Book Reviews

Ryrie’s Practical Guide to Communicating Bible Doctrine

Charles Ryrie Nashville, TN 2005-11-15

Ryrie begins this practical guide on preaching and teaching by discussing the practicality of doctrine and then answering three excuses people give for not teaching doctrine. If doctrine were not practical, he says, the entire Bible would be impractical. Then he discusses five ways to communicate the Scriptures. These include (a) communicating major biblical passages, which focus on a central doctrine (e.g., giving, justification, the kenosis); (b) teaching systematic theology, in which several passages are brought together on a certain doctrine (as examples Ryrie includes an outline of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and an outline of the doctrine of Satan); (c) biblical theology (e.g., the doctrine of inspiration in James, what Jesus believed about money, and fellowship according to 1 John); (d) teaching doctrine from a concordance, that is, topical sermons or lessons; and (e) teaching doctrine from biblical illustrations, in which the communicator teaches a doctrine that stems from a biblical event.

In another chapter Ryrie warns against reading into the biblical text something that is not there. He discusses several dangers and abuses in preaching and then gives basic guidelines for expounding the Scriptures.

The first of two appendixes discusses topical expository sermons that “stick to the topic and explain the passages in an expository manner” (p. 69), in contrast to “topical not-unbiblical messages that use passages that are only remotely related to the topic” (ibid.). An expository sermon “translates for the hearer the meaning of the text accurately so that the hearer can understand and then hopefully obey what God says” (p. 72). Then Ryrie gives four steps to follow in preparing expository sermons.

Anyone engaged in teaching or preaching will benefit from this book, though it is written especially for Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, and beginning preachers. Experienced preachers or teachers will benefit from this review of the content (doctrine) and communication (homiletics) of their sermons and lessons.

Book reviews are published online and in print every quarter in Bibliotheca Sacra. Subcribe Today

Review
Mar 2, 2020
John DyerJohn Dyer
Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States Since the 2016 United States presidential election, numerous articles and books have been written that attempt to explain the role of religion in the surprising election of Donald...
Review
Mar 2, 2020
John DyerJohn Dyer
The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity In 2019, Jason Thacker helped craft “Artificial Intelligence: An Evangelical Statement of Principles” from the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ELRC), the public...