Calvin’s Reformation of Worship is Still Needed
Matthew Vogan
Matthew Vogan was the General Manager at Reformation Scotland Trust from 2015-2022. He has written various books including volumes about Samuel Rutherford and Alexander Shields.
15 May, 2015

Biblical worship was a central principle of the Reformation of the sixteenth century, particularly the Reformed Churches. 

The following excerpt is from the introduction to Songs of the Spirit: the Place of Psalms in the Worship of God ed. Kenneth Stewart.


The Reformation was not just a reformation of doctrine and church government but a reformation of worship as well.  In the movement of Reformation, the authority of scripture was of paramount importance and this guiding principle determined the content and form of worship as well as the doctrine of the church and its government.  And for John Calvin – and indeed for most of the other leading 16th century Reformers – the Bible only authorised the singing of Psalms alone without instrumental accompaniment.

It is hardly surprising, then, that the large family of Reformed churches which were distinguished from others by use of Calvin’s name (Calvinist) – and which made up the overwhelming majority of Reformed churches in Europe – adopted the practice of unaccompanied psalm singing in their worship.

Songs of the Spirit


Sound teaching on the subject of biblical worship: the worship that God commands from us, rather than that which we choose to give to Him.

A variety of authors from various Churches have contributed to this volume. They share a common conviction that we must worship God in the songs that He Himself has inspired.


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