”

Another publication called Reformed Worship may also be of interest. It is £1. View Sample

Reformed Worship is a vital guide to Reformed Worship Coverworship. Nothing is more sacred and more important than the worship of God. The Bible must have the pre-eminent place in our worship services. But how should a service of public worship feel and sound when the Word of God has central place and reverence for God governs everything? This booklet describes a service of reverent worship grounded upon Scripture principles. It will be helpful for those who conduct public worship as well as those seeking for worship that truly honours God. It will have a hearty reception where there is a sincere desire to know how to worship God in spirit and in truth. It is extracted and updated from an older publication called The Directory of Public Worship. This updated extract is in no way meant to replace the original authoritative document. Instead, it shows its abiding relevance and may encourage many to read the original for themselves.

Thanks to Matthew Vogan for sending this information along!

1640 – The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre: Whereunto is Prefixed a Discourse Declaring not Only the Lawfullness, but Also the Necessity of the Heavenly Ordinance of Singing Scripture Psalmes in the Churches of God by Richard Mather

New addition to the “Books Online” page…

1640 The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre: Whereunto is Prefixed a Discourse Declaring not Only the Lawfullness, but Also the Necessity of the Heavenly Ordinance of Singing Scripture Psalmes in the Churches of God by Richard Mather

Nearly 800 times in the Psalter we praise our sovereign, covenantal Lord Jesus Christ…

From Brad Johnston’s website

“Over the years, I’ve been mystified as the number one reason people cite for not singing the Psalter is that they don’t get to sing the name of Jesus. I have repeatedly pointed out that they do get to sing Jesus’ divine, covenantal title confessed by all true Christians. The fundamental conviction of the universal Christian faith is that “Jesus is Lord” (Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3), and the apostle assures us that those who make such a confession will be saved. Nearly 800 times in the Psalter we praise our sovereign, covenantal Lord Jesus Christ (actually the number is 795 times in 141 different psalms).

That’s why the second section of my recent book 150 Questions about the Psalter is entitled “Christ In The Psalter.” I’ve tried to boil down the Christological insights of my favorite writers into just twenty carefully written question and answers unpacking a Jesus-centered understanding of the Psalter. Here are a few examples (you can find the first twenty questions here)”

Brad Johnston is the Pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Topeka, KS and the author of the new book “150 Questions about the Psalter”

“…we mourn over their indifference to and disregard of many important and precious truths of God’s word, and the substituting of human inventions for divine institutions in the worship of God.”

“And while we cheerfully admit there are very many of the Lord’s people in all the evangelical churches, and rejoice in all they have done and are doing for the salvation of sinners, and the extension of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours, we mourn over their indifference to and disregard of many important and precious truths of God’s word, and the substituting of human inventions for divine institutions in the worship of God. Especially is the praise of God corrupted by human hymns, which in the matter of many of them, as well as in the want of divine appointment for all, are unfit for the worship of God—and also choirs and instrumental music in the place of congregational singing. The whole service of praise seems to be arranged as a mere theatrical performance, and intended to please man, not God. By ignoring scriptural and important doctrines, and by not exercising discipline for popular sins, and arranging the worship of God to gratify the carnal mind, the church has been brought down almost to the level with the world, or changed into a worldly sanctuary. And the popular way for the union of all the churches in one organic body, proceeding, as it does, upon the false assumption that the great principles which have heretofore divided, and still divide, the several churches, are of no value, and unworthy of any regard, is a lamentable evidence of the general decline of the life and power of true religion in these times.”

“A Good Conscience”, The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, Vol 8, January 1870, p21-22

“The sound of their voices employed in prayer, or in the singing of psalms, probably attracted the notice of the soldiers, and drew them to the spot. “

“The dragoons pursued their way over the hills towards the farm of Cairn, beautifully situated on the slope of the range of mountains that line the sweet vale of the Nith on the south. At this place they came upon two men in a hollow among the green and flowery braes, engaged, it is supposed, in devotional exercises. The sound of their voices employed in prayer, or in the singing of psalms, probably attracted the notice of the soldiers, and drew them to the spot. The names of the individuals were Hair and Corson. The circumstances in which they were found were enough to insure their death, and therefore, according to the custom of the times, and the license of the troopers, they were without ceremony shot on the spot. They lie interred on the south side of the great road between Sanquhar and New Cumnock, where a rude stone pillar points out their resting-place.”

Traditions of the Covenanters by Robert Simpson, p 134.

‘IN MEMORY OF
GEORGE CORSON
AND
JOHN HAIR
WHO WERE SHOT NEAR THIS PLACE
IN 1685, FOR THEIR ADHERENCE TO
DIVINE TRUTH,
AND ATTACHMENTS TO THE
COVENANTED REFORMATION
OF 1638–50.
“They lived unknown,
Till persecution dragged them into fame,
And chased them up to heaven.”
1845’
(Campbell, SW, 181-2; Thomson, Martyr Graves, 339-40.)

Commentaries on the Psalms

Some new updates for the website:

Charles Spurgeon, Treasury of David
David Dickson, Psalms (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3)
Henry Ainsworth, Annotations on the Psalms
John Calvin, Commentary
William Plumer, Psalms
George Horne, Commentary on the Psalms (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3)
Matthew Henry, Commentary
Matthew Poole, Annotations
John Trapp, Commentary
John Gill, Exposition
A.R. Faussett, Commentary
J.A. Alexander, The Psalms
Franz Delitzsch, Commentary
E.W. Hengstenberg, Commentary (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3)
Robert Hawker, Commentary
Thank you Andrew Myers for sending these along!

…the singing of human compositions in celebrating the praises of God, has its rise in small beginnings…The history of all the corruptions we have mentioned is the same, for the general principle will always hold good: a human invention, once tolerated in the church, will ultimately exclude, or throw into the shade, a divine institution.

As the singing of human compositions in celebrating the praises of God, has its rise in small beginnings: no claim is at first offered on their behalf to the sole possession of this part of God’s worship. In the end, the psalms of scripture are excluded, and, perhaps, even reviled. Singing by choir begins very modestly: the object is merely to improve the music. In the end, the choir claims to be the seat of praise in the house of God. Trustees had no places in the apostolic church. There could have been none at that time. The reformed churches had no such officers. Originally, as there is reason to believe, they were barely tolerated, they are now, sometimes, supported as altogether preferable to deacons; and some, going still farther like the advocates of human psalmody, deny the office of deacon to be at all an important part of the order of the sanctuary. Trustees, man’s invention, they would not dispense with: deacons, Christ s appointment, may be very well neglected. The history of all the corruptions we have mentioned is the same, for the general principle will always hold good: a human invention, once tolerated in the church, will ultimately exclude, or throw into the shade, a divine institution.

James Willson, The Deacon, page 43, 1841

UPDATE on Pageland Reformed Presbyterian Mission (RPCNA): New meeting location

Pageland Reformed Presbyterian Mission is now meeting at:

222 S. Van Lingle Mungo Blvd.
Pageland, SC 29728.

Contact number is 843.517.2088. http://www.pagelandrpc.com.

From an earlier post:

The new church in Pageland has recently called Ian wise to be their Pastor. He accepted and is beginning ministry in October. The church will have an installation service led by Dr. Frank Smith on Saturday October 8th at 10.30am. They hope to have many visitors. All are invited!

From an earlier post:

A new church plant in Pageland, SC will now hold worship services every Lord’s Day morning at 11 am.

From the church’s website:

“Pageland Reformed Presbyterian Church is a ministry of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA). We are located in Pageland, South Carolina – 55 minutes from downtown Charlotte, North Carolina and 75 minutes from downtown Columbia, South Carolina.

We meet for worship at 11:00 am in the Cambridge Hall at the Guest Lodge located at:

910 West McGregor Street
Pageland, SC 29728-2014

SEE UPDATED LOCATION ABOVE

Please email pagelandrpc@gmail.com or call 843.622.5853 with any questions.

What we believe:

Our beliefs all stem from a full commitment to the authority of the Bible as the inerrant, infallible Word of God. This means that we believe in the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We acknowledge our total inability to save ourselves and, in faith, depend on Christ alone as our Savior. We acknowledge Him as Lord in every area of life, and we vow together to advance His Kingdom on earth.

God made man in His image to glorify and enjoy Him. In the public worship of the church, the people of God, redeemed by Christ, glorify and enjoy the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as He reveals Himself in His Word.

Jesus Christ, as our Prophet, Priest and King, has revealed to His people how to worship Him in a pleasing manner. Therefore, “the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by Himself and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures” (Westminster Confession of Faith 21:1 [p.49]). This means true worship is commanded by God only; false worship is anything not commanded. In other words, if God did not direct us in the Bible to do something–we do not do it.”

A news article from November in the Progressive Journal from here quotes the Rev. Frank Smith, “We have maintained the practice of singing the Biblical songs in public worship without musical accompaniment. We’ve maintained those standards through the years. We believe this is the way that God desires to be worshiped. We believe that worship should be worship.”

A Survey and Concise View of Exclusive Psalmody

A Survey and Concise view of Exclusive Psalmody

Recent Posts on Psalmody from the Heidelblog

Sean McDonald has compiled these recent posts from the Heidelblog

On Psalmody:
http://heidelblog.net/2014/09/what-did-the-divines-mean-by-psalms/
http://heidelblog.net/2014/09/psalms-hymns-spiritual-songs-and-instruments-in-the-latin-bibles/
http://heidelblog.net/2014/09/calvin-we-sing-psalms-in-public-worship/

Some new works on Psalmody

There’s a few more items on the Internet Archive on psalmody. Please note, too, that the different editions of Anderson’s “Vindiciae” have some substantial differences between them.

https://archive.org/details/notmody00grie

https://archive.org/details/tamodyi00rals

https://archive.org/details/psalmod00john

https://archive.org/details/ddivin00ande

https://archive.org/details/vindicia00ande

https://archive.org/details/vcantusd00ande

Thanks Sean McDonald!

A new website: Exclusive Psalms Radio

A new website: Exclusive Psalms Radio

The 182nd Synod of the RPCNA is meeting this week…

182nd Synod of the RPCNA

182nd Synod of the RPCNA

I am enjoying fellowship with my RP brothers this week as we are conducting the Lord’s business here in Marion, Indiana. Please continue to pray for our meeting.

New Addition to Online Books: In Spirit and Truth: Worship as God Requires (Understanding and Applying the Regulative Principle of Worship) by James R. Hughes

In Spirit and Truth: Worship as God Requires (Understanding and Applying the Regulative Principle of Worship) by James R. Hughes

Questions about the RPCNA

The Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) is the largest of the Psalm Singing denominations in our country (USA). We here at the EP website have a great respect and love for the RPCNA and we try to promote their churches and events whenever possible.

As someone looking at the RPCNA from the outside, I am curious to get some feedback on the current state of the RPCNA. I would like to know what the greatest weaknesses of the denomination are (perhaps women deacons, etc.) and its greatest strengths (perhaps missions, worship, etc.).

Is the denomination secure for the next 10-50 years? Is it growing or shrinking? Will the denomination make a change over the issue of women deacons? How strong theologically is the RPCNA? What are the current movements or debates going on within the group? Are there ministerial opportunities out there? Is the denomination struggling to find ministers who are EP? What has been the feedback on the new Psalter recently put into use?

Please help us know more about our Psalm singing brethren in the RPCNA.