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Make His Praise Glorious






"Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious." (Psalm 66.2)

A Defence of the Book of Psalms as the God given Manual of Praise in response to "The Praises of God in Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs" by Dr. Kenneth Dix

CONTENTS

Preface

1. The Purity of Worship  

Divine Worship

Regulated Worship

Freedom in Worship

Spontaneity in Worship

Simplicity in Worship

Spiritual Worship

2. The Parts of Worship

Baptism

The Lord's Supper

Prayer

Scripture Reading

Preaching

Praise

Conclusion  

3. The Psalter in Worship

Paul's Exhortations in Ephesians 5.19 and Colossians 3.16

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Psalm Titles in The Greek Septuagint Translation

4. The Position of Dr Dix

Human Compositions to Replace the Psalter

Hymns Supposed to be in the New Testament

Historical Evidence Lacking for an Early Church Hymn Book

5. The Psalter's Content Spiritual

The Language of the Psalter

The Doctrinal Range of the Psalter

The Word of God our Unfailing Guide

The Character of God

The Works of God

Man's Need for Redemption

The Redeemer and His Saving Work

Redemption in Individual Experience

Redemption in Corporate Experience

Redemption Completed

6. The Psalms in Metre

Translation of the Metrical Version To be Judged by the Original Hebrew

Its Translations are Genuinely Based Upon the Original Hebrew

Its Translations are Exegetically Based

Its Translations are Theologically Sound

Summary

7. The Points Established

PREFACE

Psalm 66 begins with the words: "Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works!" [1] This is language fit for heaven as the song in Revelation 15 shows. [2] Delitzsch comments: "The song into which the Psalmist here bids the nations break forth, is essentially one with the song of the heavenly harpers in Apoc. xv.3 sq...." [3] It is the life of heaven in the soul that declares: "Make his praise glorious." How delightful it is to be so occupied! But how shall mortal clay sing in tune with holy angels and the spirits of just men made perfect? [4] It is the conviction of the author that God himself has provided for this sacred unison by giving to the Church militant an inspired praise manual designated in our English Bibles "The Book of Psalms."

This fact is not well appreciated in our day on account of the widespread use of uninspired materials of praise in the worship of God be they hymns, Gospel songs or choruses. Many have grown so accustomed to these that the Scriptural psalms have been forgotten or largely displaced by human compositions. A justification of this situation has been attempted by Dr Kenneth Dix in a publication entitled The Praises of God in Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs (A defence of the singing of hymns as opposed to exclusive psalmody) As my own argument unfolds, it is my intention to show that Dr. Dix has failed to demonstrate the case for uninspired songs in congregational worship. Dr. Dix states that it is not his desire to stir up strife and I would like to say at the outset that I share that desire. He has presented what he believes to be a Scriptural defence for supplementing the Biblical Psalter with uninspired praise compositions in the worship of God. At a number of points I believe his argumentation and evidence are faulty and it is my intention to show the extent of this in a charitable way. The edification of God's people is accomplished by truth and the exchange of views concerning what is the truth of a matter is an important avenue to sanctification and service. Dr. Dix is welcome to respond to what I am here presenting to the attention of others and I trust that any subsequent debate can be conducted in a spirit of love for Christ, his truth and his brethren. In order to be fair to Dr. Dix I will often use his own words and seek to show that there is additional evidence beyond what he has presented which demonstrates that he has not provided a full enough picture for the case for exclusive psalmody to be properly understood and evaluated.

The agreed starting point is commitment to the supreme authority of Scripture in determining the will of God for the practice of his church. This is a solid foundation.

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