Dr. Richard Joiner, a retired Baptist music professor, makes the following observation about Psalm singing in the past, worship in the present time, and the impact of a return to Psalm singing.

“Our Psalm singing since the days of the early church and the days of post-Reformation Baptists has gone the way of our Psalm readings, and along with it, our Scripture readings in worship. We don’t do it enough anymore. The drift away from the prominence of the Psalms and the Gospels in our worship has accompanied a drift away from the primacy of worship itself in our lives.

Try reading the numerous evangelical websites and blogs, and note the number of discussions concerning worship. See if you can find the term worship in the lists of themes discussed- actually, argued- on these sites. They have heated discussions about Calvinism, emergent faith, and women’s ordination. They have disagreements and some agreement concerning the Lord’s Supper and baptism.(…) 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐬𝐚𝐥𝐦𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩.

What can we expect when we sing the psalms in worship? We can expect to be challenged with a focus that is frequently no longer available in worship. Ask any pastor or worship leader about their more recent services of worship. They may say, “We are using more Praise and Worship now because that brings in younger people.” Now, I can think of many themes in the Psalms, but I don’t recall any focus on “pleasing people.” When you sing the Psalms, you can expect to be challenged, and you can expect to be changed. David was.

𝑳𝒆𝒙 𝒐𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒊, 𝒍𝒆𝒙 𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒊. 𝑶𝒖𝒓 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒑 𝒕𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒍𝒅 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒗𝒆. 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒔𝒂𝒍𝒎𝒔 𝒘𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒔𝒂𝒚, ‘𝑨𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒔𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒗𝒆.’

In my readings, I believe that Reformed authors write about psalm-singing what they (still) have and consider a treasure in worship. Non-Reformed authors write about this treasure of psalm-singing out of deep regret for what they lost in- and with psalm-singing.

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