Reformed Worship Conference

If any of my readers are anywhere close to Atlanta in mid-to-late October, they should take advantage of the Reformed Conference on worship scheduled for October 21-24.

The Reformation Worship Conference is an outstanding opportunity for pastors, elders, leaders, and church members to gather to hear some of the leading experts in Reformed Worship. The Conference will be held in suburban Atlanta, Oct. 21-24, featuring Dr. Hughes Oliphant Old, Dr. Terry Johnson, Dr. T. David Gordon, Dr. Mark Ross, Dr. David W. Hall, Rev. Carl Robbins, Dr. Jon D. Payne, Dr. Paul Jones and others. Special sessions for church musicians will be held, and also embedded within the conference is a seminary course by Dr. Hughes Old (also available for D. Min. credit).

Early registration is available until Aug. 31, so don’t miss this opportunity to bring many from your church or presbytery for this outstanding conference.



  1. August 10, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Looks great! Unfortunately, I’m likely going to be otherwise disposed around that time. ;-)]

  2. Reed DePace said,

    August 10, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Currently five are attending from our congregation. This conference, plus two other initiatives this fall/winter are part of our faith-plans to see God equip our folks with a foundational understanding and committment to the biblical paradigm of worship.

    We’re quite hopeful of God’s blessings to this end. So grateful for this conference.

  3. August 12, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Hopefully there will be an emphasis on the regulative principle of worship. It’s important for the church to recover the worship theology of the Second Reformation.

  4. Rich said,

    August 13, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Sounds awesome! Wish it were closer…

    we’ve got a free mini conference at our church in Kansas City this saturday with Dr. Don Whitney from Southern Seminary in Louisville. for more info check out or

    there’s no seminary credits but there is a free bbq dinner!

  5. Bob Suden said,

    August 15, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    While I have most of Olds’ titles and have enjoyed them, besides his prayers for the pope (Leading in Prayer pp. 196,204,212), he is unreliable, if not disingenuous on the regulative principle of worship (Baptismal Rite 16th C, pp. ix, 102, 283; Worship, That is Reformed According to Scripture, pp.3,52).

    OK, maybe the high Rhenish reformers didn’t teach the doctrine in substance, but Calvin?

    And we all know where one S. Schlissel went with the vague “worship that is reformed according to Scripture” in his “Whatever I Don’t Know About the RPW . . . I Have Yet to Learn” series. Not in the direction of clarity or orthodoxy, but rather enthusiastic, if not deliberate confusion.

    Again with all due respect to TD Gordon, the reason why Johnny can’t sing hymns is that the WCF originally forbid them, regardless of N.Needham’s spurious special pleading in the Vol. 2 of the WCF into the 21st Century.

    While I am sure the affair will not be entirely unprofitable, it still leaves something to be desired from the confessional POV on the RPW.

    Or as someone else said recently,

    Does it not trouble us that virtually none of the Reformed Reformers from the 16th and 17th centuries would remain in one of our services? Seriously. . . Heidelblog, Apr.6,2010

    Same goes for the conference. It is hit or miss affair.

  6. Jon D. Payne said,

    August 17, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Dear Mr. Suden,

    In your post above you have called one of the world’s foremost Protestant scholars on Reformation worship, Dr. Hughes Old, unreliable and disingenuous. You have called Dr. Needham’s (and by implication Dr. Gordan’s) scholarship spurious on these matters. And you have stated that none of the 16th or 17th century Reformed would attend the October Reformation Worship Conference.

    Strong assertions, to say the least. Of course, it is fair to critique published writings. But perhaps better than lobbing grenades at the conference and its speakers, you should come and engage with them. Join the discussion, my friend. Come to the conference. There are only a few thousand Christians the world over who are willing to break fellowship over exclusive vs inclusive Psalm singing. Aren’t there other important matters to discuss, in addition to Psalm/hymn singing, in order to help ordinary Reformed believers and elders understand and embrace a more faithful and biblical approach to public worship … especially in a day like ours when worship has become so pragmatic, worldly and man-centered?

    You mentioned p. 3 of Old’s book entitled “Reformed Worship.” Regardless of the nuances of Dr. Old’s view of the RPW, it is helpful and refreshing to read, on that same page in Old’s book, his words about Martin Bucer:

    “At the very beginning of the Reformation we find this principle put forth by Martin Bucer (1491-1551), the leading Reformer of the city of Strasbourg, one of the first cities of that day actually to attempt liturgical reform. As Bucer put it, it is only worship which God asks of us which really serves him. Bucer obviously did not understand worship as though it were some sort of creative art, as though the object of worship were to entertain God with elaborate liturgical pageants and dramas. As Bucer and his colleagues understood it, God directs us above all to worship him by the proclamation of his Word, the giving of alms, the celebration of communion, and the ministry of prayer. This Bucer gathered from the text of Acts 2:42 which tells of the worship of the primitive church, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (p.3, 4)

    In addition to his other helpful writings, Dr. Old’s wonderful seven volume work on the “Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church” and his classic “The Patristic Roots of Reformed Worship” will, I believe, continue to help students and elders think through some of the most fundamental aspects of Reformed worship.

    We hope – by God’s grace – that the Reformation Worship Conference in October will do the same. Hope to see you there.


  7. Bob Suden said,

    August 17, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    “And you have stated that none of the 16th or 17th century Reformed would attend the October Reformation Worship Conference.”

    I said nothing of the sort, sir.
    Rather Olds is again great, but weak on the RPW. And others such as Schlissel, ( have capitalized on it. Thanks, but no thanks, I prefer a solid blast on the trumpet.

    Likewise Gordon and Needham, but they really blow it if they think the Assembly was in favor of uninspired hymns.

    That categorically is not the case and the Minutes for the Assembly make that perfectly clear.

    So clear it is hard to see how it can be ignored. The question was whether to sanction Rouse’s psalter over Barton’s and when Barton wouldn’t take no from the Assembly and appealed to the House of Lords, the Assembly came back and said they had already recommended their revision of Rouse’s psalter – which eventually became the Scottish Psalter – and several psalters would be a “great distraction and hindrance in edification” p.222 (see also , pp.131,5,47. . ).
    As I was taught in a jesuit high school, if we aren’t going to pay attention to the primary sources, we’re really not interested in history.

    Again, I do not think the conference will be unprofitable, but it is sad to see the compromises tolerated of the confessional POV of the RPW in favor of what? the big names that are coming or the commonplaces on the question?

    Yes, I know the WCF has been modified, but ad fontes was the cry of the reformation and it might behoove some modern moderate P&R churchmen to at least acknowledge what the original intent of the Standards were, rather than essentially disregard them, whether that is unintentional or not.

    Thank you.

  8. Reformed Sinner said,

    August 25, 2010 at 11:02 am

    This is great! I am just planning on sending a few church musicians to learn about Christian Worship and have a solid Biblical foundation and this pops up. Definitely send my people to this one.

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