Preaching to Postmoderns

J.D. Greear on preaching Scripture focused on Christ rather than on us:

The Bible was not primarily intended to explain to us what we should do for God, but to point us to what God was doing for us in Christ.

Take the popular Old Testament story of David and Goliath. The teaching usually goes like this: "Like David, we have giants in our lives. Through the power of God, we can knock them down like David did!" The main point of the David narrative, however, was not simply the ability of one man to defeat in this life every giant that comes against him, but that David a young Jew, hated by his brothers, who went out and defeated a giant who had completely immobilized Israel, and through his victory all of Israel was saved, even though they didn't lift a finger to help him! Then all Israel shared in his victory. In this way, David was pointing us to Jesus. Because Jesus, the "greater David," has conquered the "giant" of our separation from God, we don't have to worry as much about other so-called giants, like cancer or vocational failure. Through Jesus' work, no longer does death really defeat us or personal failure devestate our sense of personal worth!

...Postmoderns have lost the centrality of God in the universe and replaced it with the centrality of themselves. It is the preaching of the Gospel which reverses that. It is only when we teach people to trade their self-centered story for the story of God that we can truly be "preaching the Word." Preaching the Gospel means to teach people to put Jesus back in the center of the universe where He belongs and to trust what He has done and can do on our behalf.What we should be exposing from the Bible is the Gospel!

Excellent post.

Center Preaching on God

A good reminder from Biblical Preaching:

Based on the nature of Scripture, I think it is vital that we grasp the necessity of theocentric interpretation, and consequently, preaching. Kent Edwards, in a journal article, stated:

The point of a biblical story is always a theological point. We learn something about God and how to live in response to him when we understand a biblical story. The narrative literature of the Bible is concretized theology. (J.Kent Edwards, JEHS 7:1, 10)

How true that is! Even if you were to study Esther, the story in the Bible where God is textually absent, it doesn’t take long to recognize that God is very much present as the hero of the story! Let’s be sure we don’t study Bible passages, stories in particular, and merely derive little lessons for life. We can leave that with Aesop’s Fables. Let’s be sure we grapple with the theological point of every story, the intersection between God and humanity. God’s Word is all relevant and useful, so our preaching should likewise be relevant and useful to life. But we also center our preaching on God, because the Bible is centered on Him!