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Review – Reading the Bible and praying in public – Banner of Truth

June 2008 | by David Magowan

Reading the Bible and praying in public

Stuart Olyott

Banner of Truth; 24 pp; £1.25

ISBN: 978-0-85151-972-2


Often there is pressure from a congregation, and a desire on the part of the pastor, to involve a number of different people in public worship. The easiest way in which to accommodate other voices in the leading of corporate worship is for people to be asked to read Scripture or to lead in prayer – but before they do so, they would be well advised to read this little booklet. It should also be read by pastors to whom these responsibilities usually fall.

     With his usual succinctness, Stuart Olyott covers a lot of ground with few words. His premise in the first part of the booklet ‘The public reading of Scripture’ is that the way in which you read Scripture conveys how you regard the Bible, and that by our reading of Scripture we can bear witness, for example, to its divine inspiration, its inerrancy, its clarity, and its universal appeal.

     In the second part of the booklet ‘Public prayer’, we are reminded that public prayer is public; it is to be exemplary and doctrinally sound, it is to be pastoral, and it must remain fresh. Practical and sensible advice is given throughout.

David Magowan