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New Horizons

March, 2014: The Psalms in Worship and the Psalter-Hymnal Project

New Horizons Cover

Contents

The entire issue is available in the following formats: PDF  ePub  and  Mobi 

Singing the Psalms with the Psalmist

Edmund P. Clowney once observed that in Hebrews 2, Jesus is portrayed, not merely as the recipient of our worship, but also as the one who, through his resurrection, leads and even participates in our worship of his Father in heaven. This is truly a remarkable idea!

Hebrews 2:11–12 says, “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, ‘I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.’ ” Read more

Why Should We Sing All 150 Psalms?

“In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (Heb. 8:13). If the Mosaic covenant is obsolete and vanishing, then why should we sing the Psalms? Aren’t the Psalms the songbook of an obsolete covenant?

It is true that the Psalms are the songbook of an obsolete covenant—in the same sense that the Ten Commandments are the law of an obsolete covenant—and the whole Old Testament itself is an obsolete covenant! And yet, Paul writes that “all Scripture [the whole obsolete testament] is breathed-out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17). Furthermore, there is not a single sentiment in the Psalms that is not echoed in the New Testament as well. Read more

Do We Really Need a Psalter-Hymnal?

Our church’s Psalter-Hymnal Committee deserves credit for translating and versifying the book of Psalms and setting individual psalms to singable music. Sadly, this is the best that can be said for a radical and unnecessary project.

The concerns we raise here admittedly come several years late. There ought to have been thorough discussion by the whole church in 2006, when the idea for a Psalter-Hymnal surfaced, and before our General Assembly voted to go full-speed ahead. And now the work has gotten entangled in a quest for better ecumenical relations with a sister church. Read more

 
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