If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. . .. Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 20:9; 23:28–29)

And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2–4)

Faith comes from hearing . . . ἄρα ἡ πίστις ἐξ ἀκοῆς (The Apostle Paul, Romans 10:17)

From the beginning to the end of the Bible, his word is the principal means by which God communicates with his people and the world. At the outset we encounter God speaking all of creation into existence by the word of his power. The entire creation continues to communicate the attributes of God to his image bearers.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. (Ps. 19:1–6)

The entire created cosmos is a continual sermon. The Psalmist continues from verses 7 through 14 to extol the virtues of the written Word. The very existence of Scripture implies the centrality of the Word, written and preached, in the life of the church in all ages. Scripture calls the church to cultivate an ecology of preaching, a stewardship of God’s Word.

Three essential, or natural, forms of media interact in the life of the church: the written, the oral, and the visual, as I have discussed in Chapter 2.[2] The written Word is foundational in the life and worship of the church. The Scriptures, the history of their interpretation and their confessional expression, form the constitutional basis of the church’s life and worship. The written Word informs both the oral Word and the visual Word. The oral is central in the life and worship of the church. Liturgy in the ancient church was designed so that the Word would be memorable. The “more liturgical the church, the more oral patterns will recur in worship, in part because orality and literacy were closely connected in the general preliterate time period of the early church.”[3] Preaching is the primary means of grace and thus takes center stage as the living voice of the church’s Savior and Lord—the great and good Shepherd. The visual dimension signifies and seals the written and preached word through the sacraments. Each of the three is never present alone. Preaching is an exposition and application of the written Word and is visual in the person and gestures of the preacher, but the oral predominates. Preaching is the burden of this chapter.

The striking images of hammer and fire are used by Jeremiah to indicate the inner pressure which the Word of God exerts on the heart of the true preacher and the awesome effects that Word has in history. The hammer is a symbol of judgment, as Sisera found out at the hands of Jael (Judges 4:21; 5:26). Babylon is described by Jeremiah as a hammer of judgment against unfaithful Judah (Jer. 50:23). In Jeremiah 23 the unfaithful shepherds of Israel are addressed as those who “destroy and scatter the sheep . . .” (v. 1). Anticipating the coming of the Branch of Righteousness in the New Covenant, the LORD promises to replace them with shepherds who feed the flock (vs. 4ff). The prophet’s lament for the unfaithfulness of the prophets of Jerusalem follows (vs. 9–24). The prophet’s word is a hammer of judgment against the prophets of lies. In the New Covenant context Paul changes the metaphor to make the same point:

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. (2 Cor. 2:15–17)

The image of fire is much more pervasive as a biblical metaphor. It is the LORD who causes the Word to be a fire in Jeremiah’s heart and mouth: “Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts: ‘Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them’ ” (Jer. 5:14). This, too, is a symbol of judgment, reflecting the holiness of God. Jeremiah is inwardly constrained to preach judgment to his own people. It is an onerous task, but it poignantly teaches the covenant breaking people of their need of a Covenant Keeper.

Thus, in the New Covenant, the image of Paul is two-sided. The fire of judgment has been quenched by the covenant keeping Second Adam. The ritual purification of the burning of sacrifices on the altar of the Tabernacle and Temple are fulfilled in the work of the Great High Priest, who bears the sins of God’s people. Thus, the final epoch of redemption opens with “tongues of fire” resting prophetically on the disciples at Pentecost, as the church announces God’s victory over sin and death to the world—the beginning of a new creation. The preaching of Christ is “a fragrance from life to life” (2 Cor. 2:16) for those who are being saved. Who is adequate to be a herald of such a significant message? Only those called and equipped by God himself, who gives the preacher victory in Christ. God alone can prevent us from becoming “peddlers” of religion (2 Cor. 2:17), seeking our own profit, fame, power, and honor. He does so by teaching us the nature of our calling and our task. He does so by giving us “tongues of fire,” tongues aflame with the purifying message of new life. In this and the next chapter we will explore the primacy of our task as preachers. This material is not meant to cover the traditional territory of homiletics but to supplement it in light of our electronic situation.

The Primacy of Preaching in the Biblical Text

The most cursory study of the Bible will lead the impartial reader, who is honest with the text, to acknowledge the primacy of the preached Word in the life and worship of God’s people and in the evangelistic project of God’s spokesmen.

God’s spoken Word was necessary, even in the Paradise state, to provide the meaning of creation and the purpose of man’s existence to his people, as they learned to listen to his Word and use their own words as expressions of thinking “God’s thoughts after him.”[4] Thus, Adam communed with God and exercised dominion through the prophetic function of naming the animals (Gen. 2:19). God revealed his covenant to Adam by speaking to him the terms of obedience which tested his allegiance and loyalty to the LORD (Gen. 2:16–17). Because man is made in God's image—he is God’s image—he needs the special revelation of God’s Word as a creature, apart from the fact of sin.

The fall of Adam from Paradise involved the Serpent’s insinuation of doubt as to the veracity of God’s Word. In response to Adam’s ensuing disobedience, God gave his Word of promise: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). All subsequent redemptive history is an outworking of this first divine promise.

Since the message of God’s Word was relatively short in the Adamic and Patriarchal ages, and because memory is more keen and accurate in an oral culture, the written Word of God was not a necessity—as far as we can glean—until the Mosaic covenant was given. The sheer volume of communication that came from Mount Sinai demanded a written document. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29).

The Bible is written because it is a covenant document. It is clear, both by the existence of Scripture as well as by the early importance of writing as a means of preserving and communicating God’s Word, that written communication is an essential aspect of man’s fulfillment of his cultural calling. In this respect the Bible is similar to other covenant documents in common culture. Real estate ownership requires a written deed. Mortgages are written agreements. So are marriage licenses. Important documents are written to prevent the corruption of agreements and contracts in a fallen world. The more important an established relationship is the more critical is its being written. What John wrote at the end of Revelation applies to all inspired writings:

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Rev. 22:18–19; cf. Deut. 4:2; WCF I.1)

Meredith G. Kline has observed that “the formation of the Old Testament canon will be traced to its origins in the covenantal mission of Moses in the third quarter of the second millennium BC, providentially the classic age of treaty diplomacy in the ancient Near East.”[5] Kline has thus properly asserted that “canon is inherent in covenant.”[6]

In his fallen state man especially needs God’s written Word. Without the Word of the covenant of grace he is hopelessly lost in sin and doomed to death. “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Cor. 1:21).[7] Paul reminded Timothy that from his youth he had “been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15).

Our concern here, however, is with the primacy of preaching, i.e., the live communication of God’s Word by his chosen spokesman to his people. In arguing for the primacy of preaching, I am not in any way diminishing the importance of the written Word, the other means of grace, or the institution of the visible church. The primacy of preaching is only important and effective in its vital connection with the Bible, prayer, and the sacraments, and in the context of the visible church. Since this primacy is central to the means of grace and the visible church, when it is undermined, the integrity of these will also be seriously compromised.

It should be clearly noted at this point, therefore, that the primacy of preaching is not precisely the same as the primacy of Scripture. The primacy of preaching assumes the primacy of Scripture. As we shall see in the next section, the Reformed confessions are uniform in their assertion that the primary means of grace is not simply the Word of God, but the preaching of the Word of God. The message must have a flesh and blood spokesman. In the Old Testament era the need for men to communicate the Word prefigures the coming of the eternal Word incarnate, who is the Prophet of prophets and the Preacher of preachers. In the New Testament era the coming of the incarnate Word, the Prophet greater than Moses (Deut. 18:15–22), the final speech of God (Heb. 1:1–3), ushers in an epoch of worldwide preaching of which we are a continuing part until the consummation of history at the parousia of our Lord.

The Old Covenant

Moses is the great preacher of the Old Covenant. Prior to him Enoch had prophesied against the worldly wisdom of his day (Jude 14); and Noah had been a “herald of righteousness,” warning his generation of the coming diluvial judgment of God (2 Pet. 2:5). The Patriarchs had been given the prophetic word which presaged the Mosaic era and the great redemptive act of God in the Exodus (Gen. 15:13). But Moses was given the nucleus of Old Testament revelation. As a prototype of the coming Prophet, he became God’s agent of the record and interpretation of the primary redemptive event of the Old Covenant. The Word which he was given interpreted the significance of the Exodus event for present and future generations. The remainder of the Old Covenant is an amplification and application of the Mosaic deposit; and like the pre-Mosaic revelation, it looks forward to an epoch of ultimate fulfillment surrounding the Prophet greater than Moses, who will in turn preach, act, and send preachers to explain his act to the world.

Despite his hesitation, Moses responded to God’s call to preach to Pharaoh and to the people of Israel. Although Aaron acted as Moses’s press secretary, Moses is still the prophet. Significantly, the LORD did not send a document but insisted on sending a man. Similarly at Sinai, the LORD did not send tablets or the rest of the revelation which Moses wrote, but rather he sent Moses with his message. “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction’ ” (Exod. 24:12, emphasis added).

Moses is called first to learn God’s Word from God’s mouth (Exod. 4:12, 15) and then to teach that Word to Israel in person (Exod. 18:20). He is also to appoint elders to apply the Word to the lives of God’s people (Exod. 18:21, 22), and Levitical priests to teach the Word to the people (Lev. 10:11; Deut. 24:8). Apart from the advent of the school of the prophets during the monarchy, the Levitical priests were the ordinary God-appointed preachers of the Old Covenant period.

Samuel was the most notable prophet to arise in the post-Mosaic period. The school associated with him (1 Sam. 10) formed the basis for the proliferation of the Mosaic model throughout the periods of the monarchy, exile, and restoration. The initial phase of this development saw prophets who were given special occasional oral messages, especially calling kings to account in light of the Mosaic Law (1 Sam. 15:1ff; cf. 1 Chron. 10:13; 2 Sam. 12:25; 2 Chron. 10:15). These were always delivered in person by a man chosen and commissioned by the LORD to speak for the LORD.

The prophetic careers of Elijah and Elisha in the ninth century BC ushered in a new era of prophetic preaching and writing. Performing signs and wonders reminiscent of Moses, Elijah and Elisha challenged the corruption of the northern tribes and its kings. They laid the groundwork for an emerging prophetic portrait of a new era ushered in by the true King, the Servant of the Lord, the original Preacher.

Over the next four centuries, the great reversal of the Exodus, the Exile, formed the backdrop for an imposing body of prophetic writings. The promise of return, of a Second Exodus, centering in the person and work of the Messiah, draws the consciousness of Israel into a hopeful future. Again God calls men to communicate his message to his people and the world (Isa. 1:10; 8:20; 55:11; 66:5; Jer. 1:2; Eze. 1:3). The audience is noticeably enlarged to include the nations. Jonah was sent to call pagan Ninevah to repentance (Jonah 2:3), presaging the gracious message of the Great Commission. The foundation for the great era of preaching to the nations was being laid.

The final touch came at the end of the Old Testament prophetic era, which was as well the end of Old Testament written revelation, through the ministries of Ezra and Malachi. In re-establishing Jerusalem temple worship, Ezra fulfills his Levitical office and teaches the returned remnant “the Book of the Law of Moses, that the LORD had commanded Israel” (Neh. 8:1). Then Ezra and thirteen leaders with the Levites “read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading” (Neh. 8:8). This was notably an oral event in the well-established biblical tradition of the Levitical priesthood’s teaching function (Lev. 10:11; Deut. 24:8). This became the central feature of synagogue worship which characterized the Diaspora during the four centuries prior to our Lord’s appearance. The centrality of preaching in the synagogue became the chief characteristic of the New Covenant community and its worship (cf. Luke 4:16ff.; Acts 13:14ff.).[8]

The Old Testament ends with the promise of the future coming of two preachers (messengers, מַלְאָכִי; LXX ἄγγελος): one to prepare the way, after the model of Elijah, for the Messenger of the Covenant, and the other the Messenger himself (Mal. 3:1), the Sun of Righteousness who “shall rise with healing in his wings” (Mal. 4:2). It is the promise of the Messenger who will come with a message of salvation for whom the faithful remnant waits. And then the primacy of preaching will make its mark as never before.

Hughes Oliphant Old has written a convincing first volume of his monumental history of the reading and preaching of the Scriptures in the worship of the Christian church.[9] In that volume he asserts and proves that the entire Old Covenant canon is essentially a preaching document, i.e., it is associated with the live reading and preaching of God’s Word to God’s people.

The New Covenant

It is with the coming of the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, that the primacy of preaching comes into its own. Not only does the New Testament record the preaching of Jesus and the apostles, but it may also be said that the documents of the New Testament are themselves “the result of preaching.”[10] In the New Testament there are “more than thirty verbs that denote the activity of preaching.”[11] It may truly be said that the New Testament is a book of preaching.[12]

The essence of the ministry of the forerunner, John the Baptizer, is summed up by Matthew: “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea” (3:1, emphasis added). Then in a pivotal passage in Luke Jesus gives the gist of his earthly ministry by quoting from Isaiah:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (4:18–19, emphases added)

There in his hometown synagogue Jesus proclaimed himself to be the Messiah (the Anointed One of Isaiah 61, the Servant of the LORD). The chief means by which he brings healing and restoration to Israel is through preaching. Later in that same chapter he said to his disciples, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose” (Luke 4:43, emphasis added).

Jesus is the Prophet-Preacher, who not only is the message of the entire Bible, but who is also the eternal Second Person of the Trinity, the Word made flesh (John 1:1, ὁ λόγος). He is the Author of the Old Testament Scriptures and the One who spoke through all the writers of Scripture. Peter tells us that the Spirit of Christ spoke through the prophets of the salvation embodied in his own suffering and glory as the Messiah (1 Pet. 1:7–12). He preached through Noah (1 Pet. 3:18–20) and all who preached in the Old Covenant. Now he comes not only as the Preacher but also as the Redeemer whose work on the cross and subsequent resurrection on the third day form the core of the message he gave his disciples to spread among the nations. Even before the cross they are commissioned to preach: “And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matt. 10:7, emphasis added). After the accomplishment of redemption, the Great Commission is issued: “repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47, emphasis added). The very denouement of history depends on the completion of the task of proclaiming the gospel to the nations. At the conclusion of the Olivet discourse, in which Jesus predicts the completion of redemptive history, he declares, “the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations” (Mark 13:10, emphasis added). Preaching will usher in the end of history. This is all oral proclamation, as Walter Ong notes:

Christianity has its own especially deep oral roots. In the Christian dispensation, the central activity for spreading the faith is the kerygma, the preaching of Jesus the Christ by his followers. The written text of the New Testament itself is ordered to this oral activity. The oral textuality here is related to the fact that in the New Testament the Son of God incarnate, Jesus Christ is himself God’s Word. And in thinking of the Son as the divine Word, the Christian is conceiving of the divine Word by analogy with the human spoken word.[13]

An essential feature of Jesus’s preparation of the disciples for the cross in the Upper Room is his prophecy of the work of his Spirit in completing the revelation of the gospel.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. . . . But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. . . . And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. . . . When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 14:26; 15:26–27; 16:13)

Before this final deposit of covenantal revelation was inscripturated, it was a preached message. It is inscripturated so that it may, in turn, be preached to each new generation. Preaching is primary because God has made orality primary to all human communication.

“The apostles, commissioned by the risen Lord, preached this message as the very Word of God (1 Thess. 2:13).”[14] When Paul refers to “the Word of God,” “the Word of the Lord,” or simply “the Word” in his letters, he is most often referring to the preached Word. This Word was so effective because it was the living message of God himself. “In the apostolic message (the emphasis being always on the content) the voice of the living God is being heard.”[15]

The entire Book of Acts is the story of preaching as the fundamental medium for building and edifying the church. Acts is the book of preaching. At Pentecost the foundational miracle of the Spirit is not speaking in tongues but the salvation of 3,000 people through the preaching, the proclamation of the gospel. Significantly, what was spoken miraculously in languages unknown to the speakers was the gospel, “the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:11). The linguistic dispersion of the Tower of Babel was reversed. It was preaching that caused persecution: the leaders of the temple were “greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:2). Preaching was the chief activity of the Apostles: “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42). So important was preaching that no activity, however worthy, was to interfere with it. “And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables” (Acts 6:2). Persecution, rather than silencing the preaching, fostered it: “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). The central activity in Paul’s ministry, from the very beginning of his Christian life, was preaching: “And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is the Son of God’” (Acts 9:20). At the end of Acts we find him imprisoned but “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance” (Acts 28:31). The coming Prophet had come and would be present to the end of the age through the preaching of his Word to all the nations.

As we noted earlier, the structure of synagogue worship placed the reading and preaching of the Scriptures at the center of the service. Thus, as we saw in Luke 4, visiting preachers were often asked to expound the Scriptures. Paul, as well as Jesus, took full advantage of this fact and in so doing built the New Covenant church on the ruins of the old. Paul’s preaching, in Pisidian Antioch on the first missionary journey, reveals the pattern of his method and message (Acts 13:13ff.). He exemplified the primacy of preaching and used it as the primary means of addressing the synagogue with the message of the accomplishment of redemption in Jesus the Christ.

Paul gives us a model for adapting the message to the audience without changing the message itself. In the synagogue he assumed the authority of special revelation in the Scripture and sought to prove from it that Jesus was the Christ. In the pagan forum (Acts 17) he assumed the authority of general revelation and sought to prove that God calls all his creatures to repentance from sin and to faith in God. From the beginning of his ministry to the end, Paul is the preacher, par excellence.

The Epistles lay the groundwork for the continuing work of the church after the Apostolic Age, as it is built on the foundation of the inscripturated Word. Central to the continuing ministry of the church is the task of preaching. This is God’s means of saving Jew and Gentile:

But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Rom. 10:14–17)[16]

For Paul, the call to be a minister of the New Covenant is primarily a call to preach. “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16). This call per se is not essentially apostolic. The call to preach has a validity reaching far beyond the foundation-laying epoch of the twelve. Thus, we are not surprised at Paul’s injunctions to Timothy and Titus near the end of his life: “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (1 Tim. 4:6, 11, 13; 2 Tim. 2:14, 4:1–2; Titus 2:1, 15). Even with the inscripturated Word (canon) complete, God still sends men with his message. It is incumbent upon that first ordinary post-apostolic generation of preachers to pass on that calling and office to each successive generation. The apostolic deposit is to be studied, believed, and passed on to faithful men who preach it: “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2; cf. 2 Tim. 2:15, 3:14–17). And:

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Tim. 4:13–16)

All that Paul enjoins upon Timothy has to do with the public ministry of the Word.

In light of the overwhelming biblical evidence for the primacy of preaching it is no wonder that the subsequent history of the church reflects that emphasis.


[1] This chapter is based on Gregory E. Reynolds, The Word Is Worth a Thousand Pictures: Preaching in the Electronic Age (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2001), 314–23.

[2] Gregory Edward Reynolds, “The Word of God Is a Multimedia Triad,” in The Word Is Worth a Thousand Pictures: Preaching in the Electronic Age (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2001), 191–203.

[3] Dave McClellan with Karen McClellan, Preaching by Ear: Speaking God’s Truth from the Inside Out (Wooster, OH: Weaver, 2014), 91.

[4] Cornelius Van Til, in many places in his writings.

[5] Meredith G. Kline, The Structure of Biblical Authority (Revised Edition. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1975), 43.

[6] Kline, The Structure of Biblical Authority, 43.

[7] As we shall see in Chapter 6, τῆς μωρίας τοῦ κηρύγματος is best translated “the folly of preaching,” because the word for preaching in Greek refers to both the message and the form of the communication of the message.

[8] Hughes Oliphant Old, The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church: Volume 1 - The Biblical Period (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 102.

[9] Old, The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures, vol. 1, 19–110.

[10] Sinclair B. Ferguson, David F. Wright and J. I. Packer, eds., New Dictionary of Theology (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1988). S.v. “Preaching, Theology of,” by Klaas Runia.

[11] New Dictionary of Theology, S.v. “Preaching, Theology of.”

[12] Old, The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures, vol. 1, 111–250.

[13] Walter Ong, Review: Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion (William A. Graham) in America (Mar. 4, 1989): 204.

[14] Ong, Review: Beyond the Written Word, 204.

[15] Ong, Review: Beyond the Written Word, 204.

[16] “And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?” is better translated without the “of” from “him whom they have never heard” as we shall see.

Gregory E. Reynolds is pastor emeritus of Amoskeag Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Manchester, New Hampshire, and is the editor of Ordained Servant. Ordained Servant Online, April, 2023.

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Ordained Servant: April 2023

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Also in this issue

Christians, Churches, and Public Aid, Part 1

Commentary on the Book of Discipline of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Chapter 4B

Letters to a Younger Ruling Elder, No. 4: Prayer Work

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Illustrating Well: Preaching Sermons that Connect, by Jim L. Wilson

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