In a companion volume to ‘We Proclaim the Word of Life‘ which I commented upon here, a number of Old Testament scholars and preachers have contributed essays on preaching the Old Testament story. 78% of the Bible is in the OT but it is, in very many ways, a neglected section – especially in preaching.
There are helpful chapters, especially if you have never studied literature to any degree, on the importance of both plot and character in narrative and how to use these as ways into texts.
The chapter by Ernest Lucas on preaching apocalyptic literature is very helpful, and worth looking at when preaching from Revelation. Daniel Block’s treatment of Ezekiel is especially helpful. It is detailed and deals with seven basic propositions that are necessary for anyone wishing to repack from one of the most fascinating – but least understood – books in the Bible.
Gordon Wenham has a chapter on preaching from difficult texts in the OT where he considers some of the issues surround the law of talion, violence and the first 11 chapters of Genesis amongst others. As always, his comments are lucid and encouraging showing again his depth of scholarship along with the desire for the Bible to be well communicated from the pulpit.
The final chapter in the book is, fittingly for a book which takes Jesus’ words to the disciples on the way to Emmaus as its title, on preaching Christ from the Old Testament by R. W. L. Moberly. This is a thought-provoking chapter which reminds those of us who preach that we have to see the OT through the ‘lens’ of the life of Christ if we wish to make our preaching both true to Scripture and relevant to our hearers.
Kent JRK, Kissling PJ & Turner LA (eds), 2010, ‘He Began with Moses…’, Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press