Calvin and Musical Instruments

One of my strongest disagreements with Calvin concerns  his rejection of musical instrumentation (though Calvin was not gifted musically, yet his music leaders/liturgist put all the psalms into music; it is known as the Genevan Psalter). For instance, in his observations on Psalm 98:4, Calvin writes:

When he speaks of musical instruments the allusion is evidently to the practice of the Church at that time, without any intention of binding down the Gentiles to the observance of the ceremonies of the law.

Calvin overlooks the dynamic nature of instrumentation as tools of warfare. Thus, he misses the Davidic theme in these psalms, since it is David’s instrumental music that frightens the evil demons. Musical instruments keep the rhythm for the armies of Yahweh throughout sacred scriptures.  Fortunately, Luther preserved instrumentation in the Church, and this Lutheran reformation is precisely the one the modern Reformation must follow.

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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