By Good and Necessary Consequence
addresses the need for sound theological expression in systematic form. As a defense of systematic theology, MCgraw's work shows the benefits of the discipline and how it enriches and guide the life of believers.
The Explorations in Reformed Confessional Theology
series provides introductory volumes on statements in the Reformed confessions that tend to trouble modern readers. Each book examines confessional issues in four ways:
- exploring such things as variants, textual development, and the development of language within the documents themselves as well as within the context in which these documents were written
- historically: exploring social history and the history of ideas that shed light upon these issues
- theologically: exploring the issues of intra- and inter-confessional theology both in the days these documents were written as well as our day
- pastorally: exploring the pressing pastoral needs of certain doctrines and the implications of any issues that cause difficulty in the confessions
The series is intended for educated lay people in Reformed congregations as well as ministers who must repeatedly teach and preach the doctrines in the confessions.
The Westminster Confession says that the 'whole counsel of God is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture' (1.6, emphasis added). McGraw begins this work by noting the biblical foundation of the principle, especially evident in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. He then examines the usage among the contemporaries of the authors of the Westminster Standards, and in another section deals with the most significant objections to this principle. He treats the need for 'necessary consequence' in four major areas of theology, and concludes with certain practical applications that impact the Christian life and church. This excellent book helps us understand the significance of 'necessary consequence' not only for the Confession but also for Scripture study in general, and is worthwhile for grounding the principle in the Lord Jesus Christ and the writers of the Scripture. George W. Knight III, Adjunct Professor of New Testament, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary