Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Please Preach Christ


There is a lot of chatter (on line and off) about Christ-centered preaching. This can only be a good thing I think. I would hope that all Christian preachers could agree that we should follow the apostle Paul (who was following Christ) when he aimed at preaching "Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). We should heed the warning of Jesus who reprimanded those who were diligent students of the Bible but failed to see how they bear witness to him (John 5:39). Jesus also showed his disciples that in order to interpret Scripture rightly you must see how it all pertains to him (Luke 24:25-27, 44-47). A lot of the discussion centers around how you actually go about doing this. (The guys who continue to debate whether or not this is necessary need the metaphorical bash to the head or kick in the pants.) There is no question that the how to's are hard. In fact, apart from the Spirit of God they are impossible. We need to start (and proceed) by recognizing that. There are plenty of helpful, reliable, gospel-preaching explainers. Here are a few:
Christ-centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell
Gospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy
Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture by Graeme Goldsworthy
Preaching Christ from the Old Testament by Sidney Greidanus
Preaching Christ in All of Scripture by Edmund Clowney
Heralds of the King by Dennis E. Johnson

This last work contains examples of Christ-centered sermons. Of course, in order to preach Christ-centered sermons you have to hear them being preached by such men as Tim Keller, "Skip" Ryan, and Iain Duguid, Phillip Jensen, Sinclair Ferguson and Eric Alexander. Reading Ryle, Edwards, Spurgeon, Bunyan, Lloyd-Jones, Whitefield and the like is also invaluable. By whatever means, please preach Christ.

2 comments:

  1. I think it is interesting to note that when you preach God-centered messages a lot of people listen but when you start preaching Christ-centered messages a lot of people tune out. why? What is it about Jesus that people find offensive?

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  2. True. I'm preaching through Daniel right now. The stone "cut from a mountain by no human hand" (Dan. 2:34, 45) is a clear reference to Christ and helps answer your question. We want to rule our own lives. We want to be our own saviors. Having God help us on our quest is fine. But having our kingdom crumble and Christ's rule of love take over. It is just too threatening to our self-centered sensibilities. Jesus said, "The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when if falls on anyone, it will crush him" (Matt. 21:44). No one likes to be broken. But then the alternative (being crushed) is much worse.

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