Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

September 19, 2005

Here I am to dash off a quick sketch of the introd…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 2:51 am

Here I am
to dash off a quick sketch of the introduction to Hughes Old’s book “Worship Reformed according to Scripture”. First of all, this is a new book, written in 2002. So, presumably, the author is in tune with the current state of the church overall, to some degree.

Old makes the claim that we worship God primarily for two reasons. First, we were created for this reason. In fact all creation exists for this reason. It is with this in mind that we strive to glorify God when we worship Him. The second reason that we worship Him is that we are commanded to do so. Old rightly sees the first four of the ten commandments specifically pointing to worship. (He holds the reformed position, that Deut 5:7 is the first commandment and 5:8 is the second, whereas Lutherans and the Roman Catholic church holds those two verses as one commandment. They arrive at ten by splitting the 10th commandment into two.)

The first commandment is really what worship is all about. Loving God supremely. (Piece of cake, right?). The second addresses specifics about what goes in and on in worship. Desire for fine expressions of art, entertainment or excitement in worship are misdirected and a violation of the second commandment. The third commandment, in adjuring us not to use God’s name in vain, says we must worship honestly and sincerely (here is worship in spirit and truth). The fourth commandment ties the first three to real life; that this worship is to take place in our real lives on a real day, namely the sabbath.

Old then lays out three simple and clear principles of reformed worship. They are:
– It is according to Scripture
– It is done in the name of Christ. Baptism, gathering, prayer, preaching, teaching, alms giving and more are all done in the name of Christ.
– It is the work of the Holy Spirit. Praying, singing, preaching and testifying are all done in the Spirit. Any time the Holy Spirit is involved, holiness on the part of the covenant community is also an issue. Unification into one body, sanctification, edification, transformation and salvation are all the products of worship.

Up next, Baptism.



  1. I think this is a very accurate view of worship. The focus should be God Centered rather than on man. However, I have the following reservations:

    What about the Lord’s Supper? Isn’t that to be part of the worship service? I see that Baptism was included in your list…maybe just an oversight.

    Also, please elaborate on the comment regarding art as a violation of the second commandment? Are we to presume the art that was integral with the design of the tabernacle and/or the temple were violations of the second commandment? I thought those guys were building it under the inspiration of the Spirit and the pattern revealed to Moses by God.

    Comment by mike s. — September 20, 2005 @ 1:23 am

  2. The list concerned things which are done in Christ’s name. The book actually listed the Lord’s supper along with other things which are done in His name. I thought the way Old presented it, it was quite a stretch, so I left it out. Here is the quote: “In the upper room at the last supper Jesus had commissioned the twelve to act as his agents, ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ . . . . Now the apostles were to go out and hold the memorial that he appointed in his name.”

    As you yourself point out, the art that was integral couldn’t have been a violation of the second commandment since it was God that commanded them what to do.

    Stay tuned for a much later date when an article on the regulative principle of worship appears.

    Comment by Bruce S — September 20, 2005 @ 4:49 am

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