Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry. (Romans 11:13)

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. (1 Timothy 3:1)

Christian ministry functions on the borderline between the cross and the resurrection, between heaven and hell. This frontier is no place for the faint-hearted; those who have little faith in their message and its power do not belong in the pulpit. (James Daane[2])

The most effective weapon in the arsenal of the church militant is the preaching of the Word. This is so because God has mandated it to be so in his Word. Moreover, we have seen something of the wisdom of his arrangement in previous chapters. If unmasking and challenging idolatry is our best critical weapon in apologetics and evangelism, preaching is the central formative weapon in building the church to withstand the onslaught of the world. The preacher is the trumpeter of God, announcing the arrival of the Savior of the world in whom sin and death have been judged and conquered and before whom all will one day stand on the Day of Judgment. The trumpet (shopar שׁוֹפָר) is a symbol of the sharp, penetrating sound of God’s holy voice of judgment on all covenant breaking and sin. We first encounter its use at Mount Sinai. The people are stricken with fear at the trumpet’s sound (Exod. 19:16) and moved to recognize their need for a mediator, Moses, who is a type of the Christ. Thus, the Mediator alone is able to bear hearing the trumpet. “And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder” (Exod. 19:19). The trumpet of judgment is sounded at Jericho when the people enter the promised land to establish the typological kingdom of Israel (Josh. 6). It was a call to battle against the unbelieving nations who threatened God’s claim upon Canaan (Judges 3:27).

The trumpet is also a call to listen to God and celebrate his sacrifice of Jesus the coming Mediator (Num. 10:2–10). The New Covenant uses the trumpet symbol prefigured in the Day of Atonement (Lev. 25:9): “Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land.” The sound of God’s judgment in the all-encompassing annual sacrifice for sin is a signal of the coming liberty to be found in the Lamb of God, and the consummate victory of God over all his enemies. In the Olivet discourse Jesus describes the decisive denouement of the last battle: “And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:31). The long awaited glory will be realized:

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:51–52)

It is with his trumpet voice that the glorified Lord of the church reveals to John the unfolding of this last epoch of history in which we now live (Rev. 1:10).

It is thus with trumpet voice that the preacher is to announce the reconciliation of God in Christ to the nations. The electronic world seeks to drown out the sound of the preacher’s voice, to mute the clarion call of the trumpet. It is God’s gracious call to hear the message of the gospel. In the midst of the confusion of tongues in Corinth, Paul asks: “if the trumpet gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8, NKJV). The uncertain sound emanating from the modern pulpit will only be clarified by men who know their calling before God and are committed to trumpeting the clear, powerful, penetrating Word of God to the nations.

Remember Your Office: The Idea of Office

If we expect to receive a proper conception of our office from our cultural context, we are doomed to disappointment, because we live in the worst of times for such a conception. Christians have been spoiled by a cultural respectability which no longer obtains for the Western church. Egalitarianism represents a radical threat to the biblical idea of office. The democratization of office has leveled the authority structure which was once assumed by Western civilization all the way back to the Roman Empire in which the gospel was first preached.[3] If the past tendency of abuse was toward elitism, authoritarianism, and oppression, the opposite is the case today. Now the individual is king, and personality rules. All claims to proper authority are characterized by elitism or “stuffiness,” or worse, “patriarchy.” Of course, the removal of all official distinctions, and thus God’s authority structure, leaves a culture open to all kinds of veiled elitism and oppression. Modernity posits the seat of authority in the individual, as an inherent right, rather than as the sovereign disposition of God, which Paul asserts in Romans 13:1–7. Professionalism, as we have seen in chapter 8, has replaced the idea of calling to office with an anthropocentric, arbitrary social construct—initiated, perpetuated, and realized by the individual. The preacher, however, must begin with God’s conception of his role.

The conception of who we are as pastors directly affects both what we do and how we do it. We have already examined the primacy of preaching in the Bible and church history, and the unique qualities of preaching, which explain why God has chosen it as his preferred medium. Now we need to look more closely at the biblical conception of the office of the minister, comparing and contrasting it with modern conceptions of the ministry. The title Minister of the Word (verbi divini minister), for all centuries since the Reformation, except the twentieth and twenty-first, has embodied the church’s concept of the pastoral office. It is telling that in most Protestant churches today the title has disappeared. The concept disappeared long ago. The Word, as the entire subject of the minister’s calling, has been supplemented, and in many cases almost entirely replaced, by a host of other managerial and “leadership” duties. Minister of the Word succinctly expresses the nature of the pastoral office, and it is from this vantage point that our discussion shall proceed.

After discussing the place of hymns and “praise songs” in the context of the present-day debate and confusion about worship, J. I. Packer makes an important assertion:

What will resolve this unhappy situation is a renewal of the kind of preaching that gives congregations a strong sense of God. Here I think we need to learn from the Puritans. The strong preaching of the majesty of God, of His holiness and awesomeness, will create a sense of how we ought to worship Him. I can’t see a congregation ever agreeing on how to worship unless they become united in a deeper and stronger sense of the greatness and glory of God.[4]

Packer points to the Puritans for a biblical corrective to the present misconceptions about the role of the minister. What the Puritans can teach us regards

the Puritan understanding of God as holy and almighty, great in awesome and fearful judgment as He is great in grace. You can’t break up the truth about God. The church today has a scaled-down understanding of Him that is shallow, sentimental, and incoherent. Such inadequacy in our thoughts about God is causing a great deal of suffering among Christians. It’s the legacy of liberal theology, which diminished God right from the beginning. God’s holiness, His active judgment, and His sovereign providence began to be eaten away years ago. I fear the greater part of the Christian church has ingested this. People today don’t stand in awe of God. They don’t tremble at His Word. They believe God is great only in the sense of being a great pal. Even when preachers emphasize God’s holiness the congregation often does not take them seriously. Out of the pulpit, few preachers enforce the awesomeness of God in their counseling, instructing of people in the faith, or directing the leadership of the congregation.

Too many preachers spend the majority of their planning time thinking about programs which will enlarge their church’s membership or income; in America, no institution is thought healthy unless it is expanding. Practical performance is emphasized—how to manage your family, how to manage your budget, how to do anything and everything as a Christian. But all this centers on human relationships and the business of living with other people. It doesn’t have much to do with growing downwards, as Christians must do, in the knowledge and adoration of the Lord.

We should focus on our relationship with God in light of His greatness, holiness, and awesomeness. If we’d appreciate these qualities more, we’d be a humbler lot of people than we are. And our hearts and consciences would be more sensitive to God’s glory.[5]

God has ordained that his majesty and glory should be known through preaching, for it is his speech. The vertical dimension of preaching, properly understood and implemented by preachers who are faithful and passionate in their proclamation, is the only means of reclaiming the glory which has departed from the church’s worship. Only by defining our office in terms of ministering the Word of the living God will we begin to recover the biblical emphasis.

The minister of the Word is essentially a servant of the LORD, as Moses (ebed yahweh עֶבֶד־יְהוָה, Deut. 34:5), Joshua (Josh. 24:29), and David (Ps. 18:1) were called. We are now ministers of the Great Servant of the LORD who has suffered in the stead of his people and is calling them into his glorious kingdom by the gospel we preach. “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities” (Isa. 53:11). And so we are to exemplify his ministry as Paul tells Timothy: “the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness” (2 Tim. 2:24-25).[6] Unlike the leaders of the unbelieving world, who rule by force and often by tyranny and deceit, the minister of the Word is to be a servant who imitates his suffering Savior in humility. Our Lord contrasted the two in his cautionary response to the Sons of Thunder:

You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Matt. 20:25–28)

Yet humility is not to be confused with a pandering or obsequious lack of authority. For the suffering Servant of the Lord “was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes” (Matt. 7:29). In both cases the word translated “authority” is (exousia ἐξουσία).[7] Servanthood is the way in which biblical authority is to be exercised. The word office comes from the Latin officium, a work or service performed. Biblically, office is a position of specific duty assigned to a person by the Lord. Each believer has a calling to general office. The minister is called to be a servant of the Lord as his spokesman, a minister of his Word of God. Paul needed to remind Timothy of his office. “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” (1 Tim. 4:13–14).

The teaching office is God’s gift to the church. It is also commanded. Sietsma asserts: “the essence of office depends on the divine mandate.”[8] Years ago I asked an older Reformed minister how to deal with emotion in preaching at funerals. Without hesitating he responded with words I shall never forget, “Remember your office!” This is our calling from God himself. Do not ever forget it. This alone will give you courage not only to preach with all your might and to spend some of the best hours of your life preparing and praying for your ministry in the pulpit, but also to count preaching among the greatest joys and privileges of your poor life in this lost world.

No wonder Paul writes with such passion and force when he tells Timothy:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Tim. 4:1–5)

Our fable-filled culture is not conducive to the reception of preached Word, but preaching is what God has called us ministers to do. We must know what we are about and cultivate it with all our might.

One clear implication of what we have said above is this: Study the nature of your office. Every wise pastor will make it his business to regularly consider the qualifications for his office in such passages as 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:6–9. Along with these obvious classical texts, the ministries of Jesus and Paul, as well as every minister of the Old and New Covenants, should be mined for the biblical conception of office. Every minister will command respect for his office as he exhibits what his ministry entails. But this commanding will also necessitate gently correcting misconceptions as they appear in the life of your congregation. The account of Jesus at Caesarea Philippi demonstrates the importance of the concept of Jesus’s office as Messiah (Matt. 16:13–28). Every preacher ought to answer this same question: “Whom do men say that I am?” Some say a psychologist and a counselor, some a social coordinator, some a chief executive officer, some a fund raiser. Is the ministry a calling or a career? Are you a professional or a prophet? God calls you to be prophet, nothing else. Paul defended and defined his office regularly, especially in his Corinthian epistles. Now we know that, unlike an Old Testament prophet or an apostle, we do not receive direct revelation from God. But in as much as we explain and apply God’s Word, we are exercising a prophetic ministry—God still speaks.[9]

In addition, we must regularly teach our congregations the proper conception of our office in the course of our preaching as we come to texts such as 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13; Hebrews 13:7, 17. The book of Acts shows the ministry of the Word in action. Feast regularly on a good diet of books describing the history of preachers and their biographies, such as C. H. Spurgeon’s The Early Years and Full Harvest, Douglas Kelly’s Preachers with Power, James Stalker’s The Preacher and His Models, James Garretson’s An Able and Faithful Ministry: Samuel Miller and the Pastoral Office, and Gardiner Spring’s Power in the Pulpit. It is also important to read books of wise counsel for preachers and reflections on preaching, such as Samuel Miller’s The Christian Ministry, Charles Bridges’s The Christian Ministry, Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students, D. Martin Lloyd-Jones’s Preachers and Preaching, and James W. Alexander’s Thoughts on Preaching.[10] Of course, Minister of the Word itself does not limit the activity of our office to preaching alone; rather, it centers and focuses it. Every other activity of the ministry should be conceived of as an extension of the act of preaching. Every time we visit the home of a Christian family, we bring the Word of God. Every time we visit someone in the hospital, we minister the Word. Every time we plan the order and content of worship, we are planning to minister the Word. However, the point of this book is to focus on the chief exercise of the ministerial office in the public preaching of the Word.

A Minister of the Word: Focus on Preaching

As a corollary of the idea of office, the wise preacher will constantly cultivate his own understanding of his task by studying that task through various tools which focus on preaching as his central work.

 Study the best classic and contemporary homiletical texts such as Robert Dabney’s Sacred Rhetoric (new Banner of Truth title Evangelical Eloquence: A Course of Lectures on Preaching); Broadus’s unabridged classic On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons; and Jay Adams’s Preaching with Purpose. Jay Adams once told a class that most books on homiletics are simply a rehash of Broadus’s classic. However, there are new works that emphasize neglected aspects of preaching, such as orality and the late modern context of thought.[11] Along with these the best printed sermons should be read, and from a wide variety of authors. Calvin’s sermons, Geerhardus Vos’s Grace and Glory, Spurgeon’s New Park Street Pulpit and Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Henry Fish’s Masterpieces of Pulpit Eloquence, Ancient and Modern, are among the best.[12] Remarkably Spurgeon’s sermons were written for publication on the Monday after he preached them. The danger of reading printed sermons, of course, is developing a conception of preaching which is literary and not oral. It is critical, therefore, for the preacher to carefully distinguish between the written productions of a preacher and their oral presentations, as I shall emphasize in the last chapter.

Every preacher should also make it his business to study the best living homiletical models. Some may say that in our day they are not plentiful, but we may even learn valuable lessons from the simplest, least gifted, and least known among us.

When asked about the reason for their remarkable careers as the founders of the Mayo clinic, the Mayo brothers responded that they made it their business to learn something new about their medical profession every day of their lives. If that is so for ministering to mortal bodies, how much truer is this for the one who ministers to the eternal concerns of people made in God’s image. Let nothing deter you from concentrating on this task.

Remember Your Office: Who Reads Scripture?[13]

Ours is not an age in which the Western church places a high value on the public reading of Scripture. In many churches, anyone who volunteers may read Scripture in public worship. To assert that only the minister of the Word is to read Scripture is tantamount to heresy in our egalitarian climate. It is curious that, while ministers are not thought to be necessarily the only ones called to the public reading of Scripture, they are often believed to be CEOs, public relations experts, social organizers, psychiatrists, and many other callings that are well beyond the pale of the biblical job description of the minister. And so this is why I think it preferable to refer to the office of pastor as minister of the Word.[14] The reading and preaching of Scripture are inextricably linked and form the central task of Christian ministry.

In the Presbyterian tradition, going back to the Westminster Assembly, the original Directory for the Publick Worship of God (1645) read thus: “Reading of the Word in the congregation, being part of the publick worship of God, . . . is to be performed by the pastors and teachers.” The one exception was for those who “intend the ministry . . . if allowed by the presbytery.”[15] That the public reading of the Scripture belongs to the pastor’s office was everywhere asserted by Presbyterians, as well as other Reformed communions, as the clear biblical teaching.

The fact that over three hundred years of Presbyterian tradition is being largely jettisoned in our day should give us pause to at least reflect on the rationale for the old practice. That only ministers of the Word should read the Word publicly is an idea to which our egalitarian world is entirely unfriendly. The church is in need of a renewed interest in the public reading of Scripture. A high view of what ministers are doing when they read will help us strive to put greater effort into it.

Some will complain that I am advocating a “one-man show.” But I hope to demonstrate that there is a biblical and confessional logic to the single leadership of the minister of the Word in public worship on the Lord’s Day. Many of us succumb to the fear of being labeled “elitist” for suggesting that only ministers should lead worship, being under the false assumption that only those “on stage” are participating.

Metaphors of the “one-man show” and “on stage,” are, themselves, very instructive in analyzing the problem we face. In a world strongly flavored by, and motivated with, entertainment, we have become a world of spectators who tend to envy those on stage. Thus, in smaller venues like bars and churches it is expected that everyone gets their moment in the spotlight. But public worship is not karaoke. Where worship is led by the minister alone, many struggle to participate, because our culture has largely spoiled that ability.

Hearing the Word read and preached is true participation. The Shema (שְׁמַע) of Deuteronomy 6:5–6 indicates that biblical hearing is active, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” This is the true meaning of participation—that everyone in the worship of God is fully involved—God speaking through his servant and the congregation responding by hearing, praising, obeying, and serving. Hughes Oliphant Old, in commenting on the ministry of Ezra, observed that the reading and preaching of Scripture comprise the ministry of the Word. This ministry is “a public act of worship. It was done with great solemnity and reverence. . . . It was an act of the whole religious community.”[16] Thus, properly understood, the leadership of one man, called by God for that very purpose, is in no way inimical to congregational participation, but is inherently a powerful summons to participate.

Along this same line of thought is an aesthetic consideration. Unity of leadership enhances unity of liturgy. Liturgical aesthetics is a consideration usually downplayed or ignored today. However, every kind of worship service has an aesthetic dimension, whether it is acknowledged or not. Sensitivity to the perception of beauty is an inescapable reality. When a man is called and trained to lead worship, the simple beauty of Word and sacrament ministry will be more suited to leave a lasting spiritual impression on worshippers.

During the Reformation the “Liturgy of the Word” encompassed every other part of public worship except the separate liturgy of the Lord’s Supper. The nomenclature indicates the centrality of the Word, read and preached, to worship, but it also indicates the unity of the liturgy itself as essentially a ministry of the Word, to be administered by a minister of the Word. My concern is that, above all, the reading and preaching of Scripture go inseparably together as the central task of ministers of the Word.

Professor Old’s phrase “with great solemnity and reverence” reminds us of the most fundamental and germane doctrine underlying my assertion: that the public reading of Scripture is an authoritative and interpretive act. “Reading the Bible out loud is an act of interpretation.”[17] Worship leadership in the Bible is clearly restricted to men gifted and called by God to minister the Word. So the public reading of Scripture is an essential part of that leadership. Minister of the Word Timothy is the one who is enjoined by Paul to read Scripture. This is inexorably tied to preaching. “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Tim. 4:13). The ESV properly interprets “the reading” (τῇ ἀναγνώσει tē anagnōsei) to refer to public, not private, reading. Modern ears instinctively hear this in terms of personal devotions. But in the first century few could afford to own personal copies of Scripture. Furthermore, the codex had not yet been invented, although a century later Christians would be the ones to do so, given their intense devotion to God’s Word. The royally authorized King James Version (1611) was “appointed to be read in churches”—read aloud by the minister of the Word.

The present directory for public worship in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church asserts the divine authority inherent in the reading of the Word in public when it states, “Through this reading, God speaks directly to the congregation in his own words.”[18] The logical corollary to this is that only those God has called to preach his Word should read it publicly. The two activities are inextricably connected. The Westminster Larger Catechism (WLC) is instructive in this regard:

Q. 156. Is the Word of God to be read by all?
A. Although all are not to be permitted to read the Word publicly to the congregation, yet all sorts of people are bound to read it apart by themselves, and with their families: to which end, the holy scriptures are to be translated out of the original into vulgar languages. (emphasis added)

So the restriction of the public reading is made clear. Question 155 ties reading and preaching together: “The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means . . .” (cf. WSC 89). Then question 158 makes the above restriction explicit in terms of the authority of preaching: “The Word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted, and also duly approved and called to that office.”

The restriction mentioned in WLC 156 gives the following proof texts:

Then Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. When all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess. (Deut. 31:9, 11–13, emphasis added)

“So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly” (Neh. 8:2, emphasis added).

The reason for the restriction on public reading of Scripture is the authority of God’s Word. Public reading of Scripture requires an authoritative office.

But what is often entirely overlooked, due to a misunderstanding, is the interpretive aspect of reading aloud. Some misunderstand by thinking that because the words of Scripture are fixed, the reading of the Word itself involves no interpretation. However, anyone who has ever heard the difference between a schoolboy stumbling through a Shakespearean sonnet and an actor such as the consummate Shakespearean John Gielgud knows the vast difference. Expert reading clarifies meaning. It is an authoritative activity.

Another misconception is fostered by thinking that synagogue worship, because laymen were allowed to read Scripture, had authoritative status in New Testament times. The assumption that synagogue worship is normative for the New Covenant church is false. The Old Covenant does not authorize the synagogue. What was done there was not worship but “Torah study.” It was voluntary in nature. In reviewing Ralph Gore’s book criticizing the regulative principle, Dr. T. David Gordon observes:

If we are required, by apostolic example (Acts 2, Acts 20), endorsement (1 Cor. 16:2), and command (Heb. 10:24), to assemble on the first day of the week, what can those who call us to those assemblies lawfully require us to do there? This was the question that Calvin and the Puritans addressed; and they would have been unmoved by any consideration of what free individuals did in voluntary societies for encouragement, prayer, or study.[19]

What are the practical implications of this? Paul addresses Timothy as an ordinary (not apostolic) minister of the Word. “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Tim. 4:13). He places the public reading of Scripture on a par with preaching. This means that denying that the reading of Scripture in public is an authoritative and interpretive act diminishes God’s Word. I am not saying that this is necessarily intentional. But, when the reading is not done by an ordained minister, the authority of the Word is diminished.

Having said this, it is therefore incumbent upon the church and seminaries to train ministers to take the public reading of Scripture with the utmost seriousness. The corollary to this involves the continuing education of ministers of the Word. We need to continue developing rhetorical and interpretive skills necessary to read the Word of God well in public. I suggest listening regularly to poetry read aloud, which is widely available online. Reading Scripture aloud for daily devotions is an excellent way to cultivate this holy skill. I will have more to say on this topic in subsequent chapters.

In 1 Timothy 3:8 Paul warns deacons to not be “addicted to much wine.” The word “addicted” (προσέχοντας prosechontas) is the same word used in 1 Timothy 4:13, translated “devoted.” Truly “public reading of Scripture” is something to be addicted to. Oh, that we may devote ourselves with great energy, enthusiasm, and intelligence to this important task.


[1] Adapted from Gregory E. Reynolds, The Word Is Worth a Thousand Pictures: Preaching in the Electronic Age (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2001), 354–66.

[2] James Daane, Preaching with Confidence: A Theological Essay on the Power of the Pulpit (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 29.

[3] Cf. Gregory E. Reynolds, “Democracy and the Denigration of Office,” Ordained Servant 23 (2014): 12–22; and in Order in the Offices, ed. Mark R. Brown (Duncansville, PA: Classic Presbyterian Resources, 1993); Nathan O. Hatch, The Democratization of American Christianity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989).

[4] J. I. Packer, “The Challenge of the Third Millennium,” RTS Reformed Quarterly 18:2 (Summer 1999): www.rts.edu/quarterly/summer99/qa.html (April 29, 2000).

[5] Packer, “The Challenge of the Third Millennium.”

[6] K. Sietsma, The Idea of Office, trans. Henry Vander Goot (Jordan Station, Ontario: Paideia, 1985), 19.

[7] The verb form is used in Matt. 20:25 (κατακυριεύουσιν) katakurieuousin, the root being the same as the noun used in Matt. 7:29.

[8] Sietsma, The Idea of Office, 24.

[9] Gregory E. Reynolds, “God Still Speaks Today: The Power of Orality,” Ordained Servant 17 (2008): 25–31.

[10] Consult the bibliography for a full list.

[11] See McClellan, Preaching by Ear: Speaking God’s Truth from the Inside Out and Keller, Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism.

[12] Geerhardus Vos, Grace and Glory (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1994); Henry C. Fish, Masterpieces of Pulpit Eloquence, Ancient and Modern, with Historical Sketches of Preaching in the Different Countries Represented, and Biographical and Critical Notices of the Several Preachers and Their Discourses, 2 vols. (London: Hodder and Stoughton; New York: M. W. Mead, 1856). See the bibliography for a full list.

[13] Adapted from Gregory E. Reynolds, “Who Reads Scripture?” Ordained Servant 22 (2013): 9–12.

[14] For those interested in my argument for the three office view see Gregory E. Reynolds, “Democracy and the Denigration of Office,” Ordained Servant 23 (2014): 12–22; originally in Order in the Offices, ed. Mark Brown (Duncansville, PA: Classic Presbyterian Government Resources, 1993), 235–55. See also “Report of the Committee on the Involvement of Unordained Persons in the Regular Worship Services of the Church” submitted to the 58th General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (1991). http://www.opc.org/GA/unordained.html.

[15] The Confession of Faith (Inverness, Scotland: Free Presbyterian Publications, 1976), 375.

[16] Hughes Oliphant Old, Guides to the Reformed Tradition: Worship That Is Reformed According to Scripture (Atlanta: John Knox, 1984), 59.

[17] Stephen H. Webb, The Divine Voice: Christian Proclamation and the Theology of Sound (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2004), 209.

[18] “Directory for the Public Worship of God,” in The Book of Church Order of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (Willow Grove, PA: The Committee on Christian Education, 2015), 133 (DPW II.A.2).

[19] T. David Gordon, Review Article: “The Westminster Assembly’s Unworkable and Unscriptural View of Worship,” WTJ 65:345–56 (2003), 347.

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, December, 2023.

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Ordained Servant: December 2023

Remembering G. I. Williamson

Also in this issue

Elf on the Shelf or Christ on the Cross?

G. I. Williamson: Encounters with the Life of a Faithful Servant of God

G. I. Williamson’s Farewell Sermon

The Case for the Majority Greek New Testament Text

The Case for the Eclectic Greek New Testament Text

Theological Daylighting: Retrieving J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism

Letters to a Younger Ruling Elder, No. 10: Be a Presbyter

Neo-Calvinism: A Theological Introduction by Cory C. Brock and N. Gray Sutanto

An Ode of the Birth of Our Saviour

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