This past week I had the opportunity to present a workshop at the Advancing the Church Conference hosted by Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA. Dr. Harbin and Dr. Jordan did an outstanding job organizing the conference and effectively addressing the topic, “We Believe in Preaching.” Dr. Don Carson was the keynote. As a master teacher, he competently illustrated how to use the OT in the life of the church. In the context of Don Carson preaching so masterly, I took on the workshop task of dealing with moralizing the Old Testament. Scary!

My approach to this topic has evolved and what I am about to summarize is merely a point on a continuum. First, I do approach this subject with a dispensational presupposition. I do recognize a distinction between Israel and the church and I do handle the details of the biblical Text with that in mind. Second, I am committed to discerning the authorial intent of the OT Text by carefully handing textual details. I believe that this process includes an investigation of the text’s historical, linguistic/literary, and theological aspects. Finally, I recognize that the Older Testament has a forward look. On the basis of Luke 24:44-49, John 5:39 and Romans 10:4 I see that the OT it is pointing forward to Christ. The reality that the Older Testament points us to Christ does not create any rest for the interpreter. The “how to” challenge is significant. In subsequent posts I will give some illustrations of my “how to.”

Some helpful Resources …

Goldsworthy, Grame. Preaching the Whole Bible As Christian Scripture. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing House, 2000.

Greidanus, Sidney. The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text: Interpreting and Preaching Biblical Literature. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing House, 1988.

Greidanus, Sidney. Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing House, 1999.

Greidanus, Sidney. Sola Scriptura: Problems and Principles in Preaching Historical Texts. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2001.

Johnson, Dennis E., ed. Heralds of the King: Christ-Centered Sermons in the Tradition of Edmund P. Clowney. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2009.

Kaiser, Jr., Walter C. The Old Testament in Contemporary Preaching. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1973.

Kaiser, Jr., Walter C. Preaching and Teaching fro the Old Testament: A Guide for the Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003.

Long, V. Philips. The Art of Biblical History, Vol. 5 in The Foundations of Contemporary Interpretation. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994.

Mathewson, Steven D. The Art of Preaching Old Testament Narrative. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2002.

Ryken, Leland and Todd A. Wilson, editors. Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching: In Honor of R. Kent Hughes. Wheaton, Il: Crossway Books, 2007.

In addition, look for publications by Bob Chisholm. Bob was involved in some writing projects that featured homiletical ideas from Old Testament Texts. His work is extremely helpful.