Posts by Ryan McGraw

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The sacraments have always been a point of contention in the church. Someone once said that the sacraments serve as a litmus test of the strength or weakness of a system of theology. This is because many aspects of what we believe, such as the doctrines of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, of...
Robert Strivens, Philip Doddridge and the Shaping of Evangelical Dissent , Ashgate Studies in Evangelicalism (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015). 201pp. Hardcover. For many students of Reformed Orthodoxy (1560-1790), the eighteenth century “high orthodox” period is notoriously difficult to navigate...
J.V. Fesko, Reforming Apologetics: Retrieving the Classic Reformed Approach to Defending the Faith . Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2019. 250pp. Paperback. Christians often polarize one another over their approaches to apologetics. While different apologetic schools compete for dominance in...
J.V. Fesko, Reforming Apologetics: Retrieving the Classic Reformed Approach to Defending the Faith . Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2019. 250pp. Paperback. Christians often polarize one another over their approaches to apologetics. While different apologetic schools compete for dominance in...
J.V. Fesko, Reforming Apologetics: Retrieving the Classic Reformed Approach to Defending the Faith . Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2019. 250pp. Paperback. Christians often polarize one another over their approaches to apologetics. While different apologetic schools compete for dominance in...
Preachers are weak and imperfectly sanctified men. They hold the treasure of gospel ministry in earthen vessels (2 Cor. 4:7). There is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin (Eccl. 7:20). Not many should be teachers because we all fail in man things (Jas. 3:1). In light of such...
Every Christian needs to understand the theology of preaching in Scripture because Christ designed every Christian to sit under sermons. Yet are there ways for all believers to participate in sermons? All Christians, and not the preacher only, should participate actively in the preparation,...
Preaching Christ is part of the definition of preaching, but it is not the only task of preachers. Warning every man and teaching every man in order to present every man perfect in Christ (Col. 1:28) requires wise and specific application. What should sermon application look like? If I tell my...
It is one thing to have a sound theory of preaching; it is another thing to stand behind a pulpit twice a week. Theory can easily fall apart when we meet instances in which we are not sure how to the biblical model of preaching. This is true both when preaching biblical books that do not appear to...
As children learn by watching their parents, so preachers and hearers learn much by looking at the Apostles. The principles taught in the preceding nine post risk resembling a shapeless cloud instead of a face reflected in a mirror without adding concrete examples. This post provides an example of...
When a man and a woman are engaged to be married they can hardly talk about anything else. In fact, we might suspect that something is wrong if they don't express excitement about the wedding. The church is espoused to Christ and looks forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:6-9)...
Sound exegesis is insufficient for sound preaching. This assertion might seem surprising in light of the popular resurgence of consecutive expository preaching. While we should welcome and encourage the shift toward expository preaching due to its emphasis on biblical texts and books, it is not...
Owning a home brings blessings and liabilities with it. While a home can be a good investment it requires maintenance. Homeowners generally have two options in maintaining their homes: they can hire someone to do the work, or they need to get the tools that they need to do it themselves. They need...
Every divine work reflects God's Triunity. This means that if we want to understand what God is doing in our lives we must begin with who God is. The Father always acts through his Son and by his Spirit. We come to the Father, by the Spirit, through the Son (Eph. 2:18). Preaching in relation to...
We need to hear Christ in order to believe in him for salvation (Rom. 10:14). Ordinarily we hear his voice through his ordained ambassadors as they preach the gospel in demonstration of the Spirit's power (Rom. 10:15; 2 Cor. 5:19-6:2; 1 Cor. 2:5). Yet we can believe these things and still make...
However well constructed and attractive, a car is useless without fuel. On the flip side, a motor may have fuel without being a vehicle. Likewise, preaching is a vehicle that requires fuel. God designed preaching to bring us to himself through faith in Christ. If preaching does not have the right...
Salvation is an expansive term. It essentially means "safety." Salvation includes the application of Christ's work from the new birth, through faith and repentance, to Justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification. Christians share in Christ's benefits because they are united to him...
Good teaching begins with definitions. Effective schoolteachers tell their students what they are doing and why in order help students learn well. This often means defining terms specific to each subject. Math students need to learn what a hypotenuse is and students of physics need to understand...