Published on December 28, 2023 by Eugene Ho

Banner of Truth, 2020 | 3416 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

by Steve West


This book is part of the Banner of Truth’s box set of Puritan Classics. The Art of Prophesying was first published in 1592 and The Calling of the Ministry was first published in 1605.


The Art of Prophesying


“There are two parts to prophecy: preaching the word and public prayer. For the prophet (that is, the minister of the word) has only two duties. One is preaching the word, and the other is praying to God in the name of the people.” In Scripture, prophecy can refer to God speaking to the people through the prophet, or to the prophet speaking for the people to God. When we preach the word, we are prophesying on behalf of Christ. Only Scripture is perfect, so only Scripture is to be preached. It is the wisdom of God; it is sufficient and without error; it will last forever. God’s word pierces into the inner person, and it binds the conscience. God’s word is in the Scriptures since they were given by the Spirit.

The sum and substance of the message of Scripture is Christ. The Old Testament prepares for the Messiah, and Jesus fulfills the promises. We can divide the Old Testament into historical books, doctrinal books, and prophetic books. The New Testament writings were written or authorized by the apostles, and they are the writings of the new covenant. It consists of histories and epistles. Taken together, the Old and New Testaments alone are the word of God. By the Spirit of God, people are led to hear the voice of Christ in the Scriptures. The church does not have more authority than God, so Rome is wrong to set itself over Scripture, or to arrogate to itself the right to determine the canon. Scripture is foundational for the church, not vice versa. The church testifies to Scripture and affirms it, but is under its authority. There are many evidences that prove that the canonical books are unique and higher than all other writings.

To prophesy requires preparing a sermon and then preaching it. Great care and diligent study must go into the preparation of the message. First, firmly recall proper doctrine and theological formulations. Second, use proper hermeneutics. Study Romans first, then the Gospel of John: if you do, the rest of the books will be more easily understood. Isaiah and Psalms are often used in the New Testament, and they deserve special study in the Old. Third, we should study the writings of learned and godly divines, not just our contemporaries but those in church history. Many “new” heresies and errors were already discussed and refuted centuries ago. Fourth, record anything interesting or helpful in a commonplace book. Keep an ordered account with headings of major doctrines, and write down important points you come across. Fifth, pray! Only God can open our eyes to see wonderful things in his law. . . .

[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]

The remainder of this article is premium content. Become a member to continue reading.

Already have an account? Sign In

Buy the books


Banner of Truth, 2020 | 3416 pages

Share This

Share this with your friends!