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Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method Paperback – July 13, 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Practical and helpful counsel on preaching Christian sermons from the Old Testament. This is a book well worth reading and applying to our teaching of the Word of God." -- Haddon Robinson

About the Author

Sidney Greidanus is professor emeritus of preaching atCalvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 391 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans (July 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802844499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802844491
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In this work, Greidanus takes up his pen to develop a theme he only touched upon in his previous work, "The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text." This is the theme of preaching Christ. The bold departure that this book makes is that Christ should also be the very center of every sermon from the OT.
At this point one may seem skeptical to ask if he is suggesting that preachers should read Christ into OT texts that were not historically about Christ. He addresses this both historically and methodologically with a firm no.
The thought of the book progresses smoothly and naturally. The first four chapters of the book are an historical survey of preaching Christ throughout Church history. This survey focuses in on the Patristic and Reformation periods.
In the last four chapters, Greidanus turns to a viable methodology for preaching Christ from the OT. For Greidanus, (who is firmly anchored in Dutch Reformed covenant theology), Christ is the center of all of the history of remption to which all the OT institutions and events ultimately pointed.
The work is both timely and provocative. It is sure to challenge any average preacher, especially those who deliver a steady diet of New Testament based sermons.
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Format: Paperback
Greidanus tackles a crucial topic in this book and handles it quite well. He notes that the Biblical (and particularly OT) illiteracy prevalent in the Christian church at large is in a large part due to the paucity of preaching from the Old Testament. Yet pastors often struggle to know how to preach from OT texts, and when they do they often fall into numerous pitfalls.

Greidanus does an excellent job of critiquing numerous pitfalls that the preacher might encounter in preaching the OT, especially those that would insufficiently address the text itself (i.e. using the text as a 'pretext' to skip to some other idea) or the more deadly error of ignoring the centrality of Christ in the sermon. Along with St. Paul, Greidanus exhorts the reader to be constant in preaching Christ crucified, and that generically 'God-centered' preaching is not enough. The task of the preacher is to specifically show how the fulness of God's self-revelation and salvation is found in Christ Jesus.

So in order to prepare the preacher for this great task, Greidanus provides an excellent review of major preachers/theologians in the history of the church, to see how they preached Christ from the Old Testament. As the author comes from a Calvinist background, I think he misrepresented Luther slightly, but overall he gave a fair and balanced critique of the preachers. He did critique Calvin's 'theocentric' method of preaching as insufficient. AFter his examination of historical preachers, Greidanus sets out at length to show positive methods for preaching Christ from the OT while remaining faithful to the text. He provides several sound approaches and shows step-wise how to apply each method. He offers samples on both easy and harder texts for preaching Christ in the OT.
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Format: Paperback
Preachers face a wide range of homiletical choices, and many disagree about what counts for "good preaching." In light of first-century options, the Apostle Paul stood with this plain conviction: "We preach Christ crucified" (1 Cor 1:23). Likewise, Greidanus' burden is crystal-clear: "In preaching any part of Scripture, one must understand its message in the light of that center, Jesus Christ" (p. 227).
Greidanus, professor of preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary, blends hermeneutics and homiletics to help pastors work out their commitment to Christ-centered preaching. First, he demonstrates the necessity of preaching Christ and preaching from the Old Testament (chs. 1-2). He then surveys the instructive but rather checkered history of christological interpretation as expressed in preaching from apostolic to modern times (chs. 3-4). The theoretical foundation of the book which follows is a well-illustrated treatment of seven biblical ways in which the testaments are united in Christ (chs. 5-6). These are the ways of redemptive-historical progression, promise-fulfillment, typology, analogy, longitudinal themes, New Testament references, and contrast. He concludes by laying out a 10-step process for the construction of Christ-centered sermons and invites the student into his study (so to speak) to work through the process with six separate messages (chs. 7-8).
Given the challenges of interpreting the Old Testament christologically and the temptations to engage in man-centered preaching, pastors desperately need encouragement and help to address the Church and world today with genuine Christ-centered, biblical preaching.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Sidney Greidanus serves as professor of preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a prolific author, most notably the author of The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text. Greidanus' aim in this volume is:

... to provide seminary students and preachers with a responsible, contemporary method for preaching Christ from the Old Testament. A secondary, but no less important, aim is to challege Old Testament scholars to broaden their focus and to understand the Old Testament not only in its own historical context but also in the context of the New Testament (xii).

He argues that this book is "not merely for the general category of God-centered preaching but for the more specific category of explicitly Christ-centered preaching" (37).

Summary

Chapter One, entitled "Preaching Christ and Preaching the Old Testament." Greidanus outlines the necessity of preaching Christ and well as the rationale for Christian churches to preach from the Old Testament. Griedanus outlines how the Old Testament brings forth redemptive history leading to Christ as well as shedding light on the New Testament itself. "Every Christian church today needs to hear the Old Testament for its function of teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, as well as for the hope it brings and the instruction it offers for `salvation through faith in Christ Jesus' (2 Tim 3:15)"(26).

Chapter Two, entitled "The Necessity of Preaching Christ from the Old Testament," Griedanus laments the profusion of human centered preaching from our pulpits, especially in relation to the Old Testament.
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