Exclusive Psalmody Debate, Gordon-Prutow

A cordial informative edifying discussion/debate on the Question: Should we sing psalms exclusively in worship?
Dr. T. David Gordon, Grove City College Prof, takes the negative.
Dr. Dennis Prutow, RPTS Emeritus Prof, takes the affirmative.
Opening Presentations (20 Minutes Each)
Rebuttals (10 Minutes Each)
Debaters Examine Each Other (10 Minutes Each)
Rebuttals/Closings (15 Minutes Each)
Audience Q&A Not Recorded


Do we really need a Psalter Hymnal? – Donald Poundstone

OPC. (1)A recent article was published on the OPC website New Horizons entitled Do We Really Need a Psalter Hymnal? An exert from the beginning of the article sums up the position of Donald Poundstone:

“Our church’s Psalter-Hymnal Committee deserves credit for translating and versifying the book of Psalms and setting individual psalms to singable music. Sadly, this is the best that can be said for a radical and unnecessary project.”

From general contacts and friends, I have been assured that Mr. Poundstone’s comments reflect a minority opinion among other OPC ministers. Thankfully, the poorly presented material in this article does not reflect the overall position in that otherwise fine denomination.

Dr. Dennis Prutow
Dr. Dennis Prutow

Dr. Dennis Prutow of the RPCNA, an Exclusive Psalmody denomination, presents a very good response here.

Peter J. Wallace of Michiana Covenant PCA presents another response here, though not from the perspective of Exclusive Psalmody. Still, Mr. Wallace has very clearly pointed out a few of the mistakes in Mr. Poundstone’s article. Wallace also presents his view here in the same issue of New Horizons.

Eric B. Watkins writes the article entitled Singing the Psalms with the Psalmist in the New Horizons.

A new book entitled Public Worship 101 by Dr. Dennis Prutow

Dr. Dennis Prutow
Dr. Dennis Prutow

Dr. Dennis Prutow has recently released a new book on Biblical Worship entitled Public Worship 101 available here or directly from the Amazon site. A previous post on the this website discussed the online course by Dr. Prutow called The Ministry of Worship (syllabus). This new book is part of the coursework for Ministry of Worship.

From the Westminster Evagelistic Ministries RPTS site:

“Public Worship 101 is an introduction to the Biblical theology of worship, the elements of worship, exclusive Psalmody, and a cappella Psalmody. It follows the basic outline of Dr. Prutow’s Ministry of Worship classes with much more detail, including the addition of important historical data. The purpose of the book is to demonstrate that, in Biblical worship, God renews His covenant with His people as they draw near to Him in the place He prescribes (the gathered congregation), on the day He prescribes, in the manner He prescribes, with the elements He prescribes, including the praise He prescribes both in content, exclusive Psalmody, and manner, a cappella Psalmody, using an order properly deduced from Scripture. Whether this purpose is accomplished is for you, the reader, to judge.”

A review of the book by Pastor Barry York from Amazon:

“5.0 out of 5 stars Pastor Barry York, Kokomo, Indiana March 19, 2013
By Dennis J. Prutow
Sadly, when it comes to worship, the Western, evangelical church has its thinking backwards. In both word and action, the modern church displays the common belief that New Testament worship is not as serious as in the days of Moses. Yet as the book of Hebrews testifies, this view is simply false. For unlike the days of old, the concern of worship now is not with the blood of goats and lambs, but with the precious blood of Christ as displayed in Word, sacrament, prayer, and praise. We are no longer dealing in shadows and types, but with the living reality of Jesus.That is why this work by Dennis Prutow is so timely and needed. With the precision of his military mind, the experience of his seminary teaching, and the warmth of his pastoral heart, Prutow offers this salvo into what many have called the “worship wars.” Public Worship 101 offers a solid Biblical, historical, and theological case for the principles of worship as outlined in the Westminster Confession of Faith, with special attention given to the neglected means of a cappella psalm singing. Whether or not you agree with the conclusions, every minister and those in training should wrestle with the case Prutow puts forth. As Jeremiah Burroughs said in Gospel Worship, “Those who enter into public places, and especially such places as concern the worship of God, need to have the fear of God much upon them when they first enter into those places.” Prutow’s work will help those preparing to enter into the sanctuary and the pulpit to develop this much needed fear once again.An endorsement written to the author December 12, 2012″

In addition, Dr. Prutow has authored Joyful Voices: A Capella Singing in Congregational Worship available from Crown and Covenant Publications.

Online Course on Worship at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (RPTS)

Dr. Dennis Prutow

PT13 – Ministry of Worship

Dennis J. Prutow, D.Min., Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology

(For Dr. Prutow’s full bio please click HERE)
Ministry of Worship (PT13) is a study of the Biblical principles and practices of worship; and a consideration of public worship services, including the administration of the sacraments and weddings and funerals.

Class Number
Audio File
Lecture Notes
Class 1 Part 1 – Pages 1-4Part 2 – Pages 5-13 Course Syllabus &

Handout 1

Class 2 Part 1 – Pages 16-17Part 2 – Pages 17-19 Handout 2 Quiz 1
Class 3 Part 1 – Pages 20-21 Part 2 – Pages 21-26 Handout 3 Quiz 2
Class 4 Part 1 – Pages 28-30 Part 2 – Pages 30-32 Handout 4 Quiz 3
Class 5 Part 1 – Pages 33-34 Part 2 – Pages 35-36 Handout 5 Quiz 4
Class 6 Part 1 – Pages 37-38Part 2 – Pages 38-39 Handout 6 Quiz 5
Class 7 Part 1- Pages 40-44 Part 2 – Pages 45-48 Handout 7 Handout 8 Quiz 6
Class 8 Part 1 – Pages 48-49 Part 2 – Pages 49-50 Continue withHandout 8 Quiz 7
Class 9 Part 1 – Pages 50-56 Part 2 – Pages 57-58 Finish Handout 8 &Handout 9 Quiz 8
Class 10 Part 1 – Pages 58 Part 2 – Pages 60 Handout 10 Quiz 9
Please Print and complete the final exam and then turn it in. Final Exam

Additional Reading Assignments:

John Calvin, Author’s Preface, Commentary upon the Book of Psalms
The Letter of St. Athenasius to Marcelinus Concerning the Psalms
“The Worship of the Church, A Reformed Theology of Worship,” Committee on the Study of the Doctrine of Worship.
“Psalms in the Worship of the Church,” Committee on the Study of the Doctrine of Worship, June 2004.
Dennis Prutow, “Adrenaline and Worship”
“The Minority Report on Song in the Public Worship of God” submitted to the Fourteenth General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1947
Makujina, Measuring the Music: Another Look at the Contemporary Christian Music Debate.