Although Professor Frame has been no stranger to theological controversy in the last few years (see his recent Escondido Theology), this work is an irenic piece that is gentle, helpful, and unifying for the Body of Christ. I expected Frame to take a much harder stance on some contemporary issues related to corporate worship (i.e. contemporary musical forms) inasmuch as Frame has a renowned reputation as a gifted and traditional organist.
I was delighted to see a conservative
writer (Frame is ordained in the PCA) express his desire to be generous
regarding traditional versus contemporary issues and the "worship wars."
Frame's interpretation of the Regulative Principle (the idea that only
what is commanded in Scripture is permissible) is broad enough to bind
together Reformed believers of various worship styles.
spends much of the first half of the book guiding the reader through the
theological underpinnings of gathered worship from both Old and New
Testaments. He amply helps his audience draw conclusions from Scripture
that lead to the conviction held by most in the Reformed tradition- that
Scripture alone should guide worship. Yet in the second half of the
work, Frame answers many practical questions (Is drama permissible?
Should Psalms alone be sung? Should we lift our hands or dance with our
bodies?) that often plague modern worship leaders. He kindly applies
some degree of latitude to the strictness with which many others in our
tradition apply the Regulative Principle.
As a pastor myself, I found this work to be very helpful as I endeavor to organize worship services for my own church.
Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, Florida.