Exclusive Psalmody Debate at RPTS: Dr. Denny Prutow v. Dr. T. David Gordon

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by Backwoods Presbyterian, Mar 22, 2015.

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  1. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    If you live in the Western Pennsylvania area I highly recommend making time for this event. I assume it will be recorded.

  2. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't eat desserts, so can I attend for free? ;)
  3. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

  4. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thank you very much, been hoping this would turn up online soon!
  5. scottmaciver

    scottmaciver Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I listened to the debate and, not surprisingly, it was conducted graciously. I was surprised that Dr Gordon suggested that EP has always been the minority position, although perhaps I picked him up wrong!

    The last section of the debate was engaging, particularly the reference to the songs sung by the Israelites which aren't in the Psalter, such as the son of Deborah. The reponse by Dr Prutow in relation to occassional songs and 2 Chronicles 29:30 was interesting, 'Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.'

    It reminded me of the book I read last year, 'The True Psalmody,' which also dealt with the question as to why some of the songs sang in the O.T weren't included in the Psalter, as follows...

    'Why are some of those songs, which are found in other parts of the Bible, introduced likewise into the Book of Psalms, while others have no place in that collection? I can conceive of no answer so satisfactory as this; that the Book of Psalms being designed for permanent use in the worship of God, those songs have a place in this book, which, in the estimation of Infinite Wisdom, were best adapted to the edification of the church in all ages.'
    (Chapter 2 'The Book of Psalms has the Seal of Divine Appointment, which None other has', PP.65)

    Looking forward to hearing thoughts from others about the debate.

  6. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I also enjoyed the debate, it was fair, honest, and thought provoking. I wish for of these kinds of things.

    Though I do agree on the "minority" question. Everything that the Reformed hold to have been the minority through the ages, that is no argument against it. ;)
  7. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    Right, I found it particularly strange that Dr. Gordon made that point not long after he affirmed that both he and Dr. Prutow hold to the Regulative Principle of Worship which he notes is an uncommon position amongst Christians.

    Regardless, a very well conducted debate.
  8. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    I too enjoyed the debate. The presence of other songs in Scripture outwith the Psalter is not an argument against EP. At best it would be an argument for some use of other songs outwith services of worship, mentioned in the Preface to the 1673 Scottish Psalter.

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  9. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    That is so true Richard. I love Hymns and other Christ Centered music that I will not sing during Worship. I have even broke open with praise and thanksgiving making melody in my heart to the Lord that is definitely not inspired as God's Hymnbook.
  10. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Well it also means that the Church by only having the Psalms of David during the worship services isn't imposing on anyone's liberty of conscience.

    It also establishes clear blue water between the worship service which is devoted to worship and other more informal occasions where some worship may be going on. Where the RPW hasn't been carefully followed, in many congregations this distinction has been easily broken down.

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  11. Tyrese

    Tyrese Puritan Board Sophomore

    I managed to listen to the entire debate yesterday. I too enjoyed tuning in! However, it seems the more I listen (or read) material on Exclusive Psalmody the more I'm convinced that it's ok to use hymns with the Psalms. The same happens every time I investigate infant baptism; I end up being more convinced of believers baptism. It's really strange how that happens. Personally, I find it odd that God requires a strict use of Psalmody even though it's not so obvious; hence this debate. If it requires mental gymnastics around this and over that, I immediately abandon the idea. Anyways, I still enjoyed listening. There's nothing like listening to a good debate on a nice warm day!
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  12. R Harris

    R Harris Puritan Board Sophomore

    Cannot believe that Gordon even went there with the "minority" argument. You are right about the Reformed being a small minority throughout the ages. So, if numbers make "right" on doctrine, then we need to immediately go back to the RC Church and ask forgiveness for almost 500 years of rebellion.

    But again, I wonder what period he is looking at. Exclusive, or at a minimum predominant, psalmody was the standard for at least the first 450 years of so of the Church. During the reformation, probably 90%+ held to it until Mr. Watts came along in the second decade of the 18th century and changed the landscape dramatically.
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