Ryan M. McGraw
Reviewed by: Geoffrey Willour
Date posted: 12/22/2013
Christ's Glory, Your Good: Salvation Planned, Promised, Accomplished, and Applied, by Ryan M. McGraw. Published by Reformation Heritage Books, 2013. Paperback, 144 pages, list price $12.00. Reviewed by OP pastor Geoffrey Willour.
"There are many versions of Jesus Christ presented in the world, but the only Christ that matters is the one whom God has revealed in Holy Scripture" (p. vii.) How true indeed, and Ryan McGraw, pastor of First OPC in Sunnyvale, California, sets out in this wonderful little book to show us that this biblical Christ is an amazingly glorious person. In this deeply pastoral, evangelistic, convicting, and edifying book, written in rich devotional style, McGraw masterfully expounds the glory of Christ by tracing God's plan of salvation from its inception in the eternal covenant of redemption all the way through to its ultimate goal in the consummation of all things in Christ.
What makes McGraw's book masterful is that he explains these deep doctrinal truths of redemptive history in a simple, direct way that even many newer converts and less theologically inclined readers can grasp, all without sacrificing content or depth. Throughout the chapters of this book, he roots these truths in the faithful exegesis of relevant passages of Scripture, centering them on the glorious person and saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ. This book originated as an extended gospel tract written as a seminary assignment (see p. xi), but it ended up as a miniature systematic theology, centered on the glory of Christ and accessible to the layman.
The chapter titles of the book reveal how the author traces the plan of salvation by centering it on the glorious Christ: "The Eternal Christ," "The Christ of Genesis 3:15," "The Incarnate Christ," "The Obedient Christ," "The Suffering Christ," "The Resurrected Christ," "The Exalted Christ," and "The Reigning Christ." Of particular significance for contemporary discussions within churches of the confessionally Reformed and Presbyterian family (including the OPC) are McGrath's emphasis on the eternal covenant of redemption, his exposition of the bicovenantal structuring of God's historical dealings with mankind (i.e., the covenant of works and the covenant of grace), his emphasis on the importance and centrality of union with Christ, and his defense of the active obedience of Christ, showing how Christ by his active obedience fulfills the covenant of works on behalf of his elect.
Another fine aspect of McGraw's book is his frequent highlighting of the importance of the Trinity. For example, on p. 13 he writes: "We cannot understand the glory of Christ or the glory of the gospel without a God who is triune. If there is no Trinity, then there is no gospel and no Christianity."
I heartily recommend this edifying book.