Friday, April 8, 2011

Dr. Gentry on Exclusive Psalmody

A new series of audio lectures by Dr. Kenneth Gentry, Jr., has come out. In it he asks what about the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs in Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3? Are all three the same as the Exclusive Psalmody group suggest? Not the same he says.  The Psalms are a pattern for our worship, but not a limitation.  Gentry traces the use of the word spiritual which does not mean inspired. Furthermore, if they are all the same, he argues, why are they all mentioned in the Psalms in three different ways?  He notes that psalms are in the book of Psalms 67 times, hymns 6 times and songs 35 times. They do not all mean the same thing. In Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 we do not see "The Psalms".  Many songs are in Scripture outside the book of Psalms. Psalms really means "stringed instruments", not "The Book of Psalms". Gentry asks and answers:
Does the Regulative Principle demand Exclusive Psalmody? I think not.
This discussion is going on now with blogger/pastor Greenbaggins (Rev. Lane Kessler) and Heidelblog’s Dr. R. Scott Clark and others. I say that the whole point of worship is worship, not entertainment, and certainly not debate. In the Spirit of Romans 14 I would like to let each camp enjoy their worship more than their debate.

As for me, Dr. Gentry is most convincing and I urge listening to his tapes. Let’s let the Word of Christ dwell richly in us, more than the spirit of debate with our study of Scripture and Psalms along side of carefully chosen hymns.

I wrote earlier here about this subject.

From the back of the audio set


  1. thanks for sharing Carol. I have never been EP, but I must admit, that I have several good friends, along with several ministers that I greatly respect, who put forth a pretty good argument for EP. I would still agree with you that the RPW does not demand EP.

  2. I am unsure of what material you may have read advocating the position critiqued by Dr. Gentry. I would particularly recommend "The True Psalmody" ( and "The Psalms in Worship" (

    The Old Light Covenanter

  3. Thanks, James. The first two links didn't work.

    On the third link I found this statement: "Again, we ought to try to find the best way to recommend the use of the Psalms to others, and to remove stumbling-blocks which hinder the adoption of the Psalms as the matter of praise in all the churches." I do not see your blog or contact information, James, and it would be hard hence to contact you and it is hard to dialogue with drive-by comment posters. You need to note that Gentry uses careful hermeneutics. I don’t see how you would remove his “stumbling-block” because then you would be toying with Scripture itself.

    All in all we need to worship as best we can and apply Romans 14 to how we judge one another.



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