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All Articles For Ministering to the Saints

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Previous article in this series: September 1, 2017, p. 473. I am explaining why the interdenominational Psalter revision committee proposes changing some of the music of the Psalter. In our previous article, we noted the two main reasons. One was that the tunes must serve the lyrics; certain tunes are more appropriate for the lyrics than others. Another was that the tunes must serve the congregation by enabling her to sing the lyrics well. A tune that the congregation cannot sing well, even if set to beautiful lyrics, does not serve well. The revision committee is evaluating the music (tunes)...

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Previous article in this series: April 15, 2017, p. 329. In explaining the principles that govern the interdenominational Psalter revision committee in its work, I am treating the how of Psalter revision. In my three previous articles I have examined the principles regarding format and text (lyrics). Next up is to examine the principles that govern us in evaluating the music. But before examining those principles, I will in this article explain why—not why Psalter revision in general, but why the committee would suggest changes to some music of the Psalter. In my next article, God willing, I will present...

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Previous article in this series: February 15, 2017, p. 279. My last article explained two principles that the interdenominational Psalter revision committee is using to evaluate the text, or lyrics, of the Psalter. Those two principles are completeness (“Is all of the scriptural Psalm represented in the Psalter? Is there one Psalter that captures the whole Psalm?”) and faithfulness (“Is the text faithful to Scripture? Is it theologically sound? Is it the language of Scripture? Are all things included that have been omitted in the past? To what degree is it a paraphrase or does it include unnecessary poetic license?”)....

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Previous article in this series: January 15, 2017, p. 185. The interdenominational Psalter Revision Committee, by using various principles to evaluate the Psalter selections, is determining whether to recommend changes to each individual Psalter number. These principles regard text, music, and format. I am explaining these principles, and using a current Psalter number as well as its proposed revision to help the reader understand the principles. In the last article I surveyed the principles that regard format. When that article was published, the bottom of the page of Psalm 73C (Psalter 203, in its revised form) was cut off. As...

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Previous article in this series: November 15, 2016, p. 87. With this article I begin to explain the principles that the interdenominational Psalter Revision Committee is using to evaluate the musical selections in our Psalter, and on the basis of which it decides whether to recommend changes. The committee reported these principles to the respective synods, and each synod expressly approved them.1 The Importance of These Governing Principles My purpose in this and following articles is to demonstrate that the revision committee is consciously asking the right questions and striving to find good answers. Evaluating music and poetry is inherently...

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Previous article in this series: October 1 2016, p. 19. In my last article I explained that Synod 2016 of the PRC decided to continue participating in the interdenominational project of Psalter revision. Why did it do so? Synod adopted the four grounds that the PRC Contact Committee gave in its recommendation. In four words, I could summarize the first ground as “history,” the second as “necessity,” the third as “acceptability,” and the fourth as “opportunity.” History “History: the PRC has repeatedly decided in favor of revising the Psalter, and even began the work of revision, but did not carry...

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That the Free Reformed Churches (FRC), Heritage Reformed Churches (HRC), and Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC) are joining efforts to revise our Psalter, members of the PRC and readers of the Standard Bearer already know. In the March 1, 2016 issue of the SB, Prof. B. Gritters explained that Synod 2015 instructed the Contact Committee to bring a well-grounded proposal to Synod 2016 regarding Psalter revision, and to appoint three men to serve on an interim committee to begin the work. Prof. Gritters also reviewed the history that brought us to this point, noting that the PRC’s concerns regarding the Psalter’s...

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Previous article in this series: April 1, 2016, p. 300. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. I Timothy 4:14 With this article we conclude our treatment of the ordination of elders. Our first three articles on this subject explained what ordination is, and why ordination in a public ceremony is significant both for the elder being ordained and for the congregation in which he is ordained. Next, we examined the various aspects of the ordination ceremony, taking Article 4 of our Church...

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Previous article in this series: January 15, 2016, p. 188. “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” I Timothy 4:14 Historically, Reformed churches have followed the practice of laying hands on ministers who are first ordained to their office. After the minister being ordained has been reminded of what the work of his office entails, has publicly professed that he believes himself called to this office, and has promised faithfully to discharge his office, he kneels in front of the congregation. The officiating...

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Previous article in this series: December 15, 2015, p. 137. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. I Timothy 4:14 In our last article we explained four elements that must be found in the ceremony in which elders are ordained (installed): appropriate stipulations, interrogations, admonitions, and prayers. The fourth article of the PRC Church Order prescribes that, particularly when a new minister is ordained, these four elements be included in the ordination ceremony. We have already shown that the same applies to the...

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