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Ordained Servant Online

A Journal for Church Officers

E-ISSN 1931-7115

Preaching and Literature

Ordained Servant Cover

August / September 2013

From the Editor. I have always believed that the reading of good fiction and poetry helps the preacher linguistically and intellectually: linguistically developing word-craft, and intellectually helping us understand the world in which we live and preach. It continues to trouble me that the reading of poetry is still in decline, despite evidence in the 2009 NEA report on literary reading that the reading of fiction is on the rise. In my analysis of George Herbert’s powerful poem “Submission,” I offer a few possible reasons why this so. But since more than a third of the Bible is written in some form of poetry, this should not be so for preachers. Thus, I offer some suggestions, based on my own experience, as to how we might improve in this area. Our poem for this month is, of course, a Herbert offering.

In keeping with our theme this month, Danny Olinger writes about one of his literary passions, Flannery O’Connor, in “Understanding Flannery O’Connor,” a review article on two books about O’Connor.

On a broader topic, Leland Ryken reviews a collection of articles by humanities professors at Calvin College, Practically Human: College Professors Speak from the Heart of Humanities Education. Without saying so, this underlines the importance of a liberal arts education as part of the required preparation for the ministry of the Word.

Darryl Hart reviews Richard M. Gamble’s latest book, The City Set on a Hill: The Making and Unmaking of an American Myth, an illuminating study that presents a cautionary tale of the dangers of describing nations with biblical metaphors.

Finally, T. David Gordon reviews Tim Keller’s Galatians for You, one of a new series of popular commentaries.

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds



Subject Index Vols 1–20

  • “The Voice from the Pulpit: John Calvin and Preaching.” (Steven Doe) 17 (2008): 60–66.
  • “God Still Speaks: The Power of Orality.” (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 17 (2008): 25–31.
  • “The Preacher and the Poets: Some Thoughts.” (Roger Wagner) 16 (2007): 56–61.
  • “Why Preachers Should Read Fiction.” (A. Craig Troxel) 16 (2007): 51–55.
  • “Preaching and Fiction: Developing the Oral Imagination” (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 16 (2007): 14–16.
  • “Preaching and Poetry: Learning the Power of Speech” (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 16 (2007): 17–22.
  • “ ‘Reading at Risk’ Means Preaching at Risk.” (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 15 (2006): 9–12.

    Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God-glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high-quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.

The entire issue is available in the following formats: PDF  ePub  and  Mobi 

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