Sunday, August 17, 2008

Psalm 147

For those who enjoy music - for those who are merry - for who simply wish to worship God - here's a beautiful rendition of the first part of Psalm 147 - feel free to sing along:

It is a comely thing to Praise God,



Anonymous said...

I had never heard of Jason Coghill, PCES. That's wonderful to hear how he ministers using the Psalms. --Godith

natamllc said...

oncore, oncore, oncore! yes!

Matthew said...

Indeed, the singing of Psalm 147 was beautiful!

However, if I'm not mistaken, there is an idolatrous ymage (an image meant to represent Jesus at Gethsemane)in the video.

*searches from Psalm 106*

natamllc said...

You know, it really is a breath of fresh air to be as stupid as in "slow of mind" to catch one's own typographical errors, identical ones to boot and argue that I am not totally depraved at the same time! I mean, in here, we do believe in total depravity even totally depraved computers having a keyboard mind all their own, right? ah, no! What?! :)

Let me set the record straight then:

encore, encore, encore!!! Yes,

as he hits the comment button mumbling something like "you idiot, do spell check first", :(


luvvom said...

Very well done! I would like to hear Psalm 145 put to song.

Matthew, I did not catch the image of Jesus...I'll watch it again. R.C. Sproul has a very interesting teaching on our misgivings concerning the images of Jesus being a graven image. I couldn't believe my ears him being a Presbyterian as I am. However, his teaching was very compelling. Still, I think I would never have a picture of Jesus. I do not like them personally. However, I'm not so sure I would deem others as sinning if they were to have one unless they thought of it more than just a picture.

luvvom said...

Ahhh! Now I see what I think you feel is Jesus praying on a rock. You could be right. The artist could have had Christ in mind when he drew that scene. However, it would be an unconventional depiction of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Anything is possible, of course. However, no one but the artist could convince me without some doubt that the man is Jesus. So, even if it were a sin to depict Christ in a picture, one would be hard press to place this picture in the sin category. Indeed, that man could be one of Christ's followers. Surely, Christ wasn't the only one who wore a robe and had long dark hair...or was it long blond hair? :o) Ahhh! Maybe the puzzle is solved! This portrait can't be Christ since he has dark hair! I shouldn't tease you. I only do to settle your nerves. I think we are safe, however. I believe the man to be a follower of Christ's.

Turretinfan said...


That's one of R.C. Sproul's biggest weaknesses. It places him out of line with the Westminster Standards, and - more importantly - the Bible.


Matthew said...


We all have sin, but we should not keep on sinning. May we confess our sins before God and may the Lord sanctify us in His word (see: 1 John 1; John 17:17)

Images that are meant to represent Christ at Gethsemane are conventional among idolaters. The image of the video is similar to those images. I hope the artist will never convince you that the man is Jesus. Christ can't be pictured (He is unpictureable). However, if the image is meant to represent Christ that is idolatry - just as the golden calf was meant to represent God (see Exodus 32; Psalm 106). And, even if we could see Him, which we can't now (see: 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 16:16; John 20:29; 2 Corinthians 5:6-16), that wouldn't give us licence to make an image of Him, because He has forbidden it (e.g. Exodus 20; Isaiah 42:8-17; 48:11; Acts 17:16-34; Romans 1:18-23).

Also note that idolatrous images are opposite/opposed/contrary/against faith and hope in the unseen Christ (see: Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 8:23-25; Galatians 5:5 1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 Corinthians 4-5; Revelation 22:4). And idolatrous images are opposite/opposed/contrary/against love for the unseen Christ (see: Exodus 20; Matthew 5:17; John 14; 1 John 2; 1 John 4:12;)

Thankfully, the apostles wrote down and declared and testified to us what they saw, heard, and touched concerning the Word of Life (see: 1 John 1). Indeed, they were moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (see: 2 Peter 1:16-21). So, let us turn to His word for the testimony of those who have seen Him.

luvvom said...

Sproul has his weaknesses, but I'm not sure it is in this area. Like I said before I don't like Jesus pictures and would never have them. I did get rid of a picture of The Lord's Supper when I first entered the OPC. It was done in such a way where you couldn't make out the faces very well. It matters not to me now, but if I still had the same picture now after hearing Sproul's teaching I probably wouldn't get rid of it. The Second Commandment states:

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them..."

Obviously, we have pictures of heavenly, earthly, and those things in the sea to adorn our walls. We think nothing of them because we have not made them into graven images....or have we? We are harsh on those who have pictures of Jesus because we assume they have made them into a graven image when it is highly possible they only want Christian art in their homes. Now, take the the man whose pride is in their car. Their car consumes much of their conversation, they spend much of their time with it etc. This is indeed a graven image for that man. We make gods out of the things we love more than God. But who do we judge more harshly the person with the Jesus picture or the man with the car? Remember that the Second Commandment forbids us to make anything created into a form which takes the place of God. Jesus did and still does have a human body. Paintings of Christ are paintings only of His humanness not His divinity. What the possessor does with that picture is what determines whether or not it is a graven image. I believe this subject needs more pondering if for no other reason but to show us all our graven images which we refuse to admit or of which we are ignorant. We imagine golden calves and the like being graven images when we all have them sitting around our homes or on the lake or in the air and in the mirror.

Turretinfan said...

Yes, this is one of Sproul's weak areas - it is an area in which he runs counter to the doctrinal standards of his denomination (assuming they are to be interpreted according to original intent and assuming that you have accurately reported his position). More importantly, of course, it is a position contrary to Scripture.

"We are harsh on those who have pictures of Jesus because we assume they have made them into a graven image when it is highly possible they only want Christian art in their homes."

I try not to be harsh on the people ... but the practice is contrary to Scripture. The pictures are not convertable into representational images, they are representational images and they are representational images of the second person of the godhead. I suppose I could see an exception for someone who had pictures of Jesus but denied his divinity (a Muslim for example), but such a person has a first commandment problem.

Making an "idol" out of one's car is essentially a figure of speech. The car is not a representational likeness of itself. It is not an idol in that sense.

Again, though, it may become an object of worship, in which case there is a first commandment (and more serious) problem.

"Paintings of Christ are paintings only of His humanness not His divinity." Clearly ... which is part of the reason they are an abomination.


natamllc said...


I like how the Apostle handles something similar from 1 Corinthians when he writes this:

1Co 8:4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "an idol has no real existence," and that "there is no God but one."
1Co 8:5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth--as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"--
1Co 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
1Co 8:7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
1Co 8:8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.
1Co 8:9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
1Co 8:10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols?

We have a family man attending my Church who owns several successful "family" restaurants in our area. He takes a lot of heat from some Christian circles for displaying football and baseball memorabilia on the walls in his restaurants and sponsoring university games and little leagues. Some Christians think he is going way to far with his decor and sponsorships and T.V. adds.

I also heard the story of another guy who pastors a church walking out of a store drinking an apple cider in a clear bottle one morning. Across the street were two members of his congregation sitting down eating breakfast in a restaurant. One of them had a problem with drinking. He made comments to the other guy about the Pastor and his "drinking" in public "beer" so early in the morning! It wasn't a beer bottle in his hand but a bottle of apple cider. When he heard what the man thought, he resolved never to drink anything that remotely looked like a "bottle" of beer in public! Could that be taking things to the extreme? I don't know?

Oh, that I had such sensitivity toward the weak though!

luvvom said...

I do wish to continue to discuss this, but only if you understand it is to understand God's Word more clearly and not to argue one's point of opinion. This is your site and want to respect it. May I continue the discussion?

Turretinfan said...


I'd be happy to point you toward resources for further study on this issue.

Question 109: What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?

Answer: The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature: Whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense: Whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God has appointed.

That's part of the doctrinal standards of your church, and Sproul's church as well, and is what we (the Reformed) believe Scripture teaches on the matter.

Perhaps this is a matter that would be better addressed either with your husband (if you are married) or with your session (otherwise). Those who God has placed in your life to instruct you in doctrine may be in a better place to explain to you these issues than I am.

I have no desire to usurp their role.


luvvom said...

I am familiar with the WSC (although not the larger) and what it has to say on the Second Commandment. Please don't feel you are usurping church's authority of instruction toward me...they've done their duty. However, the WSC isn't the end of all answered questions. Although a highly valued piece of work, it is still a piece of work written by man and so has its errors. My WSC doesn't have all the definition that you have in yours. Do you get your definition from the Larger Catachism? Your definition certainly puts more into the commandment and also takes away from the commandment than does the Bible. I believe one should start with a definition of graven image. This would be the key in understanding the Second Commandment. Then we could go on to understanding all the ways in which we have graven images in our lives. Graven image is defined as a carved image used as an idol. I'm sure there is a better definition, but I feel we can use this definition for this discussion. The First Commandment tells us to not have any gods before God. God knew that when we have gods before Him we normally always have a graven image to represent that god. Mankind seems to have a need to make visible their gods. The Second Commandment prevents us from making idols that represent Him and making idols of the gods we have before Him. These graven images play a role of devotion in our lives. We might not physically bow down to them but our hearts certainly do. We can make a graven image out of anything. Anytime we have something that we put before God, it becomes our god and it isn't long before we a make a graven image out of it. This we can do when we get outside the Regulative Principle of worship thus making a graven image of God. This we can do in our daily lives out of the things we love more than God. We cannot say that only pictures of God or objects we put in our services that don't belong there are the only things of which the Second Commandment is speaking. On the other hand, it is quite possible to have an image of Jesus' humanness and not think of it as anything important. My niece gave me the picture of the Lord's Supper and the only value it held was in its gift (its long gone in the trash now...sadly). Most of the time I forgot it was even there (wasn't in a very visible area). Therefore, that piece of art was not a graven image for me. However, I do have many graven images in my life of which God is working on ridding me. It is important to idenify the real graven images so that God can rid them from our lives. Otherwise, we are under the impression that as long as we don't have any object which depicts God we are safe in not disobeying this commandment wich is far from the truth.

luvvom said...

Since you haven't posted my comment, did I waste my time by continuing this discussion? You did give me permission to continue it. It's ok if you don't want people to continue a discussion on your site since it is your site, but you should indicate that instead of encouraging them to take time out for you. I don't mean to sound mean spirited I certainly hope I don't, but I just feel you should take other people's time into consideration. I work 12 hour shifts and I don't have much time to devote to any one site. If that site doesn't want to hear from me then I do wish them to say so instead of indicating that they do want to hear from me. Anyway, it's not a huge matter just a note on considering others. If you did plan on posting it, forgive me. I just saw my other comment posted which I wrote after I wrote my comment for this post so that lead me to think you were not going to post it. Perhaps I hurt your feelings in some way...if so then I do apologize! Peace

Turretinfan said...


I'm sorry my initial comment wasn't more clear. I was suggesting that we not continue the discussion here, in light of the fact that your elders/husband are in a better place to explain to you the Biblical basis for the Westminster Larger Catechism's explanation.

Another resource I can point you to is this one:

link to resource

Also, I apologize for the delay in posting your comments. Just so you know, there are about 70 other comments currently awaiting moderation right now ... the more thought a comment provokes from me, often the longer it takes for me to publish it. At least one comment has been pending for about a year.


Matthew said...


Keep in mind that R.C. Sproul's work on the matter is also by a man ('so it has its errors'). Is R.C. Sproul's teaching on the matter available online (for free)?

Here are some definitions:

Idol (Fausset’s Bible Dictionary as found on e-sword)

Idol (not sure of the source)

I'd also suggest looking up the preview of the book Why Christ can't be pictured By J. Virgil Dunbar at google books. On page 124 he explains the greek words for idol (eidolon) and idolatry (eidololatria OR eido + latreuo).

luvvom said...

I'm sorry! Once again I have failed to think the best of other people's actions and instead resorted to thinking less of their actions. The sin lies with me and for that I'm sorry. I also apologize for not understanding your comment that you didn't want to discuss the matter...that truly was a misunderstanding on my part.

I listened to that particular podcast from Sproul a long time ago. I didn't believe someone else who told me about it until I heard it. Jim from Old Truth in turn didn't believe me until he heard it. When I have time I will try to find it for you if it is still in his archives. However, I do wish to respect Turretinfan so I won't post it here and this will obviously be my last comment on this subject here. If you really do want me to look for it, click onto my name and email me. Also, I know the reformed thinking on this. That's why I stated earlier the church has done its job in teaching me the reformed view, but thanks for the links anyway. I appreciate people's efforts toward me. Actually, even the unreformed church that I grew up in didn't allow "Jesus pictures" or even crosses etc. Sproul's thoughts on this matter are new to me, but I do see truth in them.

Again, Turretin, I'm sorry! I'm truly not psycho :o)