17 Aug GS 2010 art 134
GS 2010 Article 134 – Hymn: We Praise You, Lord
- 1.1 Letters from Langley (8.3.J.31) and Owen Sound (8.3.J.20).
- 1.2 SCBP Report, Section Four, 10.3.II.11 (8.2.j).
- 2.1 This hymn is about baptism.
- 2.2 The SCBP decided not to include this hymn for the following reasons: it is not immediately clear that this song speaks about baptism; the doctrine of the covenant does not come out explicitly; awkward expressions may convey incorrect theology; e.g., when it speaks about the child being “grafted into the vine” it “may suggest that the child is a foreign element which is now ‘grafted’ on the original vine.”
- 2.3 The SCBP notes that there are many more appropriate Psalms and Hymns that can be used at baptism.
- 2.4 There are no “baptism hymns” in the current hymn section of the Book of Praise.
- 2.5 Langley observes that this hymn is very fitting for baptism, and states that “grafted into the vine” does not convey incorrect theology, pointing to the language of Scripture in John 15, Isaiah 5:7, Romans 11:17-24, and to the language used in Lord’s Day 7. Langley sees little difference between the words “ingrafting” and “incorporating.”
- 2.6 Owen Sound believes that this hymn speaks biblically and covenantally about baptism.
- 2.7 Langley and Owen Sound both observe that though there are Psalms that may be used in connection with baptism, the same may be said with respect to the Lord’s Supper. Yet we do have hymns intended for use with the Lord’s Supper, while there are currently no hymns intended specifically for use with baptism. It seems inconsistent to have hymns for use with the Lord’s Supper hymns, but not hymns for use with baptism.
- 3.1 While it is true that there are Psalms and Hymns that may be used in connection with baptism, it is also true, as Langley and Owen Sound observe, that the same may be said with respect to the Lord’s Supper. Yet in the current hymn section, we do have hymns intended for use with the Lord’s Supper, but no hymns intended specifically for use with baptism. It does indeed seem inconsistent to have hymns for use with the Lord’s Supper, but not hymns for use with baptism.
- 3.2 The Lord Jesus speaks of branches that are “in him” in John 15:2, and it is clear that these branches may subsequently, because of disobedience, be “cut off” by the Father. Understood in light of these words of the Lord Jesus, it is not incorrect to thank the Father that our covenant children are “grafted to the vine.”
- 3.3 While the hymn does not speak explicitly about baptism, when sung in the worship service in connection with baptism, its relevance will be clear enough.
That Synod decide to approve the Hymn We Praise You, Lord for inclusion in the expanded hymn section of the Book of Praise, contrary to the recommendation of the SCBP.