Friday, August 2, 2013

The Regulative Principle of Worship

On today's program, I discussed the Reformed regulative principle of worship. I went through some of the basic arguments for this position and demonstrated why I believe them to be flawed.

Here is the program.


J. Dean said...

This was a great podcast, Jordan, and perhaps one of your best. Your point about Hanukkah was one that I've brought up to RPW adherents before and have received less than satisfactory replies (one person said--and I'm not making this up--"Well, we don't know that Jesus was actually celebrating Hanukkah just because He was there."

Ryan said...

I really liked this podcast. I think the arguments about the absence of a New Testament Leviticus and the impossibility of actually implementing the RPW were especially powerful. I wonder about the argument from church history though. It seems like, from the Lutheran point of view at least, it proves too much. There are things that Lutherans reject that were accepted everywhere for a long time before the Reformation. For example, I'm not aware of anyone challenging the veneration of icons after the ninth century or so. The practice of intercessory prayers to the saints seems to have been universal for at least 1200 years before the Reformation. Even the iconoclasts generally didn't challenge that.

Noah Kelley said...

Hi Jordan,
I appreciated hearing your interaction with this. Your point about Jesus participating in the synagogue was something to think about. I also appreciated that you point out that not holding to the Regulative principle doesn't mean free-for-all. It might have been helpful if you clarified that many people only hold the Regulative principle with regard to the elements, which is a little more reasonable than some of the extremes. I also appreciated your replies to the Reformed view, but it left my asking, positively, what forms the Lutheran worship? If I could read between the lines, I might guess that the church's historical worship as it is guided by Scripture is what forms Lutheran worship. Is this correct? Thanks again!

Mike Baker said...

Where does scripture explicitly permit worship in the English language?

The Regulative Principle "slippery slope argument" conveniently ignores the example of eastern rite churches... many of whom have remained largely unchanged since the Liturgy of St James (400 AD at the latest).

As a Lutheran convert myself (from charismatic anabaptism), I have not seen the normative principle used as a term in Lutheran circles. Most worship considerations are addressed in the Augsburg Confession, it's Apology, and the broader concept of Adiaphora. In the end, such decisions tend to be governed by the concept that "while everything is permitted, not everything is beneficial."