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How Shall They Hear: Why non-preachers need to know what preaching is

By Ryan McGraw
February 2020 | Review by Andy Banton
  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • ISBN: 978-1-78397-250-0
  • Pages: 150
  • Price: £8.99
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Book Review

There are so many books about preaching on the market and here is yet another one. However this one comes with a difference, as its focus is on the hearers of preaching rather than on those who preach.

As the book unfolds, the writer seeks to show the listener what preaching is really supposed to be, so that they may get the most possible from it. In the chapter, ‘What is preaching?’ we are given a long but helpful definition: ‘Preaching is a public, authoritative proclamation of the gospel, through ordained ambassadors of Christ, who plead with people to be reconciled to God on Christ’s behalf’ (p.3). The writer then argues that when the listener has a clearer grasp of that definition, they will grow in their appreciation of why it is so important to sit regularly under preaching.

In the next chapter we are reminded of the aim of preaching. It is ‘God’s primary means of saving sinners safely to God from beginning, through the middle, and to the end of the Christian life’ (p.11).

Of course a book about listening to preaching inevitably contains something for preachers too. The writer warmly asserts that preaching should always be Christ-focused. On page 92 he says, ‘Ministers do not need to say all that can be said about Christ in every sermon, but they must have the gospel in view at all times’. He suggests that there are at least four methods of preaching: exegesis, redemptive history, systematic theology and personal devotion; but all must point people to Jesus Christ.

This book is warmly recommended for both listeners and preachers alike.

Andy Banton



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