Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Review: Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture

Preaching the Whole Bible As Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository PreachingPreaching the Whole Bible As Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching by Graeme Goldsworthy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I do not think I have ever read a book that weaves together theology, specifically biblical theology, with preaching in such an excellent way. Goldsworthy's book challenged me on numerous levels. I am not sure I agree with everything he says, but his diagrams, clarity of writing and love for Christ make this an excellent antidote to much of the shallow preaching that fills the pulpits of America. I felt it was far superior to Brian Chapell's Christ-Centered Preaching. This book is meat and will push a pastor to look closely at his theology, as well as his preaching.

In the first section he examines the relationship between preaching and biblical theology. In the second section he goes through the various genres and gives examples of how to preach Christ from all of Scripture.

My main question is one of application. If Christ is the central point of all of Scripture, which cannot be denied, how do we bridge from what Christ did to how we are supposed to live? Goldsworthy is right to say that all of our action as Christians must flow out of the Gospel. But how does this translate to application in preaching? Again Goldsworthy does a good job of showing how the point of the Old Testament is not primarily to give us character studies, but to show the progress of God's redemptive work in history. So the point of Daniel is not primarily to show us Daniel's character, but God's ruling over the nations and his delivering his people. But again, how do I apply books like Daniel without sinking into moralism? I wish he had answered these questions more clearly.

Still, it is a great book and one I will be referring to often.

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8