Most of you have likely read this post over at TGC, but it’s still worth re-posting. Keller and Carson offer some wise counsel when it comes to preaching Christ from the Old Testament:
1. Don’t “get to Christ” so soon in the sermon that you don’t unfold the meaning and application of the text to the original hearers. If you “jump to Christ” too soon that often means you inspire people but you don’t give them concrete application for how they are supposed to live.
2. Don’t “get to Christ” so late in the sermon that he seems like an add-on, a mere devotional appendix. If you wait too long to get to Christ listeners won’t see how Jesus’ work is crucial if the listeners are going to obey or heed the text.
3. Don’t get to Christ artificially. This is a big subject of course, but I believe two of the best ways are (a) by identifying in your text one of the many inner-canonical themes that all climax in Christ (Don Carson’s language), and (b) identifying in your text some “Fallen Condition Focus,” some lack in humanity that only Christ can fill (Bryan Chapell’s language).
1. Study constantly how the NT writers use the OT. That will give you insight into how you should move from the Old to the New.
2. Make good use of available tools, not least the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. For even when you are preaching from the OT, the indexes in the volume will alert you to any use of your OT passage within the NT.
3. Ensure that this sort of study does not overlook or set aside complementary disciplines—e.g., understanding what genre of literature you are dealing with and how it makes its appeals, where this literature falls along the axis of redemptive history, and so forth.
If you’re looking for an explanation of New Covenant Theology, Chad Richard Bresson has drafted a lengthy description. Read it here.
Jim Hamilton pointed out that Greg Beale’s important essay on apostolic hermeneutics is now available online. Read it here. It is also found in a larger work on the topic: Right Doctrine from the Wrong Texts?: Essays on the Use of the Old Testament.
I have tried to be very careful not to make my blog about the latest thing in Evangelicalism that is frustrating me, but I have to say something now. Bad exegesis exists everywhere, but for some reason, within the last two months I have read and/or heard many respected Reformed Evangelical preachers/teachers commit the errors highlighted in D. A. Carson’s book, Exegetical Fallacies. I was very disappointed and wondered if they had ever read Carson’s book. Thus, I make a plea to every pastor, teacher, and Christian out there–read and re-read Carson’s book. Even if you don’t know Hebrew or Greek the overall insights in the book are invaluable. If you have not read Carson’s book; please buy a copy, read it, and pass it on to a friend.
Andy Naselli has a helpful quote from Doug Moo on how the NT quotes the OT. Read it here.