3.10.2008

Driscoll preached on the Regulative Principle

In my tiny world there is a little discussion going on. Steve Steele and Sam Desocio are in that ring. I need to get out more. And it is about the regulative principle sermon Mark Driscoll gave 8 days ago. I find this funny as this is my 200th post.

I love Mark Driscoll. God is blessing the preaching of the gospel there and many people are coming to know Christ. Mars Hill knows more about God's saving grace than most churches do in their lifetime. Awesome truth and fact. I love Mars Hill and Driscoll because they love Jesus in all his glory- fully incarnate and fully divine. They are Christians and they are brothers and sisters.

I appreciated the sermon because I heard the gospel, I saw Mark humble himself before thousands of people (potentially many more as it is posted online). His words can now be stones hurled at him, I hope it is not so. I appreciated the sermon as he explain worship in a trinitarian way - Glorifying God the Father, through the mediation of God the Son, by the indwelling presence of God the Spirit.

As a brother I disagree with Mark's take on the regulative principle.
The fundamental disagreement is the idea that all of life is worship, and that there is little difference between scattered worship and gathered worship. Many theologians hold this position, John Frame and DA Carson are two of them. (And I love John Frame!)

Hywel Jones in his commentary on Hebrews says "to glorify God" means to reveal Him. 1 Corinthians 10:31 is then read as "
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to reveal God." The verse is then read in a clearer and lucid way in the how to glorify God. Our prayer should be to reveal the creator in all things. Gathered, corporate worship owns a different purpose. Yes it is to reveal God in all his splendor (Tim Keller notes that this is how worship is evangelistic), it is further as worship motivates Christians to please Him. It is in worship that you encounter God in His glory- you dont do that while drinking coffee.

At one point in his sermon he quoted Deuteronomy for the biblical reference for the regulative principle, but did not give scripture to support the Normative principle - only alluded to the typical freedom Scripture gives in other areas. (Biblical support vs. none?)

At one point he mentioned acappela worship (which I dont agree with), and psalm singing (which I do find biblical). In this instance Driscoll made sweeping statements that I would like him to unpack and explain more. I agree with Sam, why profile micro-norities, but if you are going to do so, explain and unpack what you say.

I made a comment on Steele's blog on other thoughts pertaining to this.

17 comments:

Jamie Duguid said...

Yeah, I watched it and thought it was pretty weak. He doesn't interact very closely with exclusive psalm singers. And does he really believe that there is no difference between worship on the Lord's day and private worship throughout the week. Does God establishing a sacred, set apart time to rest after creation negate his sovereignty over the rest of the week? I don't think so.

James McCullough said...

Just to clarify something, when you said:
"At one point he mentioned acappela worship (which I dont agree with), and psalm singing (which I do find biblical). "
Are you saying we should use musical instruments in worship?

Robbie said...

Jamie,
thanks for swinging by. I would love to hear your thoughts unpacked some more.

James,
Yes, we should. I find the arguments for acappela singing to be a stretch and no where near as clear as the "incense pointing to prayer" reality. On the other hand I see scripture commanding and commending their use.

Jamie Duguid said...

Well, I would agree that he mostly attacked straw men. For instance, he mentions Mary's song as proof against exclusive psalmody, but doesn't interact with those who only restrict singing to scriptural material rather than just the psalter. And he asserts that "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" are different things, without giving us any reason believe it. However, I understand that since he takes a fundamentally Lutheran view of worship on the Lord's Day, he places the burden of proof on the exclusive psalmodist, whereas a regulative view would place the burden on the person who wishes to sing uninspired songs. But it is ridiculous to assert that we cannot make a distinction between worship on the Lord's Day and the rest of the week when God does just that in Genesis. The regulative principle is clearly established as the rule of worship in the Old Testament. Perhaps we could believe this to be changed under the New Covenant, but we see that the Lord's Day is still set apart for the gathering together of the church, and though some Sabbath practices are fulfilled in Christ, we still find several formal worship practices specifically designed for this corporate setting. So I see the regulative principle as a point of continuity between the testaments.

Robbie said...

Jamie,
thanks and well said, you are absolutely right in your analysis that it is ridiculous, and where the burden of proof lies in both cases.

Will you be home anytime soon?

Jamie Duguid said...

That depends. I may stay out here and work over the summer, in which case it may be a while until I am home.

Steelo said...

Robbie son, like James I thought you musta made a typo!

In my opinion, the case for instruments is a lot clearer than that for exclusive psalmody (not that I have any doubts about psalmody, but to me instruments just seems so clear cut).

But rather than getting into it here - have you read John Price's "Old Light on New Worship" (foreward by Ted Donnelly)? I've yet to hear anyone argue against him. It's an immense book - and surely essential reading for anyone before they do something as drastic as reject the Testimony of their church.

Robbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robbie said...

Steve,
Perhaps it is the yank in me, but Psalmody is by far clearer than acappellaness.

I've read portions of Price's work, and Gireadeau's. What made me study the matter was Prutow's sermons on instruments (you can listen to them on Sermonaudio). To speak for Sam, it was Prutow's class that raised questions about psalmody and acappela.

I find the reason that no one speaks against Price is no one takes him, or advocates of acappela singing seriously. Driscoll revealed that by generalizing and with sweeping statements.

In the end I will gladly reject any testimony that is not in accordance with Scripture.

James McCullough said...

Is declaring opposition on a blog to the position of the RPCNA on this issue not contradicting the vow in which submission to the church's teaching is promised?

Robbie said...

James,
Perhaps if I was a member of an RPCNA congregation. I currently attend an Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church plant in Grove City. If you want to discuss this more - shoot me an email.

James McCullough said...

Fair enough. I was under false impression that you were a member of the RPCNA. As you are not you are obviously perfectly entitled to publicly disagree with areas of their testimoney.

Jamie Duguid said...

So actually, turns out I am coming home for a week next Saturday.

jmark said...

Robbie - Which Hughes Old were you referring to on Sam's blog?

Mark

Robbie said...

Mark,
the Old book I believe that deals with Pliny's letter is "The Reading and Preaching of the SCriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church volu. 2: the Patristic Age.

Old is the director of the institute of reformed worship at Erskine Theological Seminary (Associate Reformed Presbyterian)

jmark said...

Thanks - have you read his one volum e work "Worship: Reformed According to Scripture'?

Robbie said...

Mark,
No i have not. RE Worship - I am reading The Psalms in Worship by Ward, and Worship by the book with Carson.

im getting in some pleasant reading in over this easter holiday