New Edition of the Most Important Book on Worship Ever Written

That’s kind of a long title for a blog post, but I feel that this book needs to be out there, and it needs to be read. The worship wars that are surrounding us on every side have their usual basis in the rejection of the regulative principle of worship, or its being (re)defined out of existence. This prepublication price is a steal, and I highly recommend that anyone wanting to know about Reformed worship pick up this book. The new edition has all the citations (over a thousand) carefully traced and confirmed, making this by far the best critical edition of this work ever published. Many thanks to Chris Coldwell for this labor of love. May it bear rich fruit in bringing the Reformed world back to its senses in the area of worship.


  1. adoptedsidekick said,

    October 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

    There really are attacks on the Regulative principle, and they’re coming from BOTH sides. I encountered one of my own and wrote about it on my blog here: If I have missed the mark on the issue, I’m sure the book will help set me straight too. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. yhwhrohi said,

    October 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    A. Sidekick,

    I think G.G. would disagree with your view of instruments and such.

    fwiw, one of the problems with this book “reaching” the modern audience is the application of the RPW to the area of musical instruments. Like it or not, some will reject his good, biblical arguments because they will not agree with him on instruments and psalmody.

    Baby, meet bath water.

  3. Benjamin P. Glaser said,

    October 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    It is not just instruments of course, or hymnody, or even choirs, when it comes to the application of the RPW, especially in regards to Gillespie’s title of this work “English Popish Ceremonies”. It has been interesting to me to see how many folks in the internet I have seen promoting this book who practice elements of the church calendar (like Christmas, Easter, etc..) and yet unironically are advocating the reading of this work.

  4. October 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    N.B. Gillespie does not address the use of musical instruments in public worship or exclusive psalmody in English Popish Ceremonies. The book basically stays within the same general principles with which a old school Southern Presbyterian like Girardeau (hymn singing, no instruments) and modern strict old school Presbyterian (hymn singing and modest accompaniment) should be in agreement.

  5. yhwhrohi said,

    October 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm


    Thanks for the correction about this work.

    Despite the fact that Gillespie doesn’t cover instruments in this book, he would have held to a no instruments practice, right?

  6. October 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    That is correct yhwhrohi. But other than being a signer jointly of a letter approving of the removal of the organs from Westminster and St. Paul’s I do not recall he specifically laid a case or argument himself on either issue; but it was certainly the position of the Scottish church and Puritans of his time. Bear in mind psalm singing was the predominate practice of the day and the only musical instruments were the few organs in the cathedrals. About the only thing you might have found in the parish churches would have been a pitch pipe.

  7. Philip Larson said,

    October 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I’ve wondered whether Elijah held to this form of the RPW since he rebuilt the high place at Mt. Carmel, then lamented to the Lord about how all the high places are being torn down. I would have thought that, if he had held to the RPW as some propose it, he would have promoted worship only on Mt. Zion, not Mt. Carmel. Just wondering. (Deut. 12; the seemingly backhanded rebukes of Jehoshaphat in 1 Kings 22:43, and other “good” kings in similar passages).

  8. October 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Elijah did what he did at God’s command (1 Kings 18:36). God had also commanded that his people should not worship Him in the high places but where he commanded them (Deut 12). These high places of will worship were tolerated but clearly should not have been (hence the notice of the kings that did not fully reform and remove them). So comparing scripture to scripture, Poole’s explanation seems appropriate. “Thrown down thine altars; those which were erected for thy worship in high places, which they did not destroy because they were to be abolished by thy command, Deu 12, but out of mere contempt and opposition against thee, and therefore they suffered the altars of Baal to stand.”

  9. Stuart said,

    October 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks, Chris.

    I think the gist of my original point still stands even with a caveat.

    There will be those who will reject whatever good arguments Gillespie has because of his specific application (even if it is not specifically stated in this work).

    Whether organs or guitars, most churches will not give up their instruments, and probably won’t give a fair listen to the arguments of those who would forbid their use.

    Maybe I’m wrong about that too.

  10. adoptedsidekick said,

    October 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks for the input, I’m not familiar with the author yet, but I always take Green Baggins’ recommendations seriously. I’m still “going to school” on the Regulative Principle. Perhaps one solution to the issue of talented believers having good “Christ-friendly” outlets, besides the “believers’ meetings” each Lord’s Day, is community concerts and such. No?

  11. November 21, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Last week for special pricing; this book ships to NP Nov. 25 and orders get sent out asap once they arrive. This offer is only good at the link below now; it is not offered at the Naphtali website. This book is a steal at this postage paid price of 19.95 US, and the international offer is not too shabby given the postage expense.
    This is not an easy read, but everything has been done that can be done to make this the critical edition to own and study. You may have to cut and paste the link.

  12. December 13, 2013 at 8:50 am

    While the prepub is now over (and thanks to all who took advantage; best NP prepub ever), you can purchase a copy of Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies for good prices at the Naphtali site or at RHB or Solid Ground Christian Books.…/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: