When we speak of Christ-centered preaching, it is hard not to think and speak of Bryan Chapell, the President Emeritus of Covenant Seminary and pastor of Grace Presbyterian. It was there when I first began to consider what it might look like to make Christ the center of a message-- always. Actually, the phrase I've used on many occasions is a variant of something I once heard Bryan say. I've said it many times, "I don't want to ever preach a sermon that would still be true if Jesus had not died on the cross.
|Published (Last):||26 December 2005|
|PDF File Size:||6.56 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||6.61 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
When we speak of Christ-centered preaching, it is hard not to think and speak of Bryan Chapell, the President Emeritus of Covenant Seminary and pastor of Grace Presbyterian.
It was there when I first began to consider what it might look like to make Christ the center of a message-- always. Actually, the phrase I've used on many occasions is a variant of something I once heard Bryan say. I've said it many times, "I don't want to ever preach a sermon that would still be true if Jesus had not died on the cross.
So, in two parts, we will share Bryan's words-- both responding to the prior essays, but also laying forth some new ground. This is the ninth installment in a series of posts examining Christ-Centered hermeneutics and their impact on preaching. I have asked several well-known leaders and thinkers to examine and discuss Christ-Centered preaching:. We also posted sections of a discussion panel between me, Trevin Wax, Dr.
Eric Hankins, and Dr. Jon Akin that was recently hosted by The Gospel Project. We also think this is an important enough conversation that we want to have it elsewhere-- like on your blog.
So, here is the plan:. I first encountered Christ-centered preaching, when a substitute preaching professor gave me my first "C" on a sermon in seminary. After crying myself to sleep, I summoned the courage to ask him, "Why? I simply concluded that the professor was eccentric, and was grateful when the regular professor returned to give me the better grades I thought I deserved. I fell in love with Christ-centered preaching years later, as it rescued me from pastoral despair caused by witnessing the powerlessness of my preaching to help struggling people apply Scripture to their lives.
God graciously then exposed me to the book also cited by Walt Kaiser in his previous post in this web conversation as his earliest exposure to Christ-centered preaching: Sola Scriptura by Sidney Greidanus. I mention my path because it is somewhat different from the ones previously described by the wonderful theologians who have already contributed to this conversation. Their starting point for examining Christ-centered preaching was primarily exegetical and hermeneutical — seeking faithfully to analyze and interpret texts; mine was pastoral.
I always believed and still do that I was preaching the content of specific biblical texts, but my commitment to expounding duty and doctrine seemed often to burden God's people rather than to equip them for lives reflecting the power and priorities of their Savior. Words that spoke powerfully to me of the way out of this dilemma were in Christ's simple but profound admonition: "Apart from me you can do nothing" John Christ's words helped me understand that the demands of duty and doctrine were futile without the enabling of the Savior.
Then, my question, of course, was how to make sure my preaching included Christ without excluding what the biblical text actually said. That concern is obviously the primary one typically and often legitimately leveled at some versions of what is labeled "Christ-centered preaching.
Daniel Block states the concern well in the opening post of this conversation: "Is this exegesis [getting a message out of a text] or eisegesis [getting the text to say what you want it to say]? The smoking gun for those with "eisegesis" concerns is the host of allegorical and imaginative word-play sermons in our time and in previous eras that manipulate the text into some mention of Christ where such a referent was clearly not the intention of the original author.
When the red of Rahab's cloth liquefies into the blood of Christ, and the wood of Noah's ark morphs into the tree of the cross, and the tent pegs of the tabernacle transform into nails in the hands of the One who tabernacled among us — then such exegesis really knows no boundaries and ultimately renders the Bible devoid of determined meaning. The alternative to trying to make every biblical text mention Jesus is identifying the redemptive context of each text; i.
That plan was announced at the dawn of human history Gen. All human history and biblical commentary unfolding beyond that point must be interpreted in the light of this promised provision of heavenly origin as the Savior and Scripture teach us to do; e.
There is not only one way of doing this. David Murray in an earlier post in this conversation rightly identifies a weakness in some forms of Christ-centered preaching: "… the tendency to use the same interpretative method in every Old Testament sermon. We will also produce skeptical and even ridiculing hearers. Better theologians than I can speak to the diversity of legitimate approaches and themes of redemptive interpretation but, as one with more limited skills who is primarily concerned for preachers in local ministry, I have suggested some straightforward approaches in the book Christ-centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon Baker, Here's the essence of what's said there: Many texts clearly describe, prophesy, or typify set a pattern for the ministry of Jesus.
Straightforward identification of obvious gospel truths is sufficient for redemptive understanding of these texts. However, there are many more texts that prepare for, or reflect upon, Christ's ministry by disclosing aspects of the grace of God that find their completed expression in Jesus. Read part 10 of the Christ-centered teaching and preaching series here. Support the work of CT.
Subscribe and get one year free. The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today. Most Recent June 4 Ed Stetzer. SHARE tweet email print. Ed Stetzer Bio. I have asked several well-known leaders and thinkers to examine and discuss Christ-Centered preaching: Dr. Daniel Block Wheaton College Dr. So, here is the plan: If you will write a post with substantive discussion about the series on your blog, and let us know about it in the comments here, want to give away some books.
Just post an excerpt of your post, and a link to it, and we'll send you a free copy of one of these books on preaching until we run out. Then, we'll take the best of those posts and excerpt them here at my blog to add to the conversation. Living in the Land of Oz Podcast. The Exchange Weekly The Exchange newsletter is a weekly digest of coverage, research, and perspective from Ed Stetzer.
Email Address. Subscribe to the selected newsletters. Get weekly updates from The Exchange delivered to your inbox. Read This Issue. It's Weird Evangelical Twitter. Reply on Twitter. Tags: Preaching. Posted: July 15 , More from The Exchange Trending. While the world has been consumed by news about Iran, China, and conflicts in other regions, militant and extremist groups in Nigeria have waged a campaign of death and devastation against Christians.
February 15, Global Network of Evangelists. June 4, Culture , Interviews , Leadership. Discussing how to address issues of race and justice with an African American New Testament scholar. Sections Home. Coronavirus Science Racism. Sign up for our Free newsletter. Give Today. Careers Media Room Follow Us. Help Contact Us My Account. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel.
Book Review: Christ-Centered Preaching, by Bryan Chapell
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon
Second Edition. Baker, Thankfully, a return to expository preaching that feeds the flock and proclaims the gospel has given a new hope for this generation. Expository preaching does not take place without devoted effort. Bryan Chapell—former president of Covenant Theological Seminary, long-time homiletics professor, and current pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois—capably details the needed preparation process for expository preaching in Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon. Chapell brings his wealth of pastoral preaching and homiletical instruction into a well-crafted volume of eleven chapters and twelve helpful appendixes. He approaches his subject through three sections.