Prayer and the Priesthood of Christ in the Reformed Tradition


Graham Redding, Prayer and the Priesthood of Christ in the Reformed Tradition (London: T&T Clark, 2003)


Redding, Graham. Prayer and the Priesthood of Christ in the Reformed Tradition. London: T&T Clark, 2003


From its inception the Christian church thought of worship and prayer in trinitarian terms. At the heart of this trinitarian concept lay the doctrine of the priesthood of Christ which, in its liturgical expression, presented Christ not merely as the object of prayer, but also as its mediator - prayers were directed to the Father through Christ. Redding traces the idea of the priesthood of Christ, and its effects on Christian worship and prayer, to its origins with the earliest Christians and through the Arian and Apollinarian debates. He then focuses on the Reformed tradition, and the influences of John Calvin, John Knox, John Craig, John McLeod Campbell, William Milligan, Theodore Beza, William Perkins, federal theology and the Westminster tradition, through to the present day. The book is an important history of an important doctrine, but it also shows in a remarkable way how the doctrinal struggles within the church have been reflected in the actual worshipping life of the church and how they continue to be reflected today. Redding concludes with a number of key affirmations for a Reformed understanding of prayer, and also a critique of some modern tendencies and practices in the church.