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Sunday, January 28, 2007

I wish these things did not come to me in the shower.
I shower late, and hate writing on the wall with soap, so here
it is, 1:44AM Sunday morning, and I'm blogging.

Much has been done with the argumentum a silentio, where church polity is concerned.
Our fellowship, f'rinstance, does not utilize musical instruments in worship. The New Testament enjoins us to "sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord"

Ephesians 5:18-20, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" (cf Colossians 3:16)

We are explicitly told "sing and make melody". We are not told to have an orchestra, a one-man-band, nor a kazoo, for which I am profoundly grateful, as I despise music practice, and if God had said "piano", then the sea-lawyers among us would make it a salvific requirement for me to tickle the ivories.

The Argument From Silence concludes that because God does not mention "musical instruments" in the New Testament, the church should not use them, as there is no specific authority. Unfortunately, one can use the same "proof" to show that the apostle Paul did not believe in the Virgin Birth of Christ, because he never mentions it.

It is not my desire or interest therefore to drag an aging upright into the sanctuary....errr, auditorium, nor to install a Righteous pipe organ around the baptistry. I merely want to call a style of reasoning into question, to have it examined.

The type of argument here used springs from Aristotelian logic, a Greek -or Gentile- construct.
Well and good, but what is the wellspring whence the church sprang? Is it not Hebraic thinking, a covenant-based process, a mode of thought alien and barbaric to the Greek? Should we not be trained to think in the terms and ways Jesus, Peter, and Paul thought? (And, no, I am NOT advocating "judaizing" the church. I've read Galatians, too. The idea is to attempt to think and reason the way Jesus did.)

I can go no deeper now than to say that it seems to me that attempting to "decode" Hebraic Scriptures using Greek methods will ultimately be as useful as trying to decrypt 128 bit encryption using a pear. You might get something, but likely it will be sticky, unpleasant, and expensive.

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