The author’s aim in this book is to reach non-preachers with a message about the importance of preaching, but in doing so he has written a book which will also be invaluable to preachers. His desire is that the people of God should hear biblically faithful, doctrinally accurate Christ-centred preaching: what could be more needed in our day?
This book is a hard sell. Preaching is the primary means of grace, yet most Christians do not spend much time studying it. Many preachers do so only to know how to prepare sermons. Those who don’t preach would rather study something else that they participate in, such as the sacraments. Some believers study how to preach, most don’t study preaching at all, and very few study the theology of preaching. The result is that preachers often preach without asking how the Bible defines preaching, what agenda it sets for preaching, and what preaching should look like in light of these deeper questions. Likewise, non-preachers sit under the primary means of grace every week without understanding why it is the primary means of grace and why they should expect to hear Christ’s voice through it.
This book is important. Through preaching, Christ speaks to his church by his Word and Spirit today. In order to recover the power of preaching in the church and the world, preachers and hearers alike need to ask in light of Scripture, What is preaching?
This book aims to help all Christians answer this question. It is not so much a homiletical manual for pastors as it is a guide to believers, preachers and listeners alike. All of the chapters are short and many of them revolve around specific passages in the New Testament, seeking to help all who preach and who hear sermons to hear Jesus calling them to his Father by his Word and Spirit.
Ryan M. McGraw is Morton H Smith Professor of Systematic Theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Adjunct Professor of Doctoral Studies at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He is married to Krista and they have four children. He has written many books and articles. He served in pastoral ministry in a Baptist church and he pastored churches in the PCA and OPC. He also teaches a homiletics course at GPTS.
"Christian, either your prayers for preachers will call down heavenly power, or your prayerlessness will rob the church of a blessing. Do you pray for the preaching of God's Word? This insightful, much-needed book about preaching will teach you how. Read each chapter slowly and meditatively, turn its main ideas into prayers, and watch how God works."
-Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.