Praise the Lord with Cymbals…Loud Clashing Cymbals

March 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 108 Comments

By Robin G. Jordan


O praise God in his holiness : praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him in his noble acts : praise him according to his excellent greatness.Praise him in the sound of the trumpet : praise him upon the lute and harp.Praise him in the cymbals and dances : praise him upon the strings and pipe.Praise him upon the well-tuned cymbals : praise him upon the loud cymbals.Let every thing that hath breath : praise the Lord.


In reading the comments posted on the Heritage Anglican Network, a number of them relating to the use of music and musical instruments in Christian worship caught my attention. There was considerable difference of opinion over what kinds of music and what musical instruments are suitable for use in Christian worship. Disagreements over what kinds of music and what musical instruments should be used in Christian worship are not something new. Such disagreements have been occurring since the first century.


In the early Church all musical instruments were prohibited. Their prohibition was not on biblical grounds. It had to do with where musical instruments were commonly played at the time—at orgies, in brothels, and at pagan sacrifices. Among the instruments prohibited were the organ, the nose flute, and a variety of stringed instruments.


Singing in the early Church was unaccompanied and usually in unison. The early Christians also sang responsorially, the congregation repeating a common refrain after a cantor sung each verse or group of verses, a method of congregational singing that had its origin in the Jewish synagogue. Antiphonal singing, from side to side, was a later development and originated in the early monastic communities of the sixth century. During the period of the Arian controversy the Arians lured orthodox Christians into their churches with women choirs. The orthodox Christians responded with women choirs of their own. The Church would eventually ban women in choirs.


By the height of the Middle Ages singing in church had become the preserve of professional men’s choirs who sung not only in Latin but also in elaborate polyphony that deliberately sought to make the words of the song unintelligible to the listener. Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformers rejected the continued use of polyphony in worship for this reason. It was not edifying to the people. Cranmer advocated the composition of settings for the canticles and the psalms in which each syllable of a word or each word of a psalm or canticle is sung to one note. This had the affect of discouraging congregational participation in the singing even though it was intended to encourage that participation because it is much harder to sing to this kind of setting than it is to sing a setting in which a syllable or word is sung to two or more notes or two or three syllables or words to a single note.


The Reformation saw a revival of congregational singing. In Lutheran churches in Germany the chorale became the popular form of congregational song. In Reformed Churches in Bohemia, Germany, Holland, France, and Switzerland, however, the metrical psalm became the dominant, if not exclusive form of congregational song. The leaders of the Reformed churches commended the Psalms for singing, citing James 5:13, “Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise,” and  Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”


This was also the case in the Church of England. While choirmasters and church music composers were highly critical of metrical psalm singing, it was extremely popular with the English people. Large crowds gathered at St. Paul’s Cross in London to sing metrical psalms for hours on end. The singing of metrical psalms was the primary form of congregation participation in the Prayer Book services. The Sternhold and Hopkins “Old Version” of The Psalms of David in Metre enjoyed a popularity that we do not fully understand today. England became a nation of psalm-singers. The common people sung metrical psalms as they went about their daily occupations. Elizabeth I, however, did not like metrical psalm singing. She derisively referred to the tunes as “Geneva jigs.” The metrical psalm tunes may in part account for their popularity. They were often sung to familiar popular melodies, the tunes of folk ballads and dances. These tunes were frequently played on the lute and other stringed instruments, the oboe and other woodwinds, and the tabor, a small hand drum. In church, however, metrical palms were usually sung unaccompanied. The parish clerk would line out a verse and the congregation would sing it after him. In a few parish churches was introduced the use of a barrel organ as a form of accompaniment. Pipe organs were found only in cathedrals and collegiate chapels, as were choirs.


In addition to the psalms, the Prayer Book canticles, the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and other prayers were also rendered into metrical form. In Puritan churches these metrical versions of the Prayer Book canticles, the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and other prayers were sung instead of the prose versions. Charles I, however, when he ascended the English throne, suppressed this practice. Charles I, like his Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud, was a High Churchman.


The Prayer Book, the organ, and the choir were banned during the Commonwealth period. The use of the organ and the choir was restored with the use of the Prayer Book at the restoration of the monarchy and the ascension of Charles II to the English throne.


In the seventeenth century developed what is now called “west gallery music.” Local musicians and singers began to accompany the congregational singing. Galleries were built against the west wall of the church for these groups of village musicians and singers. Hence the name “west gallery music.” A number of local composers wrote settings for the metrical psalms and the small number of hymns that were used in the Church of England. Among the instruments used were the fiddle, the viola, the mandolin, the oboe, the serpent, and the penny whistle. The singers sat around the musician who played the music part that they sang. They did not sit together like a choir.


In the nineteenth century the High Church Oxford Movement introduced the hymnal, the organ and the vested choir into the English parish church. West gallery music was suppressed and the groups of village musicians and singers were disbanded. Some of these groups took refuge in the local Non-Conformist chapel. West gallery music has enjoyed something of a revival in recent years. It is particularly suited for use with services from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.


Nineteenth century Evangelical hymn collections included a substantial number of gospel songs, which were popular in Evangelical parish churches. The hymn collections composed almost exclusively of hymns, including a large number of hymns translated from Greek and Latin, that many Anglicans associate with Anglican hymnody, were for a large part an Anglo-Catholic development.


By the twentieth century the hymnal, the organ, and the vested choir had become ubiquitous in Anglican churches, not only in the United Kingdom but also around the world. The west gallery musicians and singers had been forgotten. Even Evangelicals came to assume that the hymnal, the organ, and the vested choir were normative for Anglican worship.


The late 1950s-early 1960s saw the beginning of experimentation with other musical instruments beside the organ, the harmonium, and the piano to accompany church music. In the 1970 and 1980s the domination of the guitar and the drum set replaced the domination of the keyboard in a number of churches. Praise bands and small ensembles replaced the choir. Choruses and other informal worship songs replaced hymns. In a number of denominations the “worship wars” heated up, with proponents of the organ, the hymn, and the choir on one side and the proponents of the guitar, the worship song, and the praise band on the other side.


A few brave souls took an eclectic approach to church music, using the organ, the guitar, the hymn and the worship song. This approach is known as “blended worship,” which seeks to creatively use the old and the new together. It has led to the development of what is called the “new traditional” style of church music, a mix of traditional hymns, metrical psalms, spirituals, gospel songs and more recent compositions, including the older choruses and worship songs.


The twentieth century saw an explosion of new compositions and tunes—hymns, metrical and responsorial versions of the psalms and canticles, anthems, and other forms of church music. That explosion turned into a great mountain of church music. Hymns and songs from the Roman Catholic Church and the World Church found their way into the newer Protestant hymnals. Hymns and songs from the Anglican Church found their way into the newer Roman Catholic hymnals.


In the twenty-first century church then a visitor is likely to find one of three styles of church music—“contemporary,” nothing older than the past 10 years; “old traditional,” nothing newer than the 1950s, and “new traditional.” The visitor is also likely to find a number of styles of church music that reflect the ethnicity and national origin of the congregation.


Can any one style of church music be regarded as distinctively “Anglican”? A number of years ago the new music director in my former parish told the choir that she was going to use more “Anglican” music on Sunday mornings. In my mind I asked myself what kind of music was she intending to use. In Africa Anglican congregations sing to the accompaniment of drums and foot stamping. They also sing without accompaniment in natural four-part harmony. In Central and South America the acoustical guitar is a common form of accompaniment for congregational singing in Anglican churches. At All Souls, Langham Place, a flagship Evangelical parish in London, England a full orchestra, including brass, percussion, strings, and woodwinds, accompanies the congregational singing. All of these styles of church music are “Anglican”. The music that she had in mind was “old traditional,” largely drawn from the Episcopal hymnal. It would not have dawned on her that these other styles of music are also “Anglican.”


In learning to appreciate the different forms of church music it is helpful to think of each form as being a part of the witness of a particular group of Christians in a particular time and a particular place. It is their proclamation of the excellencies of him who called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. It is their testimony to their faith in God and Jesus Christ. It is their contribution to the upbuilding of the Church of Jesus Christ. In using these forms, we are like the householder who takes from his storage room treasures new and old. Some people want to quarrel with the design of a particular object, the materials from which it is made, its decoration, and its workmanship instead of valuing each object for what it is—a unique creation reflecting a particular group of Christians, a particular place, and a particular time.


The use of percussion instruments is a major source of controversy in both Anglican and non-Anglican churches. Some congregations will tolerate the use of the guitar and other stringed instruments in worship but draw the line at the use of percussion instruments. The controversy over the use of percussion instruments largely stems from the association of percussion instruments in most people’s minds with the drum set of a rock and roll band. They are often oblivious to the fact that the piano is a percussion instrument. The pianist strikes a key that causes a hammer to strike a taught wire producing a musical sound. For teaching new hymns and songs and leading and supporting congregational singing, the piano is the best musical instrument. A congregation is better able to hear notes played on a piano than an organ and a pianist cannot drown out the congregation’s singing with a piano. The only drawback of a piano is that some hymns benefit from the fuller sound of an organ.


The piano is not the only percussion instrument that can be used in worship. Other percussion instruments include the glockenspiel, stacked bells, hand bells, cowbells, the djembe—an African hand drum, conga drums, West Indian steel drums, the bhodran—an Irish hand drum, the xylophone, marimbas, the kalimba—the African finger piano, wooden box drums, claves, finger cymbals, and the human hand. These percussion instruments can be put to a number of good uses. For example, hand bells can be used to give pitches, accompany psalm chants and hymns, and to enrich the great songs of the liturgy such as the Te Deum, Benedicite, and Gloria in Excelsis.  A djembe can be used to establish the rhythm of a number of songs, especially those using African and West Indian tunes, and to maintain their tempo. A tune that comes to mind is LINSTEAD, Doreen Potter’s adaptation of a Jamaican folk tune, that is used as the setting of a number of hymns, including Stephen P. Stark’s metrical paraphrase of the Benedicite. “All You Works of God, Bless the Lord!” All of these instruments can be coupled with the human voice to give glory to God.


As with any instrument the key is how the instrument is used. The drummer who plays so loudly that he drowns out the voices of all but the amplified voices of the vocalists in the praise band is no different than the organist who plays so loudly that he drowns out the voices of both choir and congregation. At the same time it must be recognized that there are generational differences that enter into the equation. Younger congregations that prefer contemporary Christian and praise and worship songs do not want to hear their own voices. They also want to “feel the beat.” Older congregations who share the younger generations’ preference for contemporary Christian and praise and worship songs, prefer the sound system to be turned down a few notches so that they not only can hear the vocalists but also themselves.


Evangelicals have just begun to recognize the problem of worship leaders whose electronically amplified voices dominate the singing in the worshiping assembly. Roman Catholics have recognized this problem for a number of years. The dominance of the voice of a cantor with a microphone discourages the assembly from singing. In an excellent article that he wrote a few years ago Marty Haugen urged Roman Catholic worship leaders to get rid of their microphones and musical instruments and lead the assembly in singing simple hymns and songs without accompaniment from the midst of the assembly and not from upfront. 


In a number of emerging churches the praise band has been moved from the front of the room in which the assembly gathers for worship to the back of the room. Putting them at the back of the room changes their relationship with the congregation. They are no longer seen as performers and the congregation as an audience. The members of the congregation are restored to their proper role as performers and God to his rightful role as the audience. At the back of the room the praise band can also provide better support to the singing of the assembly.


The organ is regarded in some quarters as the only suitable musical instrument for Anglican worship. But the organ has had a checkered history in the Church as noted above. In the sixteenth century “Puritan Churchmen” objected to the use of the barrel organ in English parish churches to accompany congregational singing. They took the position that some Reformed churches such as the Scottish Free Presbyterian Church retain to this day, that congregational singing should be a cappella. Like the Churches of Christ they argued that there was no Scriptural warrant for the use of musical instruments in Christian worship. The use of the organ did not become widespread in the Church of England until the nineteenth century and then due to the growth and increased influence of the High Church Oxford Movement. The nineteenth century also saw the substitution of the harmonium, a keyboard instrument with metal reeds, for the larger pipe organ in a number of small parish churches and mission halls. A harmonium has a foot-operated bellows that the player of the harmonium pumps while playing. In the twentieth century the electronic organ replaced the harmonium but the quality of the sound was not much better than that of the harmonium. The quality of the sound of electronic organs has improved greatly over the past 40 years but a good quality well-tuned upright piano is still the best musical instrument for accompanying congregational singing in a small church. It is also much easier to find a competent piano player than a competent organist. With a piano other musical instruments can be used to embellish a hymn or song.


In a number of churches congregational singing is experiencing a decline. Behind this decline is the failure of these churches to not take the right steps to encourage and foster congregational singing. Church sanctuaries and worship centers are built with padded seating, carpeted floors and platforms and the wrong kind of acoustics for congregational singing. Songs that are difficult for congregations to sing are selected for Sunday worship. Congregations are not given an opportunity to hear themselves sing as a congregation. Worship leaders have abnegated their role as leaders of congregational song, which include helping the congregation to learn and master new songs, as well as leading the singing of the assembly.  Churches do not produce CDs and downloadable MP3s and I-pod broadcasts of the songs used in Sunday worship so that members of the congregation can sing them at home, on the way to work, and elsewhere. Churches are not stressing the importance of congregational participation in the singing on Sundays.


A number of cultural factors have also worked against congregational singing. The decline of singing as a family, community, and school activity and the stress of TV and radio on singing as an activity of professionals are among these factors. However, the popularity of karaoke and TV shows like American Idol suggest that Americans still sing. People also sing along with the CD player, radio, or I-pod.


One style of church music does not fit all churches. The situation of each church is unique. Factors such as the ministry focus group that it is trying to reach, the musical resources of the congregation, the musical preferences of the community and region in which the church is located should all be considered in determining what styles of music should be used in the worship of a congregation. A congregation’s choice of music can become an obstacle to its gospel ministry. A congregation that adopts classical music for its worship in a community and region in which only a very small number of people are attracted to classical music significantly limits the size of the segment of the population to which it can proclaim the gospel.


Thom Rainer in his research interviewed the newly churched to determine what part that the music used in worship played in attracting them to a particular church and keeping them in that church. He found that it was not so much the style of music as it was the attention that the church paid to the quality of the music that it used in its worship. This attention showed to the unchurched that the members of the church put a high value on worship. This is what attracted them to the church and kept them in it. This finding, however, does not rule out the importance of considering the ministry focus group of the church and musical preferences of its community and region in the choice of music for its worship. The implication, however, is that whatever music a church uses in the worship of a congregation should be done well. In choosing the styles of music to be used in the worship of a congregation, the capacity of the church to do these music styles well should also be a consideration. It is important to select what the church can do and do well.


This leads to a number of other important considerations in the choice of music for worship. The first of these considerations is theological content. Are the language, images, and motifs in a hymn or song biblical? Is what the hymn or song is saying agreeable to Scripture? Is what it is saying theologically sound? A hymn or song may have a very appealing, singable tune but its wording may teach something other than what the Bible teaches.


A second consideration is the type of song and the juncture in the service in which it will be used. By “song” I am referring to hymns, canticles, psalms, anthems, choruses, worship songs, acclamations, service music, and the like. Among the types of songs are calls to worship, invocations of the Holy Spirit, songs of praise, songs of adoration, songs of exhortation, songs of encouragement, songs of invitation to discipleship, songs of dismissal or sending-forth, and songs of response. The latter includes songs of affirmation, songs of commitment, and songs of self-dedication. A song may fit in a number of these categories or it may fit in only one category. Knowing the type of a song is helpful in deciding where it can be used to best advantage.


A song needs to make sense where it is used. It fits that particular juncture in the service. Choosing, for example, a post-communion hymn or a dismissal hymn for the beginning of the service not only invites the congregation to sing nonsense but it devaluates the place of music in the service. It is critical in planning the music of a service to treat songs as an integral part of the service and not as something ancillary to the service. Care should also be taken that the lyrics of the song do not contradict what precedes it or follows it. A classical example of a worship planner not paying attention to what preceded or followed a song is the accompanist who picked “Shall We Gather at the River” for the hymn after the sermon. In the sermon the pastor urged the drinkers in the congregation to stop drinking and to throw into the river the bottles of whatever they drank so they would not be tempted to keep drinking. The song urged the people to gather at the river.


The mood of a song should also match the mood of the juncture in the service in which it is used. A fast upbeat praise song, while it might be a good choice for the opening of the service, would be a poor choice for a more meditative part of the service such as the distribution of the Communion.


A third consideration is the accessibility of a song. Can the congregation be expected to master the song within a reasonable interval of time? If it takes the choir, the cantor, or the vocalists in the praise band more than a couple of rehearsals to learn a song, the song may be too difficult for the average singer in the congregation. The primary role of the choir, the cantor, or the vocalists in the praise band is to lead and support the congregation in praising and worshiping God in song. It is not to worship on the behalf of the congregation. Special music is secondary. The Revelation to John gives us a picture of heavenly worship. The redeemed are not listening to the heavenly choir lauding and magnifying God and the Lamb. They are part of that choir! Life on earth is a preparation for life in heaven. Those who attend church services in which the choir, cantor, or vocalists in the praise band do most of the singing may come away from these services feeling that they have worshiped God. However, they have not been prepared for the worship of heaven.


When the choir, the cantor, or the vocalists in the praise band do most of the singing, it is a denial of the New Testament doctrine that we need no one to represent us before God since we have Jesus Christ as our mediator and advocate and he is the only representative that we need. It is also a denial of the New Testament doctrine that God has called us to serve him as a royal priesthood proclaiming the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. We proclaim his excellencies—his great merits—through reading aloud his story from the Scriptures in the assembly of the faithful on Sunday morning and other times; through telling the children in Sunday school what he has done; through giving our testimony in the assembly how his story and our story intersect; through sharing the gospel, the story of salvation, with friends, neighbors, and relatives; and through singing God’s praises and extolling his mighty deeds in the assembly. 


It is useful to think of the songs in a church service as a part of conversation that is going on not only between God and ourselves but also among ourselves. In the songs we speak to God and God speaks to us. We speak about God and ourselves. We also speak to each other. In all parts of this conversation God is speaking. He is giving us the words, as well as prompting us to speak.


One of the complaints that is commonly heard about contemporary Christian and praise and worship music is that it focuses too much upon the individual and his relationship to God and not enough upon God himself, his attributes, his promises, and his dealings with humankind. Most songs fall into one of two categories—songs to God and songs about God. Both kinds of songs have a place in worship. If we look in the Bible, we will find both kinds of songs in the Book of Psalms and elsewhere in the Bible. A song to God usually begins with these or similar words, “ I will extol you, my God and King…” or “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth….” A song about God typically begins with words like, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel…” or “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain….” A skilled worship planner will seek to strike a balance between the two kinds of songs. This balance will vary from Sunday to Sunday. The lessons, the sermon, and the occasion are the principal determining factors. However, they are not the only determining factors. There is no set formula that worship planners can follow. Some Sundays the lessons, the sermon, and the occasion will require more songs of one kind than of the other. As a rule of thumb it is generally best to start with songs about God and then to switch to songs to God but this is not a hard and fast rule. At the conclusion of the service a song that reminds the congregation of how they are expected to serve God in the world is desirable. This may require a song that is directed at the congregation.


A fourth consideration is the tunefulness of a song, that is, the melodiousness of the setting to which the song is sung. Tunefulness is to a large extent a subjective judgment. What may be a tuneful series of notes to one person’s ear may not to another. In evaluating the tunefulness of a song, it is helpful to ask the following questions: Will this song sound tuneful to the larger part of the congregation? Is it a tune that they will over a reasonable interval of time come to like and enjoy? Will it sound tuneful to a larger part of the church’s ministry focus group? Is it a tune that they too will come to like and enjoy? And so on.


A congregation that has been exposed to a wide variety of different forms of church music and a wide range of tunes can be expected to consider a much larger number of songs as tuneful than a congregation that has been exposed to only one or two forms of church music and a limited range of tunes. Our sense of what is a tuneful series of notes is acquired. A musician trained in classic music may not consider tuneful a series of notes that a congregation that has no classical music training considers tuneful. The culture or subculture to which we belong also influences what series of notes we are likely to consider tuneful.


A fifth consideration is the suitability of the tune to the mood of the song. This is one of the weaknesses of a number of the older hymn tunes. They do not capture the tone, or mood, of the hymn with which they are used. The lyrics of a hymn may speak of joyfully praising God but the tune to modern ears is mournful, more suitable for a dirge or a lament. One option is to substitute a new tune for the old one, a tune that matches more closely the tone of the hymn.


Our choice of music for church services, the songs that we select, are a part of the welcome that we extend to first time worship visitors. For eight years I collaborated with the first music director of my former parish in planning the music for Sunday mornings. At my suggestion we adopted the policy of using for hymns tunes that would not only be familiar to Episcopalians but also Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics. We used as a guide the Ecumenical Hymn List that listed the most commonly used tunes for the most widely used hymns. We also picked from this list the hymns that we used. In their selection of hymn tunes for The Hymnal 1940 its editors had chosen the tunes to which certain hymns were set in English hymnals rather than American hymnals. Consequently the tunes were unfamiliar to visitors from non-Episcopal church background.


Unaffiliated Episcopalians comprised a very tiny segment of the unchurched population of our community. Rather than confining ourselves to these rare and difficult-to-catch fish, we baited our hooks for the fish that swam in our pond, our target area, in larger numbers—unchurched families and individuals with a non-Episcopal church background and those with no church background at all. Our church was at the time a small mission congregation that met for worship in a storefront. The church had no organ, no pews, no stained glass windows, no polished brass, no flickering candles, no needlepoint embroidered kneelers, and the like. The trickle of Episcopalians new to the community who did visit us generally did not stay for any length of time. They missed these things. The honest ones told us that they could not worship God without them. They did not feel like they were “in a real church.”


In addition to hymn and hymn tune selections from the Ecumenical Hymn List, we also used a number of new hymns and new metrical versions of psalms and canticles from the Hope Publishing/Jubilate Hymns hymnal and music collection series as well as a number of what were then called “celebration songs” from Come Celebrate, the Scripture in Song series, Songs of Celebration, the Songs of Praise series, the Sounds of Living Water series, and other sources. The latter are fairly simple hymns and songs, a number of which are so easy to learn that they seem to sing themselves.


When asked what kept them coming to our church, newcomers put at the top of the list the friendliness and warmth of the congregation, the type of music used in the church services, and the enthusiastic participation of the congregation in that music. This is what brought them back Sunday after Sunday. In the process they heard the message of the gospel not only preached from the pulpit but also proclaimed in the adult Bible study classes that set the church apart from all of the churches in the deanery and most of the churches in the diocese. 


In the nineteenth century Anglican missionaries traveled to Africa and other parts of the world in order to proclaim the gospel to the peoples of these parts of the world. Yet they often made little headway. This was largely due to their approach. They established a mission station. The handful of people they were able to attract the mission station were expected to learn the English language, to adopt English customs, to wear English clothes, to sing English hymns, and to cross a number of other hurdles in order to hear the gospel. Consequently, these missionaries made few converts. Contemporary missionaries and contemporary missiology has learned from this experience. The task of the missionary is to spread the gospel and not to spread his national culture or church ethos. But many churches in North America have yet to apply this lesson to the world’s largest English speaking mission field, Canada and the United States. They continue to act like nineteenth century missionaries, expecting those to whom they should be bringing the gospel message first to acquire their tastes in music and worship. Instead of advancing the gospel, they are erecting barriers to the gospel. We need to take care that we do not fall into the same trap.


When I advocate tailoring the music used in the services of a church to the particular circumstances of the church and making it friendlier to outsiders, I am NOT advocating modifying the gospel message to make it more acceptable to a particular ministry focus group. Too often latter is erroneously equated with the former. The use of a particular style of music other than that favored by the individual equating the three is then criticized as diluting the gospel message. Songs are not the only means by which the gospel is conveyed. Scripture readings, sermons, study groups, newcomer orientation sessions, membership classes, and discipleship training seminars are important means of communicating the gospel.


Songs are certainly an important means of reinforcing the gospel message. Whatever forms of church music are used in a service, I do recommend that worship planners should select a number of songs to highlight or emphasize different aspects of the gospel at each service. These aspects should not be the same ones Sunday after Sunday. At the same time a careful balance needs to be struck between the devotional and the didactic elements of a service. The songs of the service are there to help us to voice our praise and adoration of God as well as to inform and instruct.




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  1. A couple of comments on this *masssive* article. (Robin, have you considered dividing some of these into series, for those of us with limited attention spans? :-))

    (1) The 19th Century Anglican missionaries to Africa were *highly* successful, as the proportion of membership in the Anglican Communion today attests to rather strongly.

    (2) I had the pleasure this weekend, in otherwise rather trying circumstances, of attending a good-sized (200+) Church of Christ (non-institutional). The a capella and shape-note singing was exceptionally uplifting. Granted, it requires more effort and dedication by the congregation, but the result, at least in this case, was magnificent.

    • Dom,

      In actuality, Anglican missionaries in Africa only had limited success in spreading the gospel. A number of them gave up on their gospel work and built schools, clinics, and hospitals instead. The growth of Anglican Christianity is attributable to other factors–those converts who did not stay at the mission station but returned to their own people, the East African Revival, and so on. When conversion to the Christian faith is tied to conversion to the culture of the missionary, the missionary himself becomes an obstacle to the spread of the gospel. This is one of the things that we learned from failed missionary efforts of the past.


  2. I tend to agree with Michael Horton on this issue. Is worship centered on God or on us? If worship is meant to edify us or make us feel good, then the focus is anthropocentric. A good hymn is theologically correct and teaches us something about the Gospel, God, or His attributes. The classical hymns like Amazing Grace have stood the test of time because they are monuments to God’s sovereignty. God isn’t our girlfriend.


    • Charlie,
      I agree that our worship should be God-centered. I must, however, draw your attention to a contradiction in what you are saying. You write that worship that edifies is anthropocentric. You go on to write a good hymn is theologically correct and teaches us something about the Gospel, God, or His attributes, in other words, it is edifying. The better worship songs can also be edifying. I prefer not to reject all worship songs and other forms of church music beside the hymn because some are poorly composed and theologically unsound. I also have no trouble with hymns, worship songs, and other forms of church music being edifying since Paul in his writings says that everything we do should build up the body of Christ. A didactic element in worship is Scriptural. When we limit ourselves to one form of church music, we are saying in so many word that the Holy Spirit did not inspire any other forms of church music. I rather doubt that. Paul refers to “spiritual songs” as well as “hymns” and “psalms.”

      A number of years ago some worship songs were overly sentimental, of the “I love you, Jesus” variety. However, contemporary song writers have been moving away from this type of song. The Bible contains both songs to God and songs about God. It also has songs that are a combination of the two. Do we take pair of scissors to our Bibles and cut out the songs to God because we believe that only songs about God should be sung? Songs to God and songs about God both have a place in God-centered worship. The hymns that have proven their durability have their place in God-centered worship. So do the newer hymns and the better worship songs, as well as other forms of church music.

      In God-centered worship God is the main focus of our attention. We proclaim his excellencies in Scripture readings, hymns, psalms, and sermons. Even the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper is a proclamation of his excellencies. We also declare God’s praises in worship songs and other forms of church music.

      A song should stir the heart, not so we experience some kind of emotional high on Sunday morning but because the feelings a song may engender deepens our devotion to God and prompt us to action. God uses songs in the way that he uses the sacraments. This is one of the reasons he inspires songs. In doing so, he is no less sovereign.


  3. God only inspired the Bible. Hymns, etc., not Scripture.

    The purpose of worship is to glorify God. And enjoying God is a side effect of that worship of God.

    While it can be emotional to worship God, I feel inspired when I sing the great hymns like “How Great Thou Art” and “Amazing Love” and “Amazing Grace.” The modern/contemporary Christian music movement has its theological roots in the church growth movement (seeker sensitive), which in turn has theological roots in the Pentecostal/charismatic movement, which in turn came from the Wesleyan holiness movement and/or Finney’s pelagianism and pragmatism. All worship should be focused on glorifying and honoring God, not what it can do to draw in seekers. The theological truth of the matter is that no one seeks God, no not even one.

    I’m familiar with Psalm 150. But we should not forget that Psalm 150 was written for the OT church, the nation of Israel. It was not and never was intended to draw in “seekers.” Rather it was intended to bring glory and honor to God.

    A biblically based church does not have seeker sensitiver sermons. It has expository sermons where the hard truths of Scripture are honestly dealt with instead of ignored or avoided. A biblically based church focuses on the object fact of the cross as our only hope for justification before God.

    I have to agree with the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. Modern Evangelicalism has mostly sold out to “Christless Christianity.” Worship is not about us. It’s about honoring the Sovereign God who deserves our worship.

    Contemporary music may be “culturally” relevant but it is didactically and theologically bankrupt. What we need is solid biblical theology in the liturgy, the hymnody/sacred music, and in the preaching/teaching of the church. There is no excuse for dumbing down the service for the sake of “seekers.” What we need is for solid discipleship and catechesis, not spiritual baby food and simplification.

    It is just this sort of thinking which has led to the current state of Evangelicalism and the Anglican Communion.

    • Charlie,
      If you examine the history of church music, you find all kinds of groups who have resisted changes to the forms of church music used in worship. Some objected to the use of musical instruments. For example, the Puritans objected to the use of the organ in churches. Others objected to the use of a particular form of church music. For example, the Anglicans for a long time refused to sing hymns, only metrical psalms. Hymns were sung in Non-Conformists chapels long before they were sung in Church of England parish churches.

      If you examine the structure and content of “How Great Thou Art” and “Amazing Grace,” they can also be classified as anthropocentric.

      How Great Thou Art
      O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
      Consider all the works Thy hands have made.
      I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
      Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

      Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee;
      How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
      Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee:
      How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

      When through the woods and forest glades I wander
      And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
      When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
      And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:
      (Repeat Refrain.)

      And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
      Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
      That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
      He bled and died to take away my sin:
      (Repeat Refrain.)

      When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation
      And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
      Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
      And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!
      (Repeat Refrain.)

      Amazing Grace!
      Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
      That saved a wretch like me!
      I once was lost, but now am found;
      Was blind, but now I see.

      ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
      And grace my fears relieved;
      How precious did that grace appear
      The hour I first believed!

      Through many dangers, toils and snares,
      I have already come;
      ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
      And grace will lead me home.

      The Lord has promised good to me,
      His Word my hope secures;
      He will my Shield and Portion be,
      As long as life endures.

      Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
      And mortal life shall cease,
      I shall possess, within the veil,
      A life of joy and peace.

      The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
      The sun forbear to shine;
      But God, who called me here below,
      Will be forever mine.

      When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
      Bright shining as the sun,
      We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
      Than when we’d first begun.

      Both hymns have a God and me focus. They do not have a purely God focus. “How Great Thought Art” can be classified as a song of praise, directed at God. “Amazing Grace” is classifiable as a song of testimony, directed at the other worshipers.

      I am afraid that the church growth movement and the seeker-sensitive movement have become something of a hobby horse to you that it blinds you to the fact that a substantial amount of songs, including hymns, metrical versions of the psalms and canticles, anthems, choruses, acclamations, service music, worship songs, and other forms of church music, that has been composed during the last century and more recently has no ties to these movements or to Pentacostalism, the Holiness movement, or the revivalism of Charles Finney. Even songs that do have a connection with these movements cannot be dismissed solely on the basis of that connection. Every song must be judged on its own merits.

      The following songs glorify and honor God as much as “How Great Thou Art” and “Amazing Grace.”

      Be Unto Your Name
      We are a moment, You are forever
      Lord of the Ages, God before time
      We are a vapor, You are eternal
      Love everlasting, reigning on high

      Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
      Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
      Highest praises, honor and glory
      Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

      We are the broken, You are the healer
      Jesus, Redeemer, mighty to save
      You are the love song we’ll sing forever
      Bowing before You, blessing Your name
      (Repeat Chorus)

      Be unto Your name,
      be unto Your name
      be unto your name

      Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer
      Jesus draw me ever nearer
      As I labour through the storm.
      You have called me to this passage,
      and I’ll follow, though I’m worn.

      May this journey bring a blessing,
      May I rise on wings of faith;
      And at the end of my heart’s testing,
      With Your likeness let me wake.

      Jesus guide me through the tempest;
      Keep my spirit staid and sure.
      When the midnight meets the morning,
      Let me love You even more.

      Let the treasures of the trial
      Form within me as I go –
      And at the end of this long passage,
      Let me leave them at Your throne.

      They have as much a place in our worship as do “How Great Thou Art” and “Amazing Grace.”

      I agree that we need to offer solid Biblical teaching to congregations. However, as you yourself have drawn to our attention in an earlier post, worship is not about feeling good or edifying the congregation. The implication is that there is room in worship for simple hymns and songs that focus the attention of the worshiper upon God.

      If you compare the structure and content of a number of worship songs with other forms of church music, they bear similiarity to some of the older Greek hymns. They also are similar to the troparion used in the Eastern Orthodox liturgies. A number of them are similar to a form of church music that has been used in the Church of England both before and after the Reformation–the anthem. Anthems are made up of verses taken from Scripture and provided with an elaborate choral setting. A number of worship songs are also made up of verses taken from Scripture. The principal difference is the setting.

      As I stated in my article, we need to be like the householder taking from his store room treasures new and old, making creative use of the best of old and the new.

      Every generation of Christians produces its own songs by which it seeks to worship God and glorify and honor His Name. These songs differ not only in time and place but in form and content. They are a part of that generation’s witness. Archbishop Cranmer wisely pointed out that we should not discard the old simply because it is old. Rather we should use the old where it can be well used. I would add that we should not discard the new simply because it is new. As in the case of the old, we should use the new where it also can be well used. In either case we should not embrace the old or the new simply because it is old or new but should examine each song and judge it on its own merits.


  4. I have attempted to posta couple times.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for an Anglican mission work without and organist or piano player?
    I am considering the 1940 Episcopal Hymnal, The 1940 Lutheran one (found some Organ music recorded), and the Trinity Hymnal (found piano CD soundtrack).
    Anyone ahve other ideas for sound hymns, etc for a mission work? Or even stringed instrument sounds for hymns?
    Rev. Paul

  5. All,

    May I suggest “Pslams for Singing” and the “Trinity Psalter.” Both are sold by Crown and Covenant.

  6. Are there CD’s with music to sing along as a congregation?
    The Episcopal, Lutheran, and Trinity Hymnals have plenty of seasonal hymns for the church year and holidays. But I need something with music to play for a congregation since we dont have an organist or piano player.
    I am open to allowing guitars or stringed instruments. But I would like the hymns to be traditional and appropriate for the liturgy.
    Rev. Paul

  7. [audio src="" /]

    For Marines and Sailors, Semper Fi, Phil

    For All the Saints. For theological Marines, time for some hand-to-hand combat in tough street-fighting, block-by-block. “One shot, one kill.” Or for the theological Sailors here, “Hit em’ hard, hit em’ fast, and hit em’ often.” (ADM “Bull” Halsey, Pacific Fleet Commander, United States Navy, WW2). I like verses 2 and 4 below, especially. No time for sappy and sugar.
    For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
    Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
    Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!
    Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
    Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
    Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!
    O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
    Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
    And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!
    And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
    Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
    And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

  9. Robin, you’re inconsistent. In Word and sacrament the Word must always precede the sacrament. Thus, if the theology of the sacrament is wrong then the entire ceremony is off. The same can be said for music. Either it is biblical or it isn’t. Modern contemporary music is not biblical. I was in the charismatic thing for 10 years and I speak from experience. I even attended the local AMiA for several months. Same thing. UNBIBLICAL. The question is how correct is the theology of the songs? Contemporary music is spiritual pablum. Baby food.

    Real churches have expository preaching, not topical preaching. Real churches have solid theological hymnody, not silly ditties that repeat, “I love you Lord,” 100 times to hypnotize you into an ecstatic trance.

    I just read an excellent article today by Paul Zahl on that very topic and I am intending to summarize his article and quote pertinent passages from it in an upcoming blog post.

    Lex credendi lex orandi. “What we believe determines how we pray.”

    That would also translate into what we believe determines what kind of music and what kinds of hymns we use to worship.

    Sincerely in Christ,


    • Charlie,

      I anticipated your response to my last post and put together most of the following response last night.

      In the Scriptures we encounter a number of calls to praise God with a new song: Psalm 33:3, “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts…”; Psalm 96:1, “Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth!”; Psalm 98:1, “O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things!”; Psalm 149, “Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!”; Isaiah 42:10, “Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the end of the earth….”. Psalm 40: 3 declares, “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God…”; and Psalm 144:9, “I will sing a new song to you, O God; upon the ten-stringed harp I will play to you”; In Revelation 5:9-11 the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders sing a new song before the throne, as do the 144,000 in Revelation 14:3. One may conclude from these passages that God is glorified and honored by new songs as well as old ones. Indeed, a new song is a special offering of praise and thanksgiving to God. We are apt to forget that the older songs that we sing were at one time new songs.

      Whatever songs we use in our worship should be Scriptural. A substantial number of the newer songs do meet this criterion. “Be unto Your Name,” for example, contains a number of Scriptural allusions, images, themes, and motifs: Exodus 15:2; Job 14:1-2; Psalm 45:1; Psalm 90:10; Psalm 103:15-16; Psalm 118: 14; Psalm 144:4; Isaiah 5:1; Isaiah 12: 2; Isaiah 53:5; Revelation 4:9-11; and Revelation 5:11-14. While it may not be as wordy as a number of the older songs, it is nonetheless Scriptural.

      Since the 1970s Jubilate Hymns in the United Kingdom and Hope Music Publishing in the United States have been publishing the works of a number of hymn writers and hymn tune composers, all of whom are Evangelical Anglicans. Members of this group have also edited a number of music collections. The group has produced worship songs as well as hymns, metrical versions of the psalms and canticles. The group includes Michael Baughan, Noel Treddenick, Michael Perry, Michael Saward, Christopher Idle, Chris Rolinson, Ian White, David Peacock, Christopher Norton, David Wilson, Timothy Dudley Smith, and Richard Bewes. Michael Baughan and Richard Bewes were rectors of All Souls, Langham Place, in London, a flagship Evangelical parish in the United Kingdom, and for many years the parish where John Stott preached and taught. Noel Treddenick was the music director of All Souls. One of the earliest music collections on which members of the group collaborated was the seminal Psalm Praise. One of the most recent Evangelical Anglican hymnals containing their works is Sing Glory, published by Kevin Mayhew. All of the works they have written or included in the collections that they have edited have been Scriptural.

      Some of their songs or the songs used in the collections that they have edited have also appeared in other collections that those involved in the church growth movement and the seeker-sensitive movement have edited. Are you saying, Charlie, that we should not use what are solidly Scriptural, theological sound hymns and songs because their songs have appeared in these collections or that they have used in their own collections songs from these collections? I will stick to what I said in my previous post: every hymn and every song must be judged on its own merits. Rejecting all recent compositions on the assumption that everything new is unscriptural and theologically unsound is an extreme position. I would recommend that you post Paul Zahl’s entire article. I am familiar enough with his writings to know that he is not likely to advocate such a position.

      Underlying 1 Corinthians 14:23-25 is an important Biblical truth and principle:

      “If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.”

      Whatever we are doing and saying should be comprehensible to the unbeliever or outsider who visits our worshiping assemblies. If it not comprehensible, they are not likely to benefit from it. By extension whatever we are doing and saying should not be too alien for it will have same effect. The underlying principle and truth is that we should be sensitive to visitors to our assemblies. This does not mean that we go out of our way to cater to visitors, even going as far as diluting the message of the gospel to make it more palatable to them. But it does include giving some thought to whether the forms of music that we are using in our worship are going to engage those coming to our worship assemblies for the first time.

      We may offer solidly Biblical, theologically sound teaching but it will do no good if the unbeliever and the outsider does not stay long enough to benefit from it. As Paul tells us, “…faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17 ESV) First and foremost the hymns and other songs that we use in our worship should focus the attention of the hearts and minds of the congregation upon God. This should be a given in our worship assemblies. At the same time the hymns and other songs that we use in our worship should also be winsome and appealing. Otherwise, they will not accomplish this purpose. They will become a distraction, diverting attention away from God. Some hymns are so onerous, they can discourage people from not only taking part in the singing but also from attending church. They become an obstacle to the hearing of the Word. I speak from personal experience.

      One immediately notices the difference between a well-planned service in which the music has been carefully and thoughtfully selected and the poorly planned service in which one long hymn follows another, all with tunes of same meter, played at the same tempo—slow, and placed in the service without regard to their suitability for where they are used. Or in which the choir anthem and the other special music are given more attention than the congregational song, and the hymns are invariably cut off after the third stanza, mutilating the sense of the words. God is not glorified or honored when the congregation sings nonsense.

      After twenty odd years as a worship planner and a worship leader, I must view with skepticism the statements of the theoretician who argues that we should not consider the church’s ministry focus group, the culture of the target area, and other factors in deciding what music we use in worship or how we use it. I have been involved in four new church plants, one in the late 1980s and three in the past six years, and my own experience does not support such contentions. I certainly agree that our worship must be God-centered. However, this does not rule of taking steps to make our worship more engaging. Otherwise, we are going to be preaching to empty churches. We no longer live in an age where the churchwardens and the sidemen patrol the village during the church service to ensure that no one is truant. Nor do we live in an age where people attend church out a sense of duty or obligation or from fear of censure.

      I am not advocating that we do away with the old. That is another extreme position. But I do advocate that we use the new with the old. If someone had not taken this position in the sixteenth century and introduced vernacular metrical psalms and congregational singing, we would hear only plainsong, Latin, and polyphony on Sunday morning. If someone had not taken this position in the eighteenth century and introduced hymns into the Church of England, we would be singing only metrical psalms on Sunday morning. More recent compositions have a place in our worship alongside the older hymns, psalms and spiritual songs. I cannot go along with a blanket rejection of them.


  10. Charlie:

    Concur. Look forward to your review of Paul Zahl. Mohler has–at various points–commented on the pablum. It’s time for the pew to mature to manhood. One has not lived until one has attended Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, to hear 1500 Reformed and Informed Churchmen sing. It’s next to heaven.

    Give me a pipe organ, an house filled with redeemed saints who understand theology, and who sing.

    Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
    Does his successive journeys run;
    His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
    Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

    Behold the islands with their kings,
    And Europe her best tribute brings;
    From north to south the princes meet,
    To pay their homage at His feet.

    There Persia, glorious to behold,
    There India shines in eastern gold;
    And barb’rous nations at His word
    Submit, and bow, and own their Lord.

    To Him shall endless prayer be made,
    And praises throng to crown His head;
    His Name like sweet perfume shall rise
    With every morning sacrifice.

    People and realms of every tongue
    Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
    And infant voices shall proclaim
    Their early blessings on His Name.

    Blessings abound wherever He reigns;
    The prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
    The weary find eternal rest,
    And all the sons of want are blessed.

    Where He displays His healing power,
    Death and the curse are known no more:
    In Him the tribes of Adam boast
    More blessings than their father lost.

    Let every creature rise and bring
    Peculiar honors to our King;
    Angels descend with songs again,
    And earth repeat the loud amen!

    Great God, whose universal sway
    The known and unknown worlds obey,
    Now give the kingdom to Thy Son,
    Extend His power, exalt His throne.

    The scepter well becomes His hands;
    All Heav’n submits to His commands;
    His justice shall avenge the poor,
    And pride and rage prevail no more.

    With power He vindicates the just,
    And treads th’oppressor in the dust:
    His worship and His fear shall last
    Till hours, and years, and time be past.

    As rain on meadows newly mown,
    So shall He send his influence down:
    His grace on fainting souls distills,
    Like heav’nly dew on thirsty hills.

    The heathen lands, that lie beneath
    The shades of overspreading death,
    Revive at His first dawning light;
    And deserts blossom at the sight.

    The saints shall flourish in His days,
    Dressed in the robes of joy and praise;
    Peace, like a river, from His throne
    Shall flow to nations yet unknown.

  11. We also need some “Combat Collects” to go with the musical renewal, lest we be deceived by those of a “privy conspiracy.”

  12. Can anyone give me any help with Hymnal soundtracks for mission works with no musicians?
    Rev. Paul

    • Paul,

      You came to the right place. Kevin Mayhew has a number of CDs containing accompaniment music for hymns and worship songs. The hymn tunes are the common English hymnal settings of a number of standard hymns. Kevin Mayhew also publishes Hymns Old and New and Sing Glory. The latter is an Evangelical Anglican hymnal featuring the hymns, metrical psalms, and worship songs of the Jubilate Hymns group. Kingsgate is the American agent for Kevin Mayhew. However, you may have to order them from the UK.

      The United Methodist Church has an electronic edition of its current hymnal and hymnal supplement. Visit the Cokesbury website.

      Late last year LifeWay launched the LifeWay Worship Project. The Worship Project has produced MP3/CD-ROM and CD worship tracks (split track) for use with the new Baptist Hymnal and the new Worship Hymnal, a non-denominational hymnal.The Worship Hymnal contains a good selection of standard hymns, gospel songs, and spirituals and the best of the contemporary worship songs. The CD-ROM of the Piano Edition contains almost 200 additional hymns and songs. It is a great resource for new church plants. If you have a laptop computer, I recommend the MP3/CD-ROM. All you need is speakers. You can also purchase a CD-ROM of the lyrics in video projector slide format if you have a video projector and want to project the lyrics on a wall screen instead of buying hymnals or printing the lyrics in a service bulletin. Most of the hymns and songs in the Worship Hymnal are covered by CCLI. Visit the LifeWay Worship Project web site to see what other resources are available from the project.

      I have examined the Worship Hymnal and have the CD/ROM of the Piano Edition. The collection contains only a small number of hymns and songs of which I do not like the arrangement, textual alterations, and/or the setting. It may have a larger selection of gospel songs and spirituals than an Anglican church might use. The music in the collection, however, is the kind that is likely to engage most people in the four state region of Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee.

      My overall assessment of LifeWay Worship Project is that it is a useful resource for small churches and new church plants. The LifeWay Worship Project will be supplementing the Worship Hymnal with 100 additional hymns and songs every year which will be available for downloading from the site with MP3s of the music.


  13. Robin
    Thanks a bunch.
    Can you post links to these sites?

    you know..and this might be for a different blog….but Duel Enterprises publisehd the 21sst Century King James Version which simply updated the archaic words but did NOT retranslate the KJV from the TR.
    It would be an interesting thought if the old BCP’s (1928, 1662, and previous) could be updated with a simple dictionary. Go through and line by line update a few of the words. Dont change any textual phrases or rewrite the BCP.
    I was wondering that about the Hymns since some of the younger people I am encountering and hungering for liturgy but do not get some of the language or even the sound of an organ.
    Oh well…the struggles of being theological ad pastoral in a culture and time that does not even use theological language.
    Robin-thanks for your help. Can you post the links?
    Rev. Paul

    • Paul,
      Kevin Mayhew is at Check out the No Organ? No Problem!, No Music Group? No Problem! and No Pianist? No Problem! series.

      You’ll find the United Methodist Hymnal CD Accompaniment Edition on this page of the Cokesbury site:

      It is a good selection of standard hymns.

      You will find the CD Accompaniment Edition and MIDI Edition of The Faith We Sing at:

      It contains a number of the better newer hymns and worship song. The collection includes “Brother, Sister, Let Me Serve You,” “Broken for Me, Broken for You,” “Christ Beside Me” (BUNESSAN), “Here, I Am, Lord,” and “The First Song of Isaiah.” All of these songs appear in a number of the more recent hymnals.

      A CD-ROM of both can be found at:

      The LifeWay Worship Project is at:

      I have been involved in a number of projects to translate older service books into contemporary English. Some parts of these services books defy word for word translation. You have to make textual changes. These projects include A New American Prayer Book which is substantially a conservative contemporary English revision of the 1662 Prayer Book that for a number of services incorporates material from the 1559 Prayer Book, the 1926 Irish Prayer Book, and other sources; Alternative Forms of Service which includes a conservative contemporary English revisions of the Communion Services of the 1662 and 1549 Prayer Books, includes a number of new services, and incorporates material from the 1786 Proposed American Prayer Book, the 1559 Prayer Book, the 1926 Irish Prayer Book, and other sources; and Alternative Services which is substantially a conservative English revision of the Free Church of England’s 1956 Prayer Book. The latter also includes a number of new services–two alternative forms of morning and evening worship and an alternative order of Holy Communion with four new Prayers of Thanksgiving and Consecration that conform to the theology of the book. I am presently working on an American version of Alternative Services and playing with the idea of producing convervative contemporary English revision of the 1559 Prayer Book with some additions such as prayers for missions and the like. I describe all these books as “revisions” because of the difficulty in making word for word translations of some parts of the older service books.


  14. Robin,

    I judge even traditional hymns on a case by case basis. However, once you sell out to cultural relativism rather than teaching people the truth, you’ve defeated the purpose of the Bible in the first place.

    God is to be worshipped and glorified and man is not. Soli Deo Gloria.

    If you want to cater to rebels, that’s fine by me. I, on the other hand, will continue to preach the Gospel and to seek to please God rather than man. What we need these days are men with the guts to preach the truth rather than sell out to popularity and cater to the world.


  15. “Judas hanged himself. Go and do likewise.”

    Piecing together scripture verses out of context does not constitute a “biblical” hymn or song.

    Rather, how the scriptures are dealt with is more important. Just as the modern liturgies leave out the warning passages in Psalm 95, the modern ditties say little about the wrath of God against sinners, our miserable condition as sinners, or the purpose of the atonement in the first place. Modern evangelicalism is a form of “Christless Christianity.” Without penitence the modern forms of worship are essentially pelagianism.


    • Charlie,

      If you examine the Scripture passages that I cited, you will discover “Be unto Your Name” gives voice to Biblical themes and is not a cobbling together of Scriptural passages out of context. If you also examine a number of the older hymns they are cobbled together in much the same manner as you describe.

      Using some of the newer hymns and songs that are solidly Biblical and theologically sound and that are likely to engage the younger generations is not selling out to culteral relitivism as you wish to portray it. There is a body of new hymns and songs that does not down play or ignore God’s wrath against sinners, the human condition, or the need for the atonement. You appear to be assuming that because some of the newer hymns and songs do this, that all do it. Essentially you are writing off all the hymns and songs that have been written since the nineteenth century. You appear to have also developed some very set views, one of which appears to be that using any hymn or song written after a particular date is to accomodate contemporary culture.

      It does not follow that if some of the newer hymns and songs are used alongside the older ones in a church that the Gospel is no longer being preached in that church. As long as the Scriptures are read in course in the services of a church and the whole Gospel is preached from the pulpit and taught in the Sunday school classroom, the people are hearing the Gospel. Remember at one time the older hymns were not used in the churches. If we adopt your logic, then the Gospel was not preached in those churches.

      From my perspective you look like you are coming dangerously close in your thinking to the views of a small group of Scottish Presbyterians who concluded that despite Christ’s commission to go and make disciples, to teach and to baptize, they did need to not engage in missionary work. God has chosen his elect. He would bring about their salvation. All they were required to do was sit in their kirks. If God did not bring a particular individual to their church or another church, then that individual was retrobate, chosen for damnation. It did not dawn on them that God may have chosen them to be instruments through whom he was going to call his elect, that Christ required of his Church a more pro-active approach. It also did not dawn on this group of Scottish Presbyterians that inviting people to church and welcoming people when they come to church, might be a part of God’s call. God’s Holy Spirit was working through them. In disobeying Christ’s commission they were showing themselves to be rebels against God.

      It does not take “guts” to preach the gospel but the belief that the gospel is not without power. God has given us his word to proclaim and through our proclamation of his word he will accomplish all that he purposes.

      I will overlook your other remarks as they appear to have been said in anger.


  16. I suspect Robin wants to affirm biblical and liturgical music while avoding cultural fundamentalism or sectarian agendas that believe Christian music is isolated to one genre or one particular time and place and style. All one has to do is look at traditional liturgical worship in various countries and see that every race, kindred, tribe, and tongue can kind biblical/liturgical hymns while stilling having unique cultural expressions.
    Rev. Paul

  17. Robin
    Most would be leary of a “new” book. What would be difficult about an “update” like the 21st Century KJV?
    I am not trying to argue. Just curious.
    Like in the 1928 version of the marriage “I…pledge my troth” or something….why not just say “To you I give my trust” ?
    Rev. Paul

  18. I never say anything in anger. I just call it like I see it.

  19. Show me a contemporary song that teaches deep and consistent biblical theology? The lyrics are generally shallow.

    I’ve found one website with contemporary hymns set to modern instruments. Are any of these songs popular? No. Why? Because the trend is dumbing down the Gospel and Scripture.

  20. The central focus of any worship service is the sermon. The Word of God.

  21. The Central focus of any worship is God and this comes through the Word, Sacrament, and Praise.
    We should try to avoid making our own experience the ultimate point of reference to determine what is good or not. Our own negative experiences with things does not mean there is only negative experiences.
    Rev. Paul

  22. The last time I read the Bible from cover to cover I saw more than just God’s love. I saw God’s wrath. When is the last time you heard that sung about?

  23. Well…here are the songs “Too Tired to Fall for That” and “Dog The Nine” by the Christian Rock Band BRIDE. They are not theologically perfect nor are they appropriate for corporate. But some contemporary folks are making the effot.
    Rev. Paul

    If you live in the eternal now you’re a ball in hand (James 4:14 Psalms 102:3)
    Never believed in luck a benefactor of the damned (Mark 16:16)
    Lost your rhythm and your stealing’ fire breather bringing smoke (Psalms 52:3)
    Whose got the church key more of that Claymore dope?

    You wouldn’t go decafe you said Jesus was a laugh (Matthew 27:22 Romans8:2)
    Now whose is that in the body? (Proverbs 1:10)
    In the neighborhood you thought about repenting (Matthew 22:19)
    But you’ rather take from them be the one whose given (Mark 14:11)

    You better know the house rules to finish in this life (Hosea 4:6 Acts 20:24)
    Cause you’ll learn the difference if you Dog the Nine
    “I can not seem to say what I want to relate, but by His power I will say
    The picture of what he wants to portrait wants me by Hid Spirit to associate
    (2 Corinthians 5:18-19, Romans 1:36, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:16, 1 John 2:2)

    The warehouse getting smaller skitzing played yourself (2 Timothy 4:3)
    Versace on your back sideways and ill (Ezekiel 18:4)
    You were left behind you weren’t watching’ you were sleeping (Mark 13:36 Luke 22:46)
    Now your mother’s squatted down alone and she’s weeping.

    You might not think its phat to apply the cross (Titus 1:1)
    The blood of Christ was shed to save your soul (Ephesians 1:7 Colossians 1:14)
    It’s all about the sin that you’re compiling (Hosea 7:2)
    Cast salt into your violence stop freestyling (Romans 3:23)

    You got the right to remain silent or freedom to speak your peace (1 Thessalonians 3:8)
    Straight up with the truth I give you liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17 Galatians 5:1)
    Why you wanna live out of bounds with a riot in your veins
    Hoodlum can’t find no peace only trauma in the grave (Amos 9:2)

    You need a designated driver for your hostility
    Spiritual habitation for your responsibility
    Effectual fervent prayer touches the throne of God
    Your self inflicted mass suicide die with the mob (Psalms 55:23)


    The agonies will come after you been lit up
    The All Stars amped out bender got corrupt (2 Peter 2:19)
    Behind the eight ball nothing but flimm flamm
    You been hawged and your souls been damned
    (1 Thessalonians Chapter 5:7-8 Romans Chapter 13:13 Matthew 24:49-51)

    Shot out to the curb with no place to go
    Drink plenty of water and best walk slow (Isaiah 1:30)
    Started as ice cream then a joy ride
    You can’t stop coasting cause vanity is high (2 Timothy 3:4)

    Too tired to fall for that
    Hate them with a perfect hatred
    (Psalms 139:22)

    Plexin and panic oppression and pride (Proverbs 16:19 Psalm 73:6)
    Fear and a snare hell has eyes (Luke 21:35 2 Timothy 2:26)
    Gnaw on the bones Fata Morgana (Matthew 23:27)
    How’d you get so far from the garden? (John 18:1)

    Duckets out the window ends on the street (Acts 8:20 1 Timothy 6:10)
    And you medicate intravenously (Proverbs 5:22 Romans 6:16)
    Profit is worshiped smells like stale ghost
    Forgiveness is unnatural with legal loopholes (Matthew 6:15)

    Out there bad count the dead (Matthew 13:48)
    Died with their mouth wide open (Matthew 7:13)
    Started with a gateway you’ve been had (Matthew 24:40)
    At Jesus Second Coming (Luke 21:34, Philippians 3:21 Revelation 22:12)

    When there’s no one left to pardon your sins (2 Kings 24:4 Jeremiah 5:7)
    The wicked are estranged from the womb (Psalms 58:3)
    Will you still be standing in your disease? (Psalms 41:8 Acts 4:14)
    Are you ready to face the Doom? (Deuteronomy 32:24 Psalms 35:8)

  24. Like I said, “Judas hanged himself. Go and do likewise.” You’ve got to be kidding me????

  25. you asked about songs proclaiming God’s wrath.
    I presented you with an example.
    Rev. Paul

  26. I like what R.C. Sproul has done at St. Andrew’s Chapel in Orlando. He has established a School of Music, lessons, choirs, etc., not just for the public, but many from the school are involved in the divine worship. The Pipe Organ “rocks” along with the orchestra. One crosses from the secular to the sacred during those services.
    Am singing this one with my MP 1662 BCP service.
    Praise the Lord, God’s glories show, Alleluia!
    Saints within God’s courts below, Alleluia!
    Angels round the throne above, Alleluia!
    All that see and share God’s love, Alleluia!

    Earth to Heaven and Heaven to earth, Alleluia!
    Tell the wonders, sing God’s worth, Alleluia!
    Age to age and shore to shore, Alleluia!
    Praise God, praise forevermore! Alleluia!

    Praise the Lord, great mercies trace, Alleluia!
    Praise His providence and grace, Alleluia!
    All that God for us has done, Alleluia!
    All God sends us through the Son. Alleluia!

    Strings and voices, hands and hearts, Alleluia!
    In the concert bear your parts, Alleluia!
    All that breathe, your Lord adore, Alleluia!
    Praise Him, praise Him evermore!

  27. I have drawn my own conclusion as to the question, “Dare We Hope?” as raised in another blog. “Dare I Hope?” The answer is “No.” I will not be invested or involved with any body that is not Protestant and Reformed. That means “Calvinistic.” The ACNA is not, will never be, and cannot be Protestant and Reformed. Here’s an article that draws my answer to the question to a close. Anglican leadership is woefully short on the Reformation. As to music, the same, since it impossible to weigh the theologies in the modern period of theological levity, toleration of weakness, episcopal ignorance, and other maladies. Perhaps the Nashevillians will compose lyrics from Calvin’s Institutes. I do not want to blog anymore on this subject. I’ll read the posts, but not interested in participating in the theological declensions of our period. Here’s an excellent book on Reformed and Calvinistic theology of the Elizabethan period.
    From Cortlandt Van Resnealear, Bishop Doane versus Bishop M’Illvaine, pp.59-61. The caps and italics are in the original. The conclusion of this section of the work is to show that both Calvin and Luther were revered in the Church of England. Further, it shows the profound Calvinism of the English Church until Laud, but even thereafter, Calvinism has been a mighty force in its midst, especially as an hermeneutical tool for the Articles. Well would have been the Anglican Church had they continued to use Jean Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion as the foundational systematic theology textbook. There is no reason why this could not be recovered in our times. As Ken noted from Bishop John Jewel, the English Reformers rejoiced in their Lutheran and, predominantly, Calvinistic heritages. If you read the Tractarian and modern AC literature, you will hear anti-Lutheranism and anti-Calvinism. We lament the REC’s declension and failure to be true to her Protestant and Reformed heritage. Here’s Van Resnealear:
    “As to CALVIN, his influence upon the theology, and even the Liturgy, of the Church of England was perhaps greater than that of Luther—certainly it was very extensive. The first Liturgy under King Edward, containing a number of things at variance with the opinions of the Continental Reformers, Calvin wrote to Somerset, the Lord Protector, objecting to prayers for the dead, chrism, and extreme unction,–which were accordingly expunged at the revision of the Liturgy in 1551. Even Heylin, a High Churchman of the strictest sort, admits: `Here the business might have rested [without being revised] if Calvin’s pragmatic spirit had not interposed.’ `The first Liturgy, being disliked by Calvin, was brought under revision. This was done to give satisfaction to Calvin’s cavils.’ And again, says Heylin: `The great business of this year was the taking down of Altars by public authority; the principle motive whereunto was in the first place, the opinion of some dislikes, which had been taken by Calvin against the first Liturgy.’ So high was Calvin in King Edward’s favor, that Archbishop Cranmer wrote to him, saying that he not do anything more profitable than to write often to the King. Indeed no writer speaks disrespectfully of Calvin, until the rise of Arminianism 60 or 70 years after his death. Inasmuch as Calvin’s Form of Church government, differed from that of England, the ground of respect entertained for him must have been his doctrine. Certainly the great body of our early Reformers was predestinarian. The martyrs, Tyndal, Barnes, Patrick Hamilton, John Rogers, Bradford, &c. were all predestinarians in doctrine. So were Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, Hooper, Bucer, Martyr, &c. The 39 Articles were drawn up by men who very evidently professed Calvin’s doctrine. Bishop Burnet, who was himself an Arminian, say (on the 17th Article): `It is not to be denied but that the Article seems to be framed according to St. Austin’s doctrine. It is very probable that those who penned it meant the decree to be absolute. The Calvinists have less occasion for scruple [than Arminians;] since the Article does seem more plainly to favor them. The three cautions, that are added to it, do likewise intimate that St. Austin’s doctrine was designed to be settled by the Article.’ P.226. If any doubt existed as to the theology of those who framed the Article, it would be dissipated by reading Nowell’s Catechism, a thoroughly Calvinist production, which was sanctioned by the same Convocation that decided on the Articles, and which [according to Bishop M’Illvaine, p.473] `may be received as a most authentic vouches of the doctrines of the Church, as understood in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.’ Heylin himself admits that `it was safer for any man in those times to have been looked upon as a heathen and publican than an anti-Calvinist.’ Parker, Grindal, Whitgift, the three Archbishops of Canterbury during the reign of Elizabeth, were all Calvinists. The celebrated LAMBETH ARTICLES put forth by Whitgift, were rooted and grounded on Scriptural Calvinism; and `wherever occasion offered, Whitgift labored to countenance his own writings by those of Calvin; and especially out of Calvin’s Institutes, yielding him the title of famous and learn man.’ Strype’s Whitgift, p.583. This Archbishop of Canterbury boldly says of the Calvinistic Lambeth Articles, `I know them to be sound doctrine and uniformly professed in the Church of England and agreeable to the Articles of Religion established by authority.” P.462. Under James 1, who was himself a Calvinist, the Church of England continued to adhere to the principles of the Reformers; and the divines who represented her at the Synod of Dort were Calvinists. Laud, however, at this time began to broach Arminianism; but even in the following reign of Charles I, the great majority of the clergy had not swerved from the Articles. Every Archbishop of Canterbury, up to Laud, was a Calvinist; the Puritans and their supporters had still a large majority in Parliament; and the Court faction of Arminians was very inconsiderable in numbers. An Arminian clergyman was refused his degree at Cambridge as late as the 10th year of Charles 1. Oxford also continued to teach the doctrines of the Reformation. Indeed the Universities taught Calvinism from the days of Elizabeth until the civil wars. Heylin says: `It cannot be denied but that, by the error of those times, the reputation Calvin had attained to in both Universities, and the extreme diligence of his followers, there was a general tendency unto his opinions.’ He also adds that `Calvin’s Book of institutes was, for the most part, the foundation upon which the young divines of those times did build their studies.’ Heylin Hist.627-7. Even after the Restoration, under Charles II, BISHOP SANDERSON (who wrote the Preface to the English Prayer Book) says `Calvin’s Institutes were recommended to me, as indeed they were generally to all young scholars in those times, as the best and perfectest system of divinity and the fittest to be laid as the groundwork of that profession. And indeed my expectation was not at all deceived, in the reading of those Institutes.’ In latter years, we do not doubt that Arminianism became the prevailing religion of the divines of the established Church….Dr. South, also, in allusion to Bishop Burnet’s principle interpretation of the 39 Articles, which opened the door not only to the Arminians but to Arians and others, declared that the prelate had given the Articles `forty stripes save one.’ Notwithstanding the general decline into Arminianism which has taken place since the Restoration, a large number of the most pious and learned divines in the Episcopal Church, both in England and American, revere the name of Calvin as a great theologian and noble Reformer.
    Such, being the influence of LUTHER and CALVIN upon the Reformation in England, (as well as upon the revival of religion on the Continent) is it not singular that some Christian men and Church should be found in the 19th century willing to unite with Papists in reviling their character, depreciating their services and disowning their Churches?

  28. Heavy metal worship? Please. Look, I came out of the rock n roll, heavy metal thing years ago. It’s stupid to say that being like a rocker is going to convert anyone. What converts the soul is God’s word, not wallowing in the mud with the heathen.

    Time for the boys to become men. Learn theology, shed their puerilities, abandon their feckless objections, humble themselves and read widely and discerningly. That won’t be happening with the Nasheville or yappaphilic communities, narcissistic as they are. Again, given me well-trained congregants, a good pipe organ, and manly laymen with a solid theology. The days of baby bottles are over. Grow up.
    All people that on earth do dwell,
    Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
    Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
    Come ye before Him and rejoice.
    The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
    Without our aid He did us make;
    We are His folk, He doth us feed,
    And for His sheep He doth us take.
    O enter then His gates with praise;
    Approach with joy His courts unto;
    Praise, laud, and bless His Name always,
    For it is seemly so to do.
    For why? the Lord our God is good;
    His mercy is for ever sure;
    His truth at all times firmly stood,
    And shall from age to age endure.
    To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
    The God Whom Heaven and earth adore,
    From men and from the angel host
    Be praise and glory evermore.

  30. Charlie,
    You inquired about Christian songs that speak about wrath or judgment. I gave you two examples with the clarfication that they were not appropriate for worship. Only individual edification (if you like that music). I wouldnt want heavy metal worship either. you asked about a theme in contemporary music..I provided you wiht one. That was it.
    Rev. Paul

  31. Phil
    That is somewhat classic for you to give a final shot with subtle insults and then bow out of the discussion after shooting flaming arrows.
    You say you are Protestant and Reformed “that means Calvinist”
    I simply say Protestant and Reformed mean Anglican, Lutheran, and Calvinist. I wish to God you were more Lutheran in your theology. Perhaps it might make you more gentle with folks.
    It would be a pleasant change if your ideas of sacraments and worship were more influenced by Luther than Andreas Bodenheim von Karlstadt. I
    And for your remarks about boys becoming men….and yappaphilic communities…and the additional flexing and rooster strutting you like to do…let me know how that is working for you at the AMIA church you attend.
    Rev. Paul

  32. The term “Reformed” means Calvinist by all accounts. To use the word otherwise is to hijack the common and plan meaning and just use is disingenous and dissimulating. This is just another sleight of hand tactic used by people who wish to deceive. The term “Protestant” is more general. If you wish to call yourself a Protestant, that’s fine. But don’t lie by misusing a term that in common usage refers to 5 point Canons of Dort Calvinism.

    I get upset when people deliberately use ambiguous terms to mislead. My pastor said he was a “Calvinist” once. I later learned he’s actually an Amyraldian. I straightened him out on that.

    It is never a good idea to turn to car salesman tactics meant to sell yourself as something you’re not. Why not just be honest and upfront instead of using the Anglo-Catholic approach whereby terms don’t mean what they seem? It’s a little bit like Alice in Wonderland, isn’t it????

    • Charlie,
      As you well know, the Reformed churches included other prominent theologians beside Calvin and Beza. John Bullinger had a strong influence upon the development of Reformed theology in the Church of England, much greater than that of Calvin. Bullinger cannot be dismissed as just “Protestant.” Calvinism may have become the prevailing school of thought in Reformed theology by the seventeenth century but it was not the only school of thought in Reformed theology. I keep running into posters on other web sites who equate Reformed with Presbyterian yet the Reformed Church of England had an episcopal polity and Reformed Puritans of New England had a congregationalist polity. The term “Reformed” is broader than “Calvanist” albeit Calvinism did come to dominate Reformed theology that it is easy to confuse the two. Historically “Reformed” refers to the form of Protestantism that prevailed in Bohemia, Holland, parts of Germany, Great Britain, parts of France, Scotland, and Switzerland during the sixteenth and seventeenth century, as opposed to the Ababaptist sectarianism, Luthernism, and Roman Catholicism. Some Calvinists might like to appropriate the term “Reformed” exclusively for Calvinism but they are from the perspective of the history of Protestant theology indulging in historical revisionism.

  33. plain meaning

  34. meaning plain

  35. Charlie
    This is why many Lutherans get annoyed with Calvinists try to own and monopolize the word that is really based in the founder of their church-Martin Luther.
    Reformed-Luther….to say that Puritanism “owns” the title reformed is to rewrite history.
    As the late Ted Letis told me once, “Everything Calvin learned that was worthwhile he learned from a German Monk named Martin Luther.”
    Rev. Paul

  36. Robin
    I am checking into those music links you sent. The one from Life Way Woirship is difficult to understand which resource is good for corporate worship.
    Rev. Paul

  37. Lutherans are Protestants. They are Lutherans. The term “Reformed” always has stood for Calvinist. What’s wrong with calling yourself what you are? Obviously, you’re a Lutheran who follows Melanchthon’s theology as well as the parts of Luther which you agree with.

    Luther himself did not hesitate to teach both predestination and reprobation in his Bondage of the Will.


  38. Calvin was a humanist. Of course he followed after Luther but Luther’s mind did not work systematically and Luther never produced anything like Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. The fact that Lutherans take exception to the Institutes shows in fact that Calvin is an original thinker and well versed in the church fathers, Scripture, and in Augustinian theology.

    Luther laid a foundation. Calvin developed the foundation further. And Calvin was not afraid to see the obvious: predestination and election are in God’s hands. Thus, reprobation is also in God’s hands. Luther himself realized this in his diatribe against Erasmus.

  39. Charlie
    My premise is “reformed” originally meant those who sought to reform the church. This was first Luther….others followed (as far as the 15th century goes).
    The fact that Calvinists sought to dominate the word does not change this fact.
    And I am Anglican…which has influences from the Lutheran and Calvinist tradition.
    Rev. Paul

  40. I beg to differ once again. The term “Reformed” does not apply to Lutheranism. “Reformed” does include the Swiss Reformed, i.e., Bullinger, Zwingli, etc. However, these men are far from “Lutheran” on the sacraments and I would dare to say on the issues of predestination and election and reprobation as well. Bullinger does not state things as precisely as Calvin but his views are very similar to Calvin’s views. The 2nd Helvetic Confession was written by Bullinger:

    Secondly, the 39 Articles clearly emphasize a congregational aspect in spite of the obvious episcopal polity. Article XIX clearly says that the “visible” church is a “congregation”:

    Article XIX
    Of the Church
    The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred: so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith.

    Thus, to hijack the term “Reformed” and apply it to Lutheranism is misguided since the Lutherans could not even subscribe to the Consensus Tigerinus as did the Calvinists and the Zwinglians. Reformed more broadly applies to the Swiss and Geneva branches of Reformed theology and to the more Puritan aspects of Anglicanism. However, since Anglicanism has very little “Reformed” emphasis anymore, this too is misleading.

    I find it amusing that compromisers wish to claim the term “Reformed” when most in the Anglican communion have no commitment at all to the Canons of Dort or any other general “Reformed” statement of faith.

    While the 39 Articles represent Calvinistic theology, the Anglican church up to the time of Cranmer and shortly thereafter remained Calvinistic. However, it quickly degenerated to the high churchmen and was lost. Anglicanism needs folks who are unwilling to sacrifice truth for the sake of getting along with compromisers.

    The term “Reformed” does not necessarily reflect polity in ecclesiology BUT the 39 Articles are clearly “Reformed” in ecclesiology and Article XIX shows this clearly. It’s also repeated in the Westminster Confession.

    Only a sovereign God can open the eyes of the blind.

    Soli Deo Gloria

  41. The fact that you’re “Anglican” shows why you’re confused, Paul. Anglicans have a reputation for ambiguity and lack of precision as if this were somehow advantageous.

    I’m Reformed and Evangelical first. Anglicanism is a secondary commitment.

  42. Charlie,
    First…>I spent years in the “reformed” camp. As a recovering calvinist I am aware of the tendency to minimize the Reformed characteristics of the other Protestant branches. As a former Calvinist I know the elitist elect thinking that sneers at other Protestant boides with the mumbling “They have not reformed enough.” However, the Protestant Reformation was spearheaded by Luther. He is the father of reformation theology and the English church and the Genevan church benefit from his work.

    As to your “I’m Reformed and Evangelical first” Anglicanism is a secondary commitment.
    My guess from your tone towards others is the only commitment you have is to your own will and ego and pride.
    Rev. Paul

  43. Rev. Paul: Yes, retiring from the discussion on “music wars.” It is outside my orbit of interest and skill. But am “not” retiring from reading “nor” association with learners. This may be of interest to the readers, the Calvinist, Augustus Toplady.
    The Works of Augustus Toplady, Vicar of Broad Hembury, Devon, an English divine and author of “Rock of Ages.” His corpus is freely available and downloadable as a pdf.file
    This quote, commenting on his times, from the Rev. Mr. Augustus Toplady is noted from Cortlandt Van Resnealear, One Faith–Bishop Doane versus Bishop M’Illvaine–Oxford Divinity, (Burlington, NJ: J.L. Powell, 1843), page 65.

    “Where shall we stop? We have already forsook the good old path trod by Christ and the Apostles: paths which our Reformers also trod, our martyrs, our bishops, our universities, and the whole of this Protestant, i.e. of this once Calvinistic nation. Our Liturgy, our Articles and Homilies, it is true, still keep possession of our Church walls; but we pray, we subscribe, we assent one way; we believe, we preach, we write another. In the desk, we are verbal Calvinists; but no sooner do we ascend a few steps above the desk [into the pulpit] than we forget the grave character in which we appeared below, and tag the performance with a few minutes of entertainment complied form the fragments bequeathed to us by Pelagius and Arminius; not to say by Arius, Socinus, and others worse than they….IS THERE A SINGLE HERESY, THAT EVERY ANNOYED THE CHRISTIAN WORLD, WHICH HAS NOT FOR ITS PRESENT PARTISANS AMONGST THOSE WHO PROFESS CONFORMITY TO THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND!” Pg. 275. [PV, caps in original]
    Back to a question among questions, who–at the national level–is discussing the context, history and exegesis of the English Reformers and their approach to the BCPs, Articles and Formularies? We are, but who else? Moreover, who is discussing “Reformed theology” in terms of lyrics?

  44. CyberBrethren-A Lutheran Blog: Happy 324th Birthday Kantor Bach! Several YouTube videos at that link worth seeing and hearing. CyberBrethren is the blog of Paul McCain of Concordia Publishing House (CPH).
    Also, recommending the purchase of Luther’s corpus via CPH CD-Rome, the American Edition (58 volumes), not the German Weimar edition. All Confessional Protestants ought read these volumes. Tractarianizers, Anglo-Catholics, and those with tolerances in that direction, often dismiss Luther, especially in their training of clerics.
    Rev. Paul, if you are Lutheran on the sacraments, why don’t you join the LCMS Church? It is solidly Confessional, often has high churchmanship (vestments, &c.), and rock-solid scholarship.
    However, they would probably require you to get a graduate education in theology, if not mistaken, at least the “training wheels” degree, the MDiv. And don’t take that personally, MDiv as a beginnger degree, 90 hours, is just that. I have several good LCMS and WELS friends here in town.

  45. Phil
    I am Protestant Anglican in my theology and believe in Episcopacy is biblical, apostolic, and the proper form or church govt.
    Also, I can not accept, at this time, the closed communion of Lutheranism. I love the fact that contemporary protestant Anglicans accept baptized Trinitarian believers at the communion rail regardless of their brand of Protestantism.
    when I grew weary of the Calvinist tradition I spoke with Ted and shared with him my spiritual and emotional exhaustion. He was the one that suggested I consider the Anglican tradition and of course suggested I read Dean Burgon’s other works (not just his textual work) along with Cranmer, Hooker, etc.
    I was “hooked”.
    My undergrad had some OT, NT, Christian Ed,homiletics, etc. As far as seminary…my Master’s degree was 69 credit hours and it is Counseling and Marriage and Family Therpay. It got me two state licenses and I believe it prepared me for ministry/pastoral work in a way seminary couldn’t (in my opinion).
    I am debating whether I should pursue a Doctorate in Counseling or Psychology or get a Master’s in pastoral theology.

    I really need help with the music though. I have no organist or piano player.
    Rev. Paul

  46. Phil:

    I am Protestant Anglican in my theology and believe in Episcopacy is biblical, apostolic,
    PV: I view episcopacy as ancient and desireable, demonstrable historically, though, not necessarily biblical as a mark of the church and not necessarily deducible from Scripture, e.g the Synod of Jerusalem, Acts 15. A “good to have” if the Bishop is “good to have.” A “bad to have” if he useless, clueless and obstructionistic. I think “term limits’ needs to be considered. After watching history, this may have merit to keep the barons, feudal Chieftains, at bay. Episcopacy, preferred, desired yes, ancient and deireable, yes, but not required for a mark of a true church. The OHC Churchmen and “Successionist men” will chide me on it. Otherwise, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Reformed Baptist Churchmen would be Samarianised, excluded, and without valid sacraments or the ministry of the Word. High Churchmen “samarianised” these Churchmen. Very notably, the Tractarians did, undoubtedly. The English Reformers did not do that. I can’t go there. You may be interested in OHC John Blunt’s Church History where he argues episcopacy jure divino from the earliest days. Interesting connections made by him but–not yet—convincing. He argues with an OHC agenda rather than from “within” the early period itself, the ever fatal flaw of reading history—reading it with one’s own lenses rather than from “within”.
    Also, I can not accept, at this time, the closed communion of Lutheranism.
    PV: I’ve taken communion at the local LCMS Church and the Rector of Calvary LCMS Church, Jacksonville, NC, a retired US and USMC Chaplain, knows me, was a fellow classmate at the Navy War College, Newport, RI, knows my Calvinistic, Reformed and Anglican credentials, yet he communes me without a word said. It is sorta, “Nuff said, let’s not talk about it.” I don’t make it an issue either. Nor does he. Perhaps he is breaking LCMS law. I suspect he is. This much, while disagreeing with him on sacramentology—and little else, very little else—he is my beloved brother in Christ. As a friend, fellow Warrior, fellow Chaplain, fellow classmate at the USN/USMC War College, as a fellow interlocuter, as a colleague to subsequent commands, we understand each other. In his church, there are no bowings, genuflections, crossings, &c, although I know that exists in the LCMS. His fidelity to the Reformation Gospel is wonderful and unquestioned.
    I love the fact that contemporary protestant Anglicans accept baptized Trinitarian believers at the communion rail regardless of their brand of Protestantism.
    PV: What is “contemporary protestant Anglicans….?”
    Aside from TPEC and AOC, where is it? That perhaps should be deferred for another blog by Robin. In fact, perhaps Robin will blog about “Contemporary Protestant Anglicans.”
    Charity has wisely been the spirit of Anglicanism, often to its own injury. It gave way to cypto-Romeries, Socianism, Arianism, Deism and Rationalism in it darker hours. It surely repressed Calvinism under Master Laud, the dreamer.
    As to charity to which you allude Paul, as Reformed Episcopalians said in their revised BCP from their better years when they were not Tractarian-tolerant, “All those who love our divine and exalted Lord are affectionately invited to this, our Lord’s Table…” This was charity at its best; it was kindness and love to all of differing persuasion; I had Romanists at my rail. It was quite wide and quite loving. As an ordained REC minister, I said this phrase above—often—in the years of service.
    The 28 BCP lacks it, lamentably, but the 1873 BCP has it, recognising other Christians to the Table.
    (The 1928 BCP is another issue that Robin has helpfully addressed at various points here.)
    Also, REC Churchmen willing to co-celebate at the Table with other Protestant Churchmen, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist in the 1870’s…recognising the differing theo-problems, yet, in essentials, not willing to samaranise others.
    In the 1870’s, the PECUSA High Churchmen in NYC forbad such charity and threw fits about Bishop Cummins’s charity. Anglo-Tractarian SSC-Churchmen, like Iker in TX, still are exclusivistic, but that’s another story.
    when I grew weary of the Calvinist tradition I spoke with Ted and shared with him my spiritual and emotional exhaustion.
    PV: Yet, what was your “exhaustion” Paul? A few obnoxious Reformed Churchmen huffing about themselves? What is that? What is this? I concede there are some very obnoxious Calvinists out there, as there are some very obnoxious–indeed obnoxious–AC’s, and some very obnoxious Baptists, Romanists, and Lutherans. In my experience, “theonimists” were an exceedingly obnoxious breed. I’ve seen it in all the communions across three decades and having served with Churchmen of every stripe. The really “exhausted ones” were: Luther in the cold, damp, restrictive, and uninviting Wartburg Castle translating Scriptures for 19 months (a fugitive from the Emperor and the Anti-Christ in Rome). Paul or anyone here, anybody suffer like Luther? Or, the British ex-pat Tyndale on the Continent struggling in adversity for a living but also to translate the Scriptures into English after losing much of his work in a ship that sunk at sea. Anyone have their life’s work sink at sea? Anyone hear die at the stake at Vilvroodes, Low Countries, 1537ish, praying for the brutish, arrogant and fatuous King of England, Henry VIII? What is this impoverished suffering of which you speak, Paul? Some obnoxious American Reformed Churchman? Please.
    That’s suffering, what Luther and Tyndale suffered.
    What have any of us suffered compared to these men?
    Or, Calvin a French-expapt, a futitive from his homeland for decades? Before speaking of your “anti-Calvinistic” exhaustion, Paul, proceed contextually and with history in view, lest you be dismissed as a whiner. Your minor experiences should be heard, but not as a measure or rule for suffering.
    Or the Marian exiles to the Continent, at Frankfort, Zurich, Basel, or Geneva, vacation centres for the future Elizabethan bishops? The names and the list is long. Have you or I, or any of us in this forum, suffered like these Warriors?
    What is this about “exhaustion?”
    Dare we go on to mention the Martyrs who sealed the Gospel with blood like Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, Hooper, Rogers, Philipott, or hundreds of others?
    What is this “spiritual and emotional exhaustion” of which you speak? You’re spiritual and emotional exhaustion is a mere puff–an empty vagary–compared to these warriors. You suffered, whatever that was from some vague body of arrogant Calvinists, but none of us suffered compared to these men. Even if granted, that does not rise to the exegetical and theological questions implicit and important to Calvinism.
    We’ve hardly risen to the level of emotional and spiritual exhaustion, myself included. What? Did you ever lose your pension? Your income? Did you lose your peronal dignity? Were you ever cast out of a church? Were you ever told by any authority in power over you what you could and what you could not say? Were you ever stripped of your degrees or rank? Did you ever suffer calmunies for your faith and convictions? Did you ever suffer lies about your person? Did you ever suffer lies about your family?
    Did you, Paul, ever feel like your had no control over your future due to repressions? Did you ever have the police-force after you, to wit, like the Reformers had? Connections to your family, so, they could not eat? Paul, on my view, you’re position constitutes whining and narcissism. Just give it up and we’ll call it a day.
    You’ve had enough social and psychological training to get the point and I will leave it at that. I can tell you of personal persecutions on my end from Romery—a story for another day. It was in that valley of suffering and anti-Christ persecutions that I read with avidity the Reformers.
    As to Calvinism, I’ve read the Institutes yearly over the last 35-years, since age 20. 55 now. Time for another re-tour this year. I never fail to be edified by the Magister. Some isolated American Churchmen may have exhausted you, but they are not benchmarks of the biblical truth nor is your experience a benchmark for analysis of truth. I’ve met some rude Calvinistic theonomists…horrible…but they didn’t deter me from the Bible, e.g. Romans.
    While you mention Dr. Letis, Ted never erred in recommending the Institutes of the Christian Religion. Routinely, he commended it. It’s better than the “judicious Hooker” on my view, far better.\
    Decisively to Lutherans in my forum, Ted posted. Also, Bondage of the Will Ted took no prisoners. Ted and I conversed often over the phone and by daily email, repeat daily, for a few years…daily emails. I emailed him a textual question from the Greek on Romans 1.7-8 on Friday (two years ago? three years ago? Probably four years ago?It was Jun 24 though for sure). No answer by Saturday. My radar was alerted. Then Saturday, nothing. Highly unusual. I knew something was up by Saturday night, awaiting a response. Then Sunday, without a response from Dr. Letis, an email from another friend about his car wreck on the Friday night past, as posted in the Atlanta Constitution. All of us were stunned. Ted had been dead while on Friday night, with a pending email Friday morning, yet a notice that Sunday afternoon.
    I still await the day of reunion with this Lutheran-Calvinistic bulldog who had interactions with Anglicanism, including the Church of England cont’. a 1662-BCP group.
    Ted, on that Friday night, had been playing in a blues band, true to form, routinely, which he had done routinely in Scotland as well….on Friday night. Upon return to home, Ted turned too early to the left into on-coming traffic and was hit head-on. DOA. For other readers, Ted had PhD from Edinburgh, was a top drawer textual critic and church historian, though not a NT, OT, or systematics doctor. While scholarly in 3-4 areas, it was limited to textual criticism. But he could roll in several fields too. His view of the sacraments was simple—Zwingli, Cranmer, Calvin and Luther all had valid arguments, end of argument. On predestination, election, and justification, he was not relenting…he was a Romans 9-man and told Lutheran interlocuters to accept Paul, end of that argument too. In all cases, Paul trumps us all, including Ted.
    He was the one that suggested I consider the Anglican tradition and of course suggested I read Dean Burgon’s other works (not just his textual work) along with Cranmer, Hooker, etc.
    PV: I have the OHC Dean Burgon here and recommend it at:
    Not sure of Burgon’s view of the false Gospelling Tractarians, a movement contemporaneous with his times.
    My undergrad had some OT, NT, Christian Ed, homiletics, etc. As far as seminary…my Master’s degree was 69 credit hours and it is Counseling and Marriage and Family Therpay.
    PV: You are better suited, given your training, to that field, counselling, rather than comments historically. However, what is preaching, but “public counselling?” But, on the other hand, what is preaching without theological, exegetical and historical roots? Join me, Paul, as time affords you, in downloading and reading the English Reformers vis a vis Am doing a re-tour of all of Calvin’s works. Did that years ago, in addition to the Institutues. Time for a re-tour. I am still working through the Parker Soc set of English Reformers (with other detours that have developed.) While I’ve read several of Luther’s hard copy works, i have the 58-vol AE set arriving in the next few business days. Prior to death, I wish to read the 58 volumes of the German Magister. For everyone, let us read widely before asserting much.
    It got me two state licenses and I believe it prepared me for ministry/pastoral work in a way seminary couldn’t (in my opinion).
    PV: No doubt about that. The three seminaries I attended had little interest in counselling or family matters. Such licensures bring distinct advantages to the ministry that are much needed. Therapy is needed, but it must have solid theological bases. Therapeutic training is not exegesis in the original languages, systematic theologies, or histories of the church. Preaching is “counselling” at the public level, but God help us if it is not Biblical. Nor historically conscious. Paul, press forward in your work. Let us all read widely in this forum and add/strengthen/encourage as needed. And encourage Paul in his considerations, as well as all of us in our theological inquiries.
    I am debating whether I should pursue a Doctorate in Counseling or Psychology or get a Master’s in pastoral theology.
    PV: Those fields are different than ecclesiastical history or systemic, or biblical theology. Yet, very important fields of inquiry. My view? Get the doctorate and recognize its limits to that field alone. Get the doctorate, become self-supporting; never allow congregations, laity, clergy, or bishops to control your income, EVER; be independent and free. Very important, imho. Do not allow a church to control your income or pension. My father, a pastor and I am a son of the manse, a Presyterian, straight-up, honest, and straight-shootin’ and the best Christian, aside from Dr. Herter at RES. I said, “Dad, did you ever feel constrained to pull back due to popularity, in other words, to accomodate the message?” He said (in essence), “Yes, lad, felt that at various points, a strong temptation, although I think I averted it. I think many clergymen have done that, dilution of the message, for the sake of peace rather than truth. For fear of the public response. Let us consider Machen…” Paul, I grew up on Machen stories. Now, there is a man who suffered for his faith at Princeton. As to education, perhaps a PhD to follow in church history after a doctorate in counselling? My counsel is to have an independent income—indepentent of any church—so you can feed your family, be free, be able to research and read, and be able to read, write and lead without interference from–regrettably–a raft of ignorant bishops afraid to be public, afraid to lead, and, generally, who are worthless—often sending #2 or #3 man into the fight to argue their positions.
    I really need help with the music though. I have no organist or piano player.
    PV: I play pianos, organs and pipe organs with 9 years of private study. Am retired from it, although use the Armed Forces hymnal to accompany my poor playing and very poor singing in connection with MP-EP 1662 daily services. Hence, I retire from the “musical debate” here as an incompetent on this issue. My wife, a professional musician, has 6-7 pianos scattered through the palace here. She is a professional. She plays the pipes at St. Peter’s TEC, a local congregation. As to theology and musical lyrics, let all hands continue to read widely. Phil
    Back to some good music in deference to those who really suffered.
    For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
    Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
    Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!
    Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
    Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
    Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
    Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
    And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

    And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
    Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
    And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
    Alleluia, Alleluia!

  47. For those who love “titles” like Reverend, is there any music about this? Perhaps we could have some music about those “who love their titles” like Reverend? Are there any lyrics about ACs and their love of titles? Oops, I guess this sounds like Karlstadt like one poster implied.
    A small note offered here to several other venues. Styrpe is a good read. Reformed too.
    Annals of the Reformation: Memorials of the Right Reverend Father in God Thomas Cranmer, Three Volumes. (1694) Available at:
    Cranmer and titles:
    Cranmer: “That, as God should be merciful in the day of judgment, he set not more by any title or style than he did by the paring of an apple of an apple, further than it should be to the setting forth God’s word and will.” His expression was, “The they were the successor of Diotrephes that affected glorious titles, styles, and pomps;” he professed, “he could have been willing that bishops should lay aside their lofty styles, and only write themselves the style of their offices, “The Apostles of Jesus Christ;” and wished heartily, that Christian conversation of the people were their letters and seals of their offices (as the Corinthian were to St. Paul, who told them, that they were his letters, and the signs of his apostleship(, and not paper, parchment, lead, or wax.”
    One of the neo-Ritualising-REC-bridges to acceptance, more widely, was the re-assertion of “titles.” Canons, Archdeacons, Rt. Reverend and other unfamiliar titles confronted an unknowing REC-constituency. “Father” was an unknown, but now, it would appear, by force, it was a matter of course. That caught my attention in the early 2000-period, a proliferation of and search for “titles” by many REC in leadership. On my view, it was a “sought after ticket” to acceptance in the larger world. ACs love the title “Father” for theological reasons, repression of the laity, &c. Bishop Morley, what do you think, since your read this forum? American Episcopalians did better when a mere “Mr.” or a mere “Rev.” in his black-gown sufficed; I speak not of RECs but of 19th century PECs. Even “Rev.,” on biblical grounds, is an over-extension, a mere human creation. I used to marvel at the mail to my father, “Rev.” Donald L. Veitch. He used to chuckle at it and tell me, “I am a sinner and am not a reverend. Jesus’ righteousness alone is my only claim to God.” As a human contrivance, tolerable, adiaphora, if employed by humble churchmen. Is it necessary? Asolutely no way. “Pastor” has a better biblical foundation, as the Lutheran, Presbyterian and Baptist Churchmen have done. So does “Elder.”
    Another reformation is needed amongst Anglicans, but it won’t be coming from within.

  48. For those who love “titles” like Reverend, is there any music about this? Perhaps we could have some music about those “who love their titles” like Reverend? Are there any lyrics about ACs and their love of titles? Oops, I guess this sounds like Karlstadt like one poster implied.
    A small note offered here to several other venues. Styrpe is a good read. Reformed too.
    Annals of the Reformation: Memorials of the Right Reverend Father in God Thomas Cranmer, Three Volumes. (1694) Available at:
    Cranmer and titles:
    Cranmer: “That, as God should be merciful in the day of judgment, he set not more by any title or style than he did by the paring of an apple of an apple, further than it should be to the setting forth God’s word and will.” His expression was, “The they were the successor of Diotrephes that affected glorious titles, styles, and pomps;” he professed, “he could have been willing that bishops should lay aside their lofty styles, and only write themselves the style of their offices, “The Apostles of Jesus Christ;” and wished heartily, that Christian conversation of the people were their letters and seals of their offices (as the Corinthian were to St. Paul, who told them, that they were his letters, and the signs of his apostleship(, and not paper, parchment, lead, or wax.”
    One of the neo-Ritualising-REC-bridges to acceptance, more widely, was the re-assertion of “titles.” Canons, Archdeacons, Rt. Reverend and other unfamiliar titles confronted an unknowing REC-constituency. “Father” was an unknown, but now, it would appear, by force, it was a matter of course. That caught my attention in the early 2000-period, a proliferation of and search for “titles” by many REC in leadership. On my view, it was a “sought after ticket” to acceptance in the larger world. ACs love the title “Father” for theological reasons, repression of the laity, &c. Bishop Morley, what do you think, since your read this forum? American Episcopalians did better when a mere “Mr.” or a mere “Rev.” in his black-gown sufficed; I speak not of RECs but of 19th century PECs. Even “Rev.,” on biblical grounds, is an over-extension, a mere human creation. I used to marvel at the mail to my father, “Rev.” Donald L. Veitch. He used to chuckle at it and tell me, “I am a sinner and am not a reverend. Jesus’ righteousness alone is my only claim to God.” As a human contrivance, tolerable, adiaphora, if employed by humble churchmen. Is it necessary? Asolutely no way. “Pastor” has a better biblical foundation, as the Lutheran, Presbyterian and Baptist Churchmen have done. So does “Elder.”
    Another reformation is needed amongst Anglicans, but it won’t be coming from within. Time for some music about the humbling of ignorant bishops and a call for them to proceed in sackcloth and ashes. Any lyrics for that?

  49. Here’s a great number and some lyrics for AC, TEC, REC Bishops and others, like traditionalists who cannot bear scrutiny of their practices or prayer books, e.g 1928, e.g. Morley. Hi Charles. And a good tune for those loving to be called “Rev.,” a worthless title if accompanied by pride, ego, will and absence of theological depth. Ooops, sounds like Andreas Karlstadt and sectarianism. BTW, I dislike the tune, but that is personal. The words aren’t bad. We look forward to many Bishops singing this.
    O that I could repent!
    O that I could believe!
    Thou by Thy voice the marble rent,
    Thou by Thy voice the marble rent,
    The rock in sunder cleave!
    Thou, by Thy two-edged sword,
    My soul and spirit part,
    Strike with the hammer of Thy Word,
    Strike with the hammer of Thy Word,
    And break my stubborn heart!
    Savior, and Prince of Peace,
    The double grace bestow;
    Unloose the bands of wickedness,
    Unloose the bands of wickedness,
    And let the captive go:
    Grant me my sins to feel,
    And then the load remove:
    Wound, and pour in, my wounds to heal,
    Wound, and pour in, my wounds to heal,
    The balm of pardoning love.
    For Thy own mercy’s sake
    The cursèd thing remove;
    And into Thy protection take
    And into Thy protection take
    The prisoner of Thy love:
    In every trying hour
    Stand by my feeble soul;
    And screen me from my nature’s power,
    And screen me from my nature’s power,
    Till Thou hast made me whole.
    This is Thy will, I know,
    That I should holy be,
    Should let my sin this moment go,
    Should let my sin this moment go,
    This moment turn to Thee:
    O might I now embrace
    Thy all-sufficient power;
    And never more to sin give place,
    And never more to sin give place,
    And never grieve Thee more!

  50. Here’s another one, goodly lyrics, rather poor tune, poor accompaniment, but but substantial lyrics for Bishops to learn prior to instruction. Hi Charles. Did you send Paul down to replace the Rev. Dr. Canon, your comms director? Lyrics for all of us. This much, His Majesty’s justice and non-mercy IS UPON Anglicanism, including the ACNA. I watch quietly, read quietly, and keep an healthy distance from those in that tradition, especially worshippers of that tradition.
    Before Thy throne, O God, we kneel;
    Give us a conscience quick to feel,
    A ready mind to understand
    The meaning of Thy chastening hand;
    Whate’er the pain and shame may be,
    Bring us, O Father, nearer Thee.
    Search out our hearts and make us true,
    Wishful to give to all their due;
    From love of pleasure, lust of gold,
    From sins which make the heart grow cold,
    Wean us and train us with Thy rod;
    Teach us to know our faults, O God.
    For sins of heedless word and deed,
    For pride ambitious to succeed;
    For crafty trade and subtle snare
    To catch the simple unaware;
    For lives bereft of purpose high,
    Forgive, forgive, O Lord, we cry.
    Let the fierce fires, which burn and try,
    Our inmost spirits purify:
    Consume the ill; purge out the shame;
    O God! be with us in the flame;
    A newborn people may we rise,
    More pure, more true, more nobly wise.

  51. Hi Charles Morley:

    Anderson said you read regularly. Was he wrong? He surely had many things wrong in another blog. Maybe so again.
    If not, hi. Look forward to your thoughtful posts, unless, Paul is your man in place of the repulsed Anderson.

  52. This one is also good for all ACNA/CANA?AMiA/REC/TPEC amd other Bishops or as Co-Equal Elders. Primes inter pares?
    When we hear of such, the laity may be moved to follow them in the way of the Gospel. Ooops, we’re Karlstadians…oh my word. At least Luther, like Calvin and Cranmer, led from out from. Especially Cranmer, who rightly stuck his wicked and offending hand into the flames for his cowardice and defection, while others, like Frith, Barnes, and Hamilton who deviated not.
    Alas! my God! my sins are great,
    My conscience doth upbraid me;
    And now I find that at my strait
    No man hath power to aid me.
    And fled I hence, in my despair,
    In some lone spot to hide me,
    My griefs would still be with me there,
    Thy hand still hold and guide me.
    Nay, Thee I seek—I merit naught,
    Yet pity and restore me;
    Be not Thy wrath, just God, my lot,
    Thy Son hath suffered for me.
    If pain and woe must follow sin,
    Then be my path still rougher,
    Here spare me not; if Heaven I win,
    On earth I gladly suffer.
    But curb my heart, forgive my guilt,
    Make Thou my patience firmer,
    For they must miss the good Thou wilt,
    Who at Thy teachings murmur.
    Then deal with me as seems Thee best,
    Thy grace will help me bear it,
    If but at last I see Thy rest,
    And with my Savior share it.

  53. Charles, Anderson told us u, as a Bishop, read here regularly. True or no? As a Bishop and contrary to your historic seclusion and yeah, infrequent comms, speak up. Not Anderson. Not the anti-Calvinst or recovering Calvinist, Moore, but you. We await the nuggets from your reluctant pen, in this blog, on music. On music, am odd man out. Teach us. Phil

  54. From:
    Charles, why not come down to HAN at and offer your public insights?

  55. Anderson was a real blow-out. Moore isn’t much better. Why aren’t you down here with answers for scrutiny?

  56. Anderson a blow out? Moore isn’t much better?
    Nice…real nice.

  57. Phil
    I thought we were chatting nicely.
    After reading I have to agree with a former Presbyterian pastor who said, “Some times we thank the Lord for those He doesn’t send to our churches or pulpits.”

  58. Sorry, Paul, but back-channel emails…but Morley appears to dispatch others to do his heavy-lifting and thought you might be one of them–as Anderson appeared to be doing in another forum. Are you down here at Morley’s bidding? Anderson was sniffing, by his own admission. He was “stirring the pot,” again his words. He was “ferretting” things out. It got nasty. He was told to put up or shut up. He opted for the latter.
    BTW, what happened with this attempted coup d’etat and Murray’s resignation? (That came out in the Anderson shoot-out.)Fortunately, I knew nothing about it till Anderson showed up shooting the town up. Still know nothing about it. The LORD indeed spares us, often, from clerks.
    Back to Walter Walsh on the Tractarians.

  59. I am not on any web site at my Bishop’s request.
    I thought some harsh things were said about him early on. Some of us took that hard. He is a gentle and kind man. A pastor’s pastor.
    I don’t do as much heavy lifting on the internet.
    Too much of it one on one with troubled individuals, families, and youth.
    Phil-I would like to ask you…I have asked before. I know you dont agree with much of the high church Protestant Anglicans. However, I have asked you before about Dean John William Burgon. A strong supporter of the Articles, opposed to Rome…but a strong Protestant. Why do you know give some dabs to Anglicans like him?

  60. I am not on any web site at my Bishop’s request.
    I thought some harsh things were said about him early on. Some of us took that hard. He is a gentle and kind man. A pastor’s pastor.
    I don’t do as much heavy lifting on the internet.
    Too much of it one on one with troubled individuals, families, and youth.
    Phil-I would like to ask you…I have asked before. I know you dont agree with much of the high church Protestant Anglicans. However, I have asked you before about Dean John William Burgon. A strong supporter of the Articles, opposed to Rome…but a strong Protestant. Why do you know give some dabs to Anglicans like him?
    Paul, again, as in the past, what is “high” to you? You’ve never answered that question, ever. I am fully aware of OHC Churchmen, supportive of the Articles, e.g. Burnet, but opposed to Rome. Burgon, I typically associate with textual issues rather than ecclesiological ones. I am aware of the High Church Bishops who opposed Tractarianism. But the definition remains elusive to me. Illumine us with your readings and an answer to my preliminary inquiry as to “What is High Churchmanship” to you.
    Your statement, Why do you know give some dabs to Anglicans like him” did not make sense to me.

  61. I only meant “dabs”…give credit to….meaning there are some High Church guys who had a high view of the church, etc who were not Romanists.
    That is all.

  62. You still have not answered my question, “What is an High Churchman?” True to the title of this blog about “clashing cymbals,” I hear some now, either to you Paul or to me. The question stands.

  63. They are characterized in the “Lives of 12 Good Men” By Burgon.

  64. Paul:
    I didn’t ask for Burgon’s view, but your’s. I again, as so many other times, repost my question–hopefully, helpfully to all here. And, contrary to the title of the blog, without cymbals clashing.

  65. And so there are no clashing cymbals of modernity or antiquity, let me interpose a grand hymn for the ages.
    Paul, the ball is on your side of the court. What is an “High Churchman” to you?

  66. I remember singing this in Toronto at a Scots Presbyterian service with my tactiturn, maternal grandfather (b. 1885-d.1987, that’s right). As a lad returning home (with his very strict, but quiet, Sabbatarian views), I asked him about this very hymn. There were no notes in the hymnal, just words. He told me it had been sung since he was a boy. His father was a Pastor. Knox College, Un. of Toronto. I note this hymn was written in the midst of the English crisis on Tracarianism, yet it got to the Presbyterians and Canadians.
    The Church’s one foundation
    Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
    She is His new creation
    By water and the Word.
    From heaven He came and sought her
    To be His holy bride;
    With His own blood He bought her
    And for her life He died.
    She is from every nation,
    Yet one o’er all the earth;
    Her charter of salvation,
    One Lord, one faith, one birth;
    One holy Name she blesses,
    Partakes one holy food,
    And to one hope she presses,
    With every grace endued.
    The Church shall never perish!
    Her dear Lord to defend,
    To guide, sustain, and cherish,
    Is with her to the end:
    Though there be those who hate her,
    And false sons in her pale,
    Against both foe or traitor
    She ever shall prevail.
    Though with a scornful wonder
    Men see her sore oppressed,
    By schisms rent asunder,
    By heresies distressed:
    Yet saints their watch are keeping,
    Their cry goes up, “How long?”
    And soon the night of weeping
    Shall be the morn of song!
    ’Mid toil and tribulation,
    And tumult of her war,
    She waits the consummation
    Of peace forevermore;
    Till, with the vision glorious,
    Her longing eyes are blest,
    And the great Church victorious
    Shall be the Church at rest.
    Yet she on earth hath union
    With God the Three in One,
    And mystic sweet communion
    With those whose rest is won,
    With all her sons and daughters
    Who, by the Master’s hand
    Led through the deathly waters,
    Repose in Eden land.
    O happy ones and holy!
    Lord, give us grace that we
    Like them, the meek and lowly,
    On high may dwell with Thee:
    There, past the border mountains,
    Where in sweet vales the Bride
    With Thee by living fountains
    Forever shall abide!

  67. Phil
    High Church to me? I am simply looking back to the high churchman who were still Protestant. I was asking what you thought of the High Churchman in the “Lives of 12 Good Men” such as Burgon and Wilberforce. I asked you the question.

  68. Phil,

    The short definition of a high churchman is one who holds a high view of the church. That is, how they viewed the ecclesiastical polity, the office of the episcopacy and the liturgy. The ministry was very important to them. They tended toward the belief in the necessity of Apostolic succession and the authority of the church. The old high churchmen were Calvinistic. Archbishop Laud was a high churchman. The contrast is with the low churchmen who emphasized the Scriptures and evangelism. The high churchmen also supported the authority of kings, thus James VI & I’s famous statement “no bishop, no king.”
    The reality is that all anglo-catholics are high churchmen as are papist and eastern orthodox. Much of the high church emphasis tends to the glorification of man. Remember Laud was a high churchman and many like him tend to tyranny. They truly believe that their authority is derived by the laying on of hands and that they have the authority of God in their office. This doctrine is precious to them.
    The problem that high churchmen have is that they must prove from Scripture their doctrine. Because the Bible uses the terms presbyteros and episcopos in a way that it is uncertain whether they are the same office or different offices. The evidence is the same office. The high churchmen have to go to tradition for support of their position. There goes sola Scriptura.
    Paul, Phil made a simple request, and that was for a definition. You should forthrightly have given a definition. What does being a high churchman mean to you. It certainly may not the the same as I have just given. How do you see it? What do you feel about it.
    Paul, I can also understand why you are here to discuss matters of doctrine and theology that are important to you. Charles has shut down the forum for these types of discussion. It is disheartening, I know.
    Phil, the opposition of the high churchmen to the anglo-catholics may have in some cases been sincere. But in these united States because the low churchmen quickly took the opposing position the high church bishop sat back. They must certainly have known that the anglo-catholics were high churchmen and allies against the low churchmen. There was bitterness between the two chairmanships. This is a good reason why the low churchman must never submit himself to a high church bishop. The high church bishop will seek to expand his authority and power. It is his doctrine.

  69. I simply refer to the high church folks like Burgon, Wilberforce, etc as mentioned in the Lives of 12 Good Men where Burgon attempts to show there were faithful churchmen who opposed dissenters and Rome at the same time.
    As far as being tyrants….folks in all church govt. traditions have been that way.
    Our Bishop has not shut anything down. No point in taking a shot like that. I only asked if Phil would give credit to High Church Protestant Churchman like Burgon. That is all.

  70. Paul,
    Simply referring to someone who is a high churchman is not a definition of a high churchman which is what Phil had requested. You like these guys. That’s good. But you mentioned something that you need to consider. These dissenters opposed dissenters and Rome at the same time. What do you think they did when they had the power of bishops and authority from the king? Laud.
    And yes, Paul, your bishop did shut down the forum that you use to participate in. Don’t go into denial. It is the typical type of actions that a high church bishop would do. They broker no dissension.

  71. Phil knows who they are. He has read enough about the tractarian movement to know the high church men who opposed the direction the later tractarians took but who still opposed dissenters.
    I was just curious what his thoughts on Burgon, etc were.

  72. Paul,
    What is so hard to understand. Knowing who these guys are is not a definition. What do you think high churchmanship is? Why are you afraid to give a definition? You like what they say, so you follow them? OK, but what do you believe in? These guys? or the high church position? Do you follow the personality, do do you follow the doctrine? If you follow the personality, so be it. But if you follow the doctrine, then state it. It’s not hard for an educated man. Just put in words what you believe.

  73. Joe
    There is not sense to state the obvious.
    My original question was to Phil and if he appreciated the high church folk who were still Protestant. Toon refers to them in his book about the Tractarians and evangelicals and Burgon writes about them.
    There is no need for me to state “my belief” because my belief was not the original question. My question was to Phil and if he appreciated the High Church Protestants of Burgon, etc.

  74. Paul,
    Your definition of the high church is not obvious, and it is relevant to whatever answer Phil may give. You see if your definition of the high church is different than Phil’s then your understanding of Phil’s answer would be misunderstood.

  75. High Church Protestant as articulated by Burgon, Wilberforce (Lives of 12 Good Men) and as noted by Toon in his Tractarian work.

  76. Let’s see. The definition of a high church protestant is “articulated and noted.” That’s very helpful.
    Paul, what do you think a high church protestant is? Give us something. Does it take two books and Toon to give a simple definition?
    Do you even know what high church is?

  77. Paul,
    You would be better defining what you mean rather than leaving it up to someone else but the following are some definitons of High Church, not im my words:
    Within the Church of England, the high-church party stresses continuity with the pre-Reformation church and holds a ‘high’ concept of the authority of the church, bishops, and sacraments. High churchmen flourished under the later Stuarts because of their insistence on the divine right of kings. Their theological and ecclesiastical opinions survived, to be rediscovered by the Oxford movement of the 1830s.
    High Churchmen. A term coined in the 17th cent. to describe those members of the C of E who emphasized its historical continuity as a branch of the Catholic Church and upheld ‘high’ conceptions of the rights of the monarchy and episcopacy and of the nature of the sacraments. The existence of such a school can be traced to Elizabethan times; it flourished under the Stuarts. The accession of William of Orange (1689) violated the principle of indefeasible hereditary succession (see DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS) and precipitated the schism of the Nonjurors, though many of them continued to work with conforming High Churchmen to promote piety and defend the C of E against the spreading heterodoxy and toleration of Protestant dissenters. High Churchmen initially shared the concern of the Oxford Movement at the erosion of the Church’s privileges after 1828, but many were soon alienated by what they regarded as its tendency to divisiveness and innovation. See also ANGLO-CATHOLICISM.
    ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
    Noun 1. High Church – a group in the Anglican Church that emphasizes the Catholic tradition (especially in sacraments and rituals and obedience to church authority)

  78. as articulated by Burgon, Wilberforce (Lives of 12 Good Men) and as noted by Toon in his Tractarian work

  79. Paul,
    Is that your definition of high church, “as articulated by Burgon, Wilberforce (Lives of 12 Good Men) and as noted by Toon in his Tractarian work”

    Toon in his 1,2,3,4,5 cliche, 1 book, 2 testaments, 3 creeds, 4 councils, and 5 centuries. The first is sola Scriptura, the 3rd derived from Scriptures, the last two tradition pure and simple. The high church has two sides at least. The side written by the high churchman and of course how the low churchmen see them. So let me articulate one of the beliefs of the high churchmen and its consequences for us in the united States.
    Divine Right of Kings. America is in rebellion against her rightful soverign and should submit to her majesty Elizabeth Regina II. The official Church of her majesty is the Church of England. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer is the official Prayer Book. Living in the midst of a rebellious people against her majesty it it imperitive for all high churchmen to use the 1662 BCP along with all the prayers for the royal family.
    The bishops must be obeyed. Your bishop claims to be a Calvinist, it is your duty and godly discipline to ascede to this theology and renounce your “recovering Calvinist” positions.

  80. Phil
    I was just curious what you thought of the Protestant High churchman like Burgon, Wilberforce (Lives of 12 Good Men, etc.
    That is all.

  81. Paul,
    Then are you asking Phil for a book review? Why don’t you give us one since you know the most about this book and have the most interest. I would like to read what you say and please include a definition of high church in your review.

  82. Just read through the posts having been on the road through the weekend with daughter and grandson. Also, scheduled surgery in AM tomorrow and will get around to answers, I trust, by the end of the week. Much more is entailed than a shallow and typically argumentative note, posting one book, with no answers to a larger and complicated question covering 400 years. But that’s typical, shallowness, like the very poor postings on anti-Calvinism, shorn of answers, bereft of wide-experience, and bereft of depth, other than the supposition of one’s narcissistic experience as the benchmark for all others. Be back I trust by Friday or Saturday.

  83. 1) I was not asking for thoughts on “my” view of high church but on Burgon and Wilberforce.
    2) I was not asking for 400 years. I specified Churchmen from a specific time. And I do know that Phil has read lots on the tractarian era so I was curious if he had formulated an opinion of those views expressed by those particular churchmen from that time as represented by Burgon (and Burgon himself) in the “Lives of 12 Good Men”.
    3) I was not asking for thoughts on my view of high church (or low church) becasue that was not the original question asked.

    The book was an example, point of reference, to a specific point and persons.
    It would be like me asking what you you think of Luther’s position(s) expressed in “Bondage of the Will” and you responding wtih “Well we dont want to give a book review…you tell us your views”

    I have no psychological insults or jabs to throw back here.
    Phil-Best results with your surgery.

  84. Paul,
    Is it that you can ask questions of others but they cannot ask you a question? I am asking you what is your definition of High Church. And another question, Are you a High Churchman? How do high churchmen view the sacraments? What is their position of apostolic succession?
    I’m asking; I want to know. If you won’t answer question, why should anyone answer yours?

  85. I asked Phil a question about a group of Churchmen from a period he has researched. If he does not want to answer the question because I have not gotten into a “who has what churchmanship” that is ok.

  86. Also, I didnt ask Phil about his churchmanship. I asked him what he thought of Burgon and his peers.

  87. Paul,
    Are you ashamed of your beliefs? of your positions?
    You said, “I was just curious what you thought of the Protestant High churchman like Burgon, Wilberforce (Lives of 12 Good Men, etc.”

    You brought up a party in the Church of England which held rather political positions in relation to the state. They were self agrandizing. I hope this isn’t you view. So give a definition.

  88. Joe
    My original question to Phil stand-I just asked about his thoughts about a particular group of churchmen from a period he studied.
    It is that simple.

    As for me…thanks to the late Ted Letis I am a huge fan of Dean John William Burgon.

  89. Paul,
    My question to you stands. Define what you mean by Protestant high churchman. Let’s leave Phil out of this. The old low/high church spit has great implication on Anglicanism. Did the high church party contribute to the entrenchment of the anglo-catholic and the idolartry associatted with them. This would include the ornaments and ceremony that are retained in some churches that reject anglo-catholicism in doctrine. The high chrchman tended to be somewhat across the board tyrannical both in England where erastian (Laud) and even in America under such tyants as Hobart of New York. Their complicity with anglo-catholics is obvious. The anglo-catholic came out of the high church tradition. It is true that there were high churchmen who opposed the anglo-catholics but by in large they left the greater burden of defending Protestant Christianity to the low churchmen. High churchmanship has no place in America. It is greatly connected with erastianism and the divine rights of kings and tyranny here in America. Again the anglo-catholics are high churchman and they are not Anglicans but medievalist and romanizers.

    • Joe,

      You are forgetting Samuel Seabury and the Connecticut churchman. It was Seabury and the Connecticut churchmen that boycotted the convention at which the 1785 Proposed Book of Common Prayer was drawn up. They were among the loudest critics of the 1785 Proposed Prayer Book. Seabury wanted the Protestant Episcopal Church to adopt the High Church Scottish Non-Juror liturgy. The 1789 General Convention would adopt the Scottish Non-Juror Prayer of Consecration in place of the English one but that body also made a number of significant changes in the prayer. The General Convention initially rejected the Thirty-Nine Articles, declaring that the Creeds and the Prayer Book were all the articles that the Protestant Episcopal Church needed. The General Convention eventually adopted the Articles at the insistance of the House of Bishops but did not require clergy subscription to the Articles as in the Church of England.

      John Newman came from an Evangelical background as I believe did a number of the other Tractarians.

      The Tractarians liked to see themselves as the successors to the Caroline High Churchmen but it is debatable. They also claimed John Jewel and Richard Hooker as their forerunners. The later Tractarians, post-Tractarians, or Ritualists did not conceal their sympathy for the Church of Rome. The Caroline High Churchmen were opposed to Romanism and rejected the dogmas of the Council of Trent. Their Puritan and Presbyterian critics accused them of Romanism but such accusations do not make them Romanists. William Pymm’s hatred of Archbishop Laud was so great that he falsified entries in Laud’s daybooks and journals. These daybooks and journals was then presented as evidence of Laud’s dealings with the Church of Rome at his trial. Even then the court failed to convict Laud of treason. Parliament resorted to adopting a bill of attender which declared Laud a traitor and sentenced him to death. During their exile in France Bishops Coisin and Bramhall defended Anglicanism against its Roman Catholic detractors and sought to prevent the Queen Mother and her Roman Catholic chaplains from converting the heirs to the English throne to Roman Catholicism.

      Both the Caroline High Churchmen and the Tractarians represent “Catholicizing” movements in Anglicanism. At the same time there are considerable differences between them. The Caroline High Churchmen were influenced by the Patristic writers and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Caroline High Churchmen believed that they were reviving the doctrines and practices of the primitive Church. The Tractarians were influenced by the pre-Reformation Medieval Catholic Church. The later Tractarians, post-Tractarians, or Ritualists had no scruples about adopting the doctrines and practices of the nineteenth century Roman Catholic Church even though these doctrines and practices had never been a part of the pre-Reformation English Church. They asserted that if the English Reformation had not occurred, the English Church would have adopted these doctrines and practices, which dated from the sixteenth century on.

      A number of the High Churchmen in North America and the United Kingdom opposed the ritualism and other excesses of the Later Tractarians, Post-Tractarians, or Ritualists. Dean John William Burgon was one of them.

      Tractarianism would certainly influence the old High Church party in North America and the United Kingdom and would completely transform its identity. However, I do believe that we need to be careful about lumping all the groups together.


  90. Joe
    I dont want to get into a peeing contest with you.
    I asked Phil, who has researched this era, what his thoughts were about High church Protestants (specifically Burgon and his peers).
    If he is too busy to answer that is fine. But I dont need you running interference from my first question by throwing up other questions before my initial one was answered.

  91. Some songs that are popular should never be used in churches or by Christians such as “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The music that was used is an old camp meeting tune. The problem with the song is that it was inspired by a song called “John Brown’s Body,” which was a parody of a fellow soldier but had nothing to do with the infamous John Brown of Kansas. Julia Ward Howe did not know this. Julia Ward Howe’s parents were strick Calvinist Episcopalians but they died when Julia was still young and she was raised by her liberal uncle. She married a Unitarian and herself joined that non Christian religious organization. Though her “Battle Hymn of the Republic” is clothed in apocyptic language it is really the glorification of war of the state, as the title suggest. At lease one verse is never sang in churches and others have been altered, it still remains a pagan song glorifying war. The Episcopal Church has never included it in their hymnals up to 1940. The choice of songs used in the worship of God should be carefully scrutinized for their Scriptual accuracy and godly intentions.

    • Joe.

      A number of hymn writers have written new lyrics for the tune THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC. They can be found in Jubilate Hymns’ Hymns for Today, the Church of Ireland’s new hymnal, and Kevin Mayhew’s Sing Glory, jointly published with Jubilate Hymns.


  92. Robin, Paul, Joe and other thinkers:

    Surgery went well and getting perspective on an abundance of emails, the above posts, and some attendant family issues. Read through the posts. Will be responding more largely by Friday or so after settling the personal issues. The issues of what is an High Chuurchman, especially on the Episcopal bench vis a vis the mid-19th century, transcends one-liners, facile support to the OHC, and blanket endorsement of the OHC; while an OHC Churchman Wilberforce effectively silenced Pusey for two years (Nov 30, 1850), yet he failed in his response to the advent of the hotbeds of Romanising Conventuals….that due, perhaps, to a SSC-secrecy, which may have prevented him from action. I have a bio on the Life of Wilberforce, but have not read it yet. More later as I get situated and back in my home. Accessing a wireless internet in the hosptial, surreptitiously, but I hope allowably, from the hospital. Unable to do my 200 pushups per day, but will upon return to home-facility and the doctor’s clearance. Have a few follow-on appointments for cardiology, opthamology and dentistry here at VA Hospital tomorrow and Thursday in Fayetteville, NC, 105 miles from the east coast of Camp Lejeune, NC. Able to process some work on Walter Walsh’s “Secret History of the Oxford Movement,” with one observation. Bishop Wilberforce of Oxford, noted in Burgon’s work, in fact, to his credit, inhibited Pusey in a letter dated 30 Nov 1850 for two years. That story is, as of yet, to be fully told. Suspension of Pusey’s labours by Wilberforce for two years in the diocese of Oxford was bold and Protestant. Preliminary eval on Burgon, 1890, perhaps weak on Tractarians at points; his purpose and agenda in the Twelve Lives is not clear. He speaks–from my view–too glowingly of early Tractarians in the 1840-context–from an 1890-prespective…that criticism of Burgon is supsended, noted, and subject for additional review. A very complex issue. Still haven’t sorted out the overlaps of OHC with Tractarians, Tractarians who may have co-opted and eclipsed the OHC in the last quarter of the 19th century. Burgon may represent that co-optation. Judgement pending and in abeyance. However, something is amiss with Burgon since he writes in 1889 and, possibly, may be speaking too highly of early Tractarians. This issue of 19th century OHC is no easy issue, especially since the term has a 400-year history. Trotting out a single work, as if to support OHC uncritically, without wide reading, without detailed analysis, without plodding deliberation may work for some—for others, preferring deliberation over enthusiasm, this is much, much too preliminary at this point for me. More as medical recovery proceeds and opportunities develop for a peaceful re-entry to the homefront by Thursday or Friday.

  93. Phil
    Best in your recovery.

  94. Paul:
    Thanks, fighting off the effects of pain pill and sleep meds in an attempt at prelim overveiew of emails and responses here. At 12.24 PM, desire to review them prevails, but with the meds may yield to the sleep. All is well here, I believe. Will know fuller results from biopsy over next few days. No problesm anticipated. In fact, need to yield to sleep. Back by Friday or so, more fully.

  95. Robin,
    The tune to which “Battle Hymn of the Republic” is sung is wrongly called “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It was written by William Steffe about 1855 and used with the song “Canaan’s Happy Shore” or “Brothers will you meet me?”

  96. Phil
    My question about Burgon and his peers who appeared to feel “caught” between the more evangelicals and bible societies VS. the Roman leaning folk was to just get your take on them. It was not intended to even stir up a debate.
    The high church Protestant Anglicans appear to get caught in the middle (from my estimation but I have not researched that whole era but only read a few things about them).
    I find myself a huge fan of Burgon and ahve found his other works are available now.
    Best in your recovery. I have noticed from reading Wilberforce or Burgon on their writings to Pastors that they opposed adding water to communion wine. An interesting findnig.

    Christ our Lord is Risen!

  98. Have long forgotten this post and thread. If memory serves me well, Mr. Moore wished an answer about High of Low Churchmanship, vis a vis Dean Burgon. While Mr. Moore refused my quest for a definition of high v. low, he erred given the quest for an inquiry on the definition. Mr. John Wesely was an High Churchman, yet an evangelical. That definition remains quite open, despite the last post.

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