The book of Psalms occupies a unique place in Scripture, being both the Word from God and words to God from His people. Unfortunately, psalm singing no longer plays an integral part of worship in most evangelical churches. In this book, thirteen well–respected scholars urge the church to rediscover the treasure of the Psalms as they examine the history of psalm singing in the church, present biblical reasons for the liturgical practice, and articulate the practical value it provides us today.
Foreword: W. Robert Godfrey
Contributors: Joel R. Beeke, Robert Cathcart, J. V. Fesko, W. Robert Godfrey, D. G. Hart, Terry Johnson, Michael Lefebvre, David P. Murray, Hughes Oliphant Old, Athony T. Selvaggio, Derek Thomas, Rowland Ward, and Malcom Watts.
Part I: Psalm Singing in History
Chapter 1 Hughes Oliphant Old and Robert Cathcart: “From Cassian to Cranmer: Singing the Psalms from Ancient Times until the Dawning of the Reformation”
Chapter 2 Joel R. Beeke: “Psalm Singing in Calvin and the Puritans”
Chapter 3 Terry Johnson: “The History of Psalm Singing in the Christian Church”
Chapter 4 D. G. Hart: “Psalters, Hymnals, Worship Wars, and American Presbyterian Piety”
Part II: Psalm Singing in Scripture
Chapter 5 Rowland Ward: “Psalm Singing and Scripture”
Chapter 6 Michael LeFebvre: “The Hymns of Christ: The Old Testament Formation of the New Testament Hymnal”
Chapter 7 David P. Murray: “Christian Cursing?”
Chapter 8 Malcolm Watts: “The Case for Psalmody, with Some Reference to The Psalter’s Sufficiency for Christian Worship”
Part III: Psalm Singing and the Twenty-First-Century Church
Chapter 9 Anthony T. Selvaggio: “Psalm Singing and Redemptive-Historical Hermeneutics: Geerhardus Vos’s ‘Eschatology of the Psalter’ Revisited”
Chapter 10 Derek Thomas: “Psalm Singing and Pastoral Theology”
Chapter 11 J. V. Fesko: “Psalmody and Prayer”
About the Editors
Joel R. Beeke (PhD Westminster Theological Seminary) is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of The Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, and author of numerous books.
Anthony T Selvaggio is a teaching elder in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America and a member of the Rochester Reformed Presbyterian Church (Rochester, NY) where he contributes regularly to the preaching ministry. He previously served as the Senior Pastor of the College Hill Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA) in Beaver Falls, PA. He is also a visiting professor at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA. He is an active preacher and conference speaker. He lives in Rochester, New York with his wife, Michelle, and his two children, Katherine and James.
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books
Publication Date: February 2013
ISBN 13: 9781601781055
“This volume explores the rich historical, biblical, theological, and pastoral contexts that inform a commitment to the prayerful use of biblical psalms in Christian worship today. The book challenges those who sing psalms exclusively to understand the strengths of their tradition. It challenges those who sing hymns primarily to reconsider their neglect of the Psalms. Above all, the volume invites all readers to reconsider the beauty of biblically shaped prayer and the astonishing grace offered us by a God who not only calls us to offer worship but also guides and inspires us in learning how to worship.”
– John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“It is sad that much of the contemporary church does not know her own history of worship and how vital the singing of psalms has been to her worship. This book not only lays out that history but provides biblical, theological, and christological reasons that show the benefit of singing psalms today. A recovery of psalm singing in worship will enable God’s people to express themselves fully in worship, not only by singing the hymns of praise but also by expressing the sorrows and struggles of life through the laments. This book is not just for those who want to exclusively sing the psalms but will be beneficial to everyone who wants to enrich their worship through the singing of psalms.”
– Richard P. Belcher Jr., Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina