A couple of days ago, Paul asked for book recommendations on the topic being considered. Here are a few.
- Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching (the best treatment I’ve read)
- Sidney Greidanus, Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method
- Edmund Clowney, Preaching Christ in All of Scripture
- Dennis Johnson, Him We Proclaim
These four are a good start. I have included links to 9Marks reviews for those who wish to get a fuller look at these texts before buying them. All four, though, will richly benefit the reader, and will greatly help a young preacher or a preacher wanting to preach Christ faithfully from all Scripture. I would strongly recommend reading at least one or two of these texts; if you’re just starting, go with Chapell and Johnson. Those are probably the most accessible works, and will give you a solid foundation for Christ-centered preaching.
Let me conclude this brief series with suggestions on how one might faithfully preach Christ from all Scripture. Remember, the faithful preacher does not allegorize, thus over-finding Christ in the Bible, and yet the faithful preacher does not preach unless he in some way reveals Christ in the text. The following are some suggestions for preaching Christ from selected Scriptures.
- Song of Songs does not depict first and foremost the love of Christ for His church, but clearly the marriage relationship is a picture of God’s love for His people. When preaching this book, then, the preacher should not preach each verse as pointing directly to Christ, but should preach the book as a celebration of marital love. Marital love, of course, points to the love of Christ for the church.
- The Minor Prophets relate to Christ in that the various rulers of Israel were corrupt, and no lasting Savior could be found for God’s people. Christ, then, is the One for whom the prophets ultimately cry out, for He is the only perfect ruler, judge, and king.
- Christ is the wisdom, the wise son, the righteous man of Proverbs. He is the fulfillment of all these types of person.
- Where Solomon, David, and all others served as king, all their ministries point to Christ the King.
We could go on. But I’ll end here. I hope I’ve shown some out there who aren’t familiar with the Christ-centered model the absolute necessity to preach it. It is, I would contend, the truest, fullest, most faithful model of Christian preaching out there. It is not enough to declare the original point of a passage, though this is right. It is not enough to apply the text searchingly, though this is essential. The faithful preacher of the Word of God must use the hermeneutical key of Luke 24:27 and unlock the Scriptures’ fullest meaning for his people. Until he does this, he may have preached, but we cannot in the end say that he has heeded his master’s instruction, and shown the people where they may find Christ–and where Christ may find them.