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, 13 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.
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“the ‘father of congregational hymnody’ and the ‘inventor of the vernacular metrical Psalm.’” (Page 48)
“rival psalters as it was about George Whitefield’s itinerancy, theological education, and creedal subscription” (Pages 64–65)
“whole or large portions of individual Psalms rather than the versicles used in the medieval Mass” (Page 49)
“gospel-song tradition in the post-Civil War era, this new hymnody, says Yale’s Sydney Ahlstrom” (Page 57)
“grew out of their consistent concern that worship be conducted according to Scripture” (Page 47)
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
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, NC
Anthony T. Selvaggio is the pastor of College Hill Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA) in Beaver Falls, PA. He is also visiting professor of New Testament studies at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA. He has a BA from Saint Fisher College, a JD from the University at Buffalo School of Law and an MDiv from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
Joel R. Beeke 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, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, and editor of the Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth. He has written, coauthored, or edited over 70 books.