The Regulative Principle of Worship

Derek Thomas joins Josh Walker and Nick Batzig to discuss the regulative principle of worship. Derek Thomas is the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi. He is also the minister of teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi.
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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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Rob McKenzie

10 years ago

Excellent discussion on the Regulative Principle, I would love for you to do a program based on how the meaning of the Lord’s Supper influences the frequency of the Lord’s Supper.
And in answer to Nick’s question about whether or not a silver chalice and wine will kill some germs in order to guard people against illness. It only works for those in the congregation that have been bitten by werewolves.

Camden Bucey

10 years ago

I think that would make for a very interesting discussion. And regarding werewolves, we don’t want them in our churches anyway! They’ll eat the sheep.

Matthew Burt

10 years ago

In a recent elders’ meeting the discussion re Regulative Principle the question was asked about using man-written creeds in worship–where do we see the warrant for this in Scripture and how is their use in Reformed Worship in line with the RP?
Second Question. As a Reformed Baptist Church we have followed the practice of reading the Church Covenant together during the Lord’s Supper–again the question–from our elders how does this fit within a proper application of the RP?

Derek Thomas on the Regulative Principle of Worship « The Misadventures of Captain Headknowledge

10 years ago

[…] Don’t miss Christ the Center, episode 80, “The Regulative Principle of Worship.” […]

Jeff Waddington

10 years ago

Matthew

It seems to me that the reading of creeds and confessions in a worship service is akin to singing hymns, praying, and preaching. In other words, the sermon is not completely the mere recitation of Scripture. There is explanation and application. That explanation and application is “man-made.” Do we dispense with it? And those of us who are not convinced by exclusive psalmody arguments sing “uninspired” hymns. And prayers must be more than citations of Scripture, although appropriate citations are certainly healthy. However, uninspired hymns, prayers, and parts of sermons that are not direct citations of Scripture ought to square with Scripture. It seems to me that if you push the argument too far you end up only reciting Scripture in worship.

Richard

10 years ago

Good discussion, as an Anglican (who accepts the RPW by the way!) I have weekly Communion, kneel for Holy Communion and have one cup. Thankfully the black rubric explains the practice of kneeling for communion:

WHEREAS it is ordained in this Office for the Administration of the Lord’s Supper, that the Communicants should receive the same kneeling; (which order is well meant, for a signification of our humble and grateful acknowledgment of the benefits of Christ therein given to all worthy Receivers, and for the avoiding of such profanation and disorder in the holy Communion, as might otherwise ensue;) yet, lest the same kneeling should by any persons, either out of ignorance and infirmity, or out of malice and obstinacy, be misconstrued and depraved: It is hereby declared, That thereby no adoration is intended, or ought to be done, either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine there bodily received, or unto any Corporal Presence of Christ’s natural Flesh and Blood. For the Sacramental Bread and Wine remain still in their very natural substances, and therefore may not be adored; (for that were Idolatry, to be abhorred of all faithful Christians;) and the natural Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ are in Heaven, and not here; it being against the truth of Christ’s natural Body to be at one time in more places than one.”

I’ve not come across Derek Thomas before, am I mistaken or do I hear a faint Welsh accent?

Richard

10 years ago

I would also second Rob’s suggestion, perhaps you could work in a discussion on the practice of Communion seasons. I’m not sure if American Presbyterians do that but I know some of the Scots do, not quite sure why.

Camden Bucey

10 years ago

American Presbyterians often operate on a monthly or weekly schedule for administering the Lord’s Supper. How does a communion season work?

Jeff Waddington

10 years ago

Richard

You are correct. Derek Thomas hails from Wales.

Richard

10 years ago

Camden,

Services are usually held from Thursday to Monday, the following is form is used by Iain Campbell at Free Back Church:

* Thursday: Confession of sin
* Friday: Evidences of grace
* Saturday: Preparation for the Table
* Sunday: Administration of Lord’s Supper
* Sunday (evening): evangelistic service
* Monday: Thanksgiving

Hughes Oliphant Old mentions other forms on pp.139 of his Worship: Reformed According to Scripture. D. G. Hart and John R. Muether mention “‘Communion Seasons,’ that typically included a Thursday fast day, a Saturday preparatory service (where communion tokens were distributed), and a Thanksgiving service on the Monday following Sunday observance” (“The Lord’s Supper: How Often?”, Ordained Servant, 1997, 6:4).

glenclary

10 years ago

Since you’re on the subject of Communion Seasons, an absolute must-read on the subject is Holy Fairs: Scotland and the Making of American Revivalism by Leigh Eric Schmidt. This is an excellent history of Scottish Communion Seasons, which Schmidt argues is the origin of 19th century American Revivalism. Dr. Hughes Oliphant Old is coming out with a new book on the Lord’s Supper, which also goes into the subject in great detail.

Nicholas T. Batzig

10 years ago

Wine kills germs. Silver may do something as well. That was the gist of what I was saying!

Ian Watson

10 years ago

The reasons for communion seasons in Scotland was that the whole community would want to come and since the local land-owners were responsible for providing the elements they could hardly afford to do it more than once a year – sometimes years would pass between communions! So when people heard that communion was being celebrated in a certain parish they would flock there. It became an event, with all sorts of side-shows.

Regulative Principle « Nelson Baptist Blog

10 years ago

[…] through your worship practices, you may want to listen to the “Christ the Center” message found here concerning the regulative principle of worship.  Certainly, you desire for your worship services […]

Reformed Forum - Reformed Theology Podcasts, Videos, Blogs and More - » Blog Archive » The Sweet 16

9 years ago

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SAL

6 years ago

Does the practice of a special Kirkin o’ th’ Tartan service conform to the standards of the Regulative Principle?

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