The Psalm-Singing Church

It should sadden us to learn that the church of our day has neglected one of the greatest treasures God has given her to worship Him--namely, the Psalter. The living God has breathed out an entire book of truth for us to sing back to Him whenever we gather together in corporate worship. Perhaps such a neglect has occurred on account of antiquated translations, difficult accompanying tunes or simply because of a lack of familiarity with the Old Testament people, places, events and symbols. Regardless, the church is certainly no better for having passed over the numerous inspired songs in the Psalter.

It would be of enormous benefit to our churches if we would actively seek to reinstitute the practice of Psalm-singing in our congregations. At the very least, churches should try to sing one or more Psalms a month in gathered worship on the Lord's Day. This takes a measure of planning and instruction on the part of pastors, elders and musicians. However, it is safe to say that any congregation that undertakes such an initiative, will reap rich, spiritual benefit. 

At the end of last year, we started working through Bob Godfrey's Ligonier teaching series Learning to Love the Psalms in our small groups. This, we trust has served as a helpful introductory interpretive guide to the Psalms. We plan on continuing that series through the first quarter of 2018 in our small groups.

As we begin another year at New Covenant, our elders have decided to reintroduce an evening worship service in which one of our pastors will preach a sermon series on the Psalms. Additionally, we plan on singing a portion of a Psalm--immediately after the exposition on it. It is our desire that this will help encourage our congregants to sing the Psalms with understanding and delight. There are a number of resources that we plan on using in preparation for this sermon series and singing of Psalms. Some of them are more theological in nature and some are more devotional.

In addition to the numerous worthwhile commentaries that have been published on the Psalms, I've found the following works to be most helpful in navigating the historical and theological nuances of the book:

Richard Belcher's The Messiah and the Psalms

Herman Selderhuis' Calvin's Theology of the Psalms

Sidney Greisdanus' Preaching Christ from the Psalms

O. Palmer Robertson's The Flow of the Psalms

William Binnie's The Psalms: Their History, Use and Teaching

Horatius Bonar's Christ and His Church in the Psalms

John Calvin Heart Aflame

E.W. Hengstenberg Commentary on the Psalms, vol. 1, vol. 2 and vol. 3

Here is the basic schedule for our sermon series, along with the Psalm we will sing from The Book of Psalms for Worship (each Psalm has been coupled to a familiar hymn tune from the Trinity Hymnal):

 

Nick Batzig

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