I originally wanted to do a post on Covenanter Continuationism as a response to the uproar over the Strange Fire conference. Psalmody is more important, though. I’ve never really explored it in detail. The following is simply some theses and tentative conclusions (ironically at the beginning of the study).
Whatever else the verses commanding us to sing “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” mean, particularly the latter two terms, the Bible is commanding us to sing Psalms. How often are psalms sung in today’s churches?
I think we are seeing something like a religious version of Gresham’s law (bad money drives out good money): Inferior songs tend to eclipse biblical psalms. It’s interesting to compare the two Trinity Hymnals on this point. Find the older (Blue) hymnal and compare it with the newer (Red) one.. The Psalms are far more prominent in the former. It’s interesting that the majority committee that created the former admitted that hymns were not sanctioned by God in his word.
The question that really impressed itself on me was this: who is a better songwriter than the Holy Spirit?
I don’t think the question is entirely clear-cut, though–and for both sides. Some in the Reformed camp argue that we see songs sung in the New Testament that are outside the Psalter. The Christ-Hymn of Phil. 2 for example. That is a fair point, but it’s difficult to draw modern-day application from it, since if one sang that hymn it would only be 20 seconds long! Others object that the “pitch whistle” violates the EP exclusion of instruments. Well, it might but the thesis before the house has to do with Psalms and Hymns, principally, not instrugments.