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August 2023 New Horizons

The 89th GA

 

Contents

The 89th General Assembly, the Kingdom of God, and You

Music and Worship

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The 89th General Assembly, the Kingdom of God, and You

When I told the dear saints of my congregation that I would be gone for a week attending the OPC General Assembly, some of them probably wondered what a “general assembly” even is. Not a few of our members and attendees have come from independent, nondenominational congregations that do not have substantial connections to other churches, let alone the regional churches, presbyteries, and general assembly to which OPC officers and churches willingly submit themselves. And most of the members of OP churches will never have opportunity to attend one of our annual general assemblies. It was these brothers and sisters I was thinking about as the moderator of the Eighty-Eighth General Assembly, elder David Nakhla (Calvary OPC in Glenside, Pennsylvania), called the Eighty-Ninth Assembly to order and welcomed Rev. Lendall Smith to lead the body in the worship of God. When I got home, how would I answer their questions about what this general assembly is that took their pastor away for a week, what happened when ... Read more

Music and Worship

In his book Taking Note of Music , musician and Westminster Theological Seminary professor William Edgar points out that the creation of music as it is presented in the Bible is unique when compared to the ancient Near Eastern and Greek origin-of-music myths. In these stories, music is the creation of the gods and given to human beings. In the Bible, however, music has its origin with human beings (Gen. 4:21), specifically with Jubal, who is a son of Cain, who in turn is among the seed of the serpent (Gen. 3:14–15). This fact caused the early church fathers to be highly suspicious of music. The point of the Bible’s statement regarding the origin of music is surely that it is something shared by all humanity, whatever their spiritual condition. The views of the early fathers regarding music in worship are contradicted by the Bible’s own prescriptions for worship, which include singing (as indicated by the direction to use certain tunes in Psalms 9, 22, 45, 56–60, 69, 75, 80) as well as musical ... Read more

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