The Regulative Principle of Worship

Glen Clary, pastor of Providence OPC in Pflugerville, TX, explains the origins, use, and wisdom of the regulative principle of worship. The Reformed understanding of this principle states that only those elements that are commanded in Scripture or which can be deduced by good and necessary consequence from Scripture are permissible in worship, and that whatever is not thus commanded or deduced from Scripture is prohibited.

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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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Bruce Sanders

5 years ago

I find it curious that Reformed, noted to include everything from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, ended up with austere, conservative worship, especially considering Scriptural words such as temple, gold, silver, jewels, vestment, incense, and musical instruments such as shofar (horn), tof (drum), khenor (lyre), tseltselim (cymbals), chalel (pipe), nevel (harp), and chatsotsrot (trumpets).

I am fortunate to live in a city with two cathedrals (one Presbyterian and one Roman Catholic). To raise my voice along with 1500 others, accompanied by choir, orchestration and pipe organ, for hymns such as “To God Be The Glory, while being bathed in dazzling sunlight streaming through stain-glassed windows vaulted high above, the aroma of incense, the color of pomp and ceremony … all combined, create a glorious experience of the presence of God in life, and a call to worship and the Word like none other.

Hau Tzeng

5 years ago

Oh, you forgot the altar and sacrifices!

“These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” (Col. 2:17)

John D. Chitty

5 years ago

I love the bit about Zwingli teaching himself Greek by copying the whole Greek NT by hand! Sounds like something I would do! And this IFB Bible College dropout may just give it a try.

David Kocher

5 years ago

Enjoyed this program’s insights, but would suggest greater care be taken to distinguish the doctrines and practices of the continental Anabaptists from those of the English Particular Baptists and our contemporary Reformed Baptist churches that subscribe to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689). Even a cursory observation will demonstrate that they are definitely not the same.

May I suggest further study on the 17th Century Particular Baptist’s development of their understanding of the RPW? I commend to you an excellent lecture presented by Dr. James Renihan, professor at Westminster Seminary California’s Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, on the topic “‘Good and Necessary Consequence’ or ‘Necessarily Contained.”” Dr. Renihan compares and contrasts the terms used in the Westminster Confession of Faith (“good and necessary consequences”) and the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (“necessarily contained”). The lecture can be found on Sermonaudio at http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=22151452213.

Glen Clary

5 years ago

Thanks for the recommended resources. That’s definitely a weak area in my studies, and I’m very interested in know what the Particular Baptists teach about the RPW. I know it would be unfair to lump them in with the Anabaptists.

Ben P

4 years ago

What is a “Presbyterian Cathedral”?



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