Ligon Duncan on the Regulative Principle


Recently, I’ve been thinking alot about the Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW) and this has spilled over considerably into the blogs that I’ve been writing and thinking of writing.  My journey towards this crucial doctrine began around 2012, when I learned of the relationship between Martin Luther and John Calvin, as it related to their views on worship.  It was further refined through some group bible studies around the same time, but did not begin to permeate my own thoughts on worship until 2014.  Since then it has become evident that to assume to be “reformed” in any way, other than by name only, necessitates understanding and applying the Regulative Principle of Worship.

In the video below, Ligon Duncan provides an overview of what this doctrine means.  It’s a good introduction, but my question for him would be how he applies the definition that he gives.  Duncan is pastor as First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Miss.  While I haven’t attended his church, I’m certain that they follow a fairly consistent order of Protestant liturgy, as so many other churches do.  (see FPC here) I have no doubt that he desires to honor the Lord in how his congregation worships God, but the problem is that a set order of liturgy altogether is in itself a violation of the Regulative Principle, simply because God has not commanded it, nor has God commanded “worship services”.  There is not one single passage in Scripture that provides it either as an example or a command.

Nevertheless, the brief video is a valuable tool for further understanding RPW.  Below the video, I’ve included links to some posts where I discuss and apply the RPW.