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Preaching With Spiritual PowerCalvin’s Understanding of Word and Spirit in Preaching

Preaching With Spiritual Power

Calvin’s Understanding of Word and Spirit in Preaching

Ralph Cunnington
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A controversy has been going on for some time among generally Reformed churches in the United Kingdom (and regions beyond) regarding the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit in the public proclamation of the Word of God. Much of this kerfuffle surrounds the influence of Moore Theological College in Australia. Can the Word of God ever be preached without the blessing of the Holy Spirit? Do we need to wrestle with the Lord in anxious prayer like Jacob with the angel at Peniel? Is it possible to presume on the Holy Spirit's presence and activity? Ralph Cunnington, pastor of City Church Manchester, enters into this discussion by seeking wisdom from John Calvin's approach to the relationship of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in this concise but significant book Preaching With Spiritual Power.

Reformed Forum

... timely and persuasive... Cunnington has made a valuable contribution to the debate. More than that, however, it is an encouraging reminder that God himself attends the Word in the presence of the Spirit, and in this confidence his ministers may speak and labor with holy boldness.

David Strain, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi

This is a book that all who preach and teach God's word should read. Being confident that the Spirit of God is at work when the Word of God is taught will make us work hard in our preparation and will make us more dependent on God in our prayers.

Justin Mote, Associate Minister St Andrew's Church and Director of the North West Ministry Training Course, Leyland, England

This is a fascinating historical look at a subject of vital importance for preachers. It stimulated me to think, then think again, about the relationship of word and Spirit.

Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society, and Adjunct Lecturer in Church History, Union School of Theology, Bridgend, Wales

... brings to this helpful study a clear mind, scholarly thoroughness and deep pastoral concern... the implications for our understanding of Calvin and also for our practice of preaching are significant.

David McKay, Professor of Systematic Theology, Ethics and Apologetics, Reformed Theological College, Belfast, Northern Ireland

... this short, readable and relevant book will be a great help to preachers, equipping them to navigate these contemporary controversies and providing them with a proper theological understanding of their vital work.

John Stevens, National Director, Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, Market Harborough, Leicestershire

... helpful contribution, cutting through contemporary rhetoric to the actual teaching of the reformers, in its historical context ... a model for those engaged in polemics, and a stimulating study of God's Word.

Peace and Truth

Ralph Cunnington is an excellent guide. With careful and incisive scholarship, and writing that is both clear and cogent, he steers a sure and reliable course...

Robert Letham, Wales Evangelical School of Theology, Bridgend, Wales

... the first book-length treatment of an important issue that has been simmering just under the surface of British Evangelicalism for a number of years... I hope this will not lead to a full-blown controversy, but to a closer examination of the Scriptures.

Sinclair B. Ferguson, Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi

... stimulating, challenging and timely. It is of great importance that our doctrine of preaching is robust and biblical and I found this volume's careful assessment of Calvin a great help in achieving these aims.

Adrian Reynolds, Head of National Ministries, Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, UK

... provides a most careful analysis in some depth of the historical data concerning Lutheran and Reformed views of the subject and thereby takes the debate forwards in a very helpful manner.

Robert Strivens, Pastor, Bradford–on–Avon Baptist Church, Wiltshire, UK & former Principal, London Seminary

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