Kevin DeYoung touches a raw nerve on the neglect of psalm singing. You can read the full post, and here are some highlights:
Is there a command of Scripture we disobey more frequently, and with so little shame, as the injunction to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16)? I mean, seriously, it’s right there in black and white. We are supposed to sing psalms.
As far as I can tell, the exegetical debate is not about whether these three terms refer to something other than biblical psalms, but whether they might all refer to different kinds of biblical psalms. Either way, God wants us to sing psalms does he not?
Jesus sang the Psalms (Matt. 26:30). The early church sang the Psalms. The Reformers, especially in the tradition of Calvin, loved to sing the Psalms and labored mightily to restore them to the church. The Bay Psalm Book was the first book printed in America.
The Psalms—150 God-breathed songs—have been the staple of Protestant (and especially Reformed) worship for 500 years. And yet how many of our churches sing a Psalm even once a month? I know there are exceptions, but by and large the evangelical church is bereft of Psalm singing. We might unknowingly stumble into one every now and again through Isaac Watts, but for the most part we don’t think about singing Psalms; we don’t plan to sing Psalms; and we don’t sing Psalms.
Assuming we haven’t started an irreversible trend, I imagine future generations will be puzzled by our avoidance of the Psalms. “Why did they give up on the Psalms?” they may ask. “Didn’t they know God wrote them? I suppose they were worried that no one would like singing Psalms. I guess they assumed young people wouldn’t stomach it.
But why didn’t they try? Why didn’t they come up with new music for the Psalms? Why didn’t they teach their people about the emotional depth and Christological richness and the gritty honesty of the Psalms? And if they couldn’t think of any other reasons to sing the Psalms, why didn’t they just do it because the Bible told them to?”