Great post from Justin Taylor’s Blog that I am reposting here with some comments. [My comments are in blue and brackets]
JUSTIN TAYLOR |7:25 AM CT
Cautions on Preaching Christ in All of Scripture
A helpful TGC Asks with answers from Tim Keller, Don Carson, and David Murray to the question, “How would you caution teachers intent on preaching Christ in the Old Testament?”
Here is Keller’s answer:
Don’t “get to Christ” so soon in the sermon that you don’t unfold the meaning and application of the text to the original hearers. If you “jump to Christ” too soon that often means you inspire people but you don’t give them concrete application for how they are supposed to live.
[The objective is to help the body of believers who are engaged with the sermon to see Christ in the text not just know that the text is about Christ.]
Don’t “get to Christ” so late in the sermon that he seems like an add-on, a mere devotional appendix. If you wait too long to get to Christ listeners won’t see how Jesus’ work is crucial if the listeners are going to obey or heed the text.
[This is a brilliant comment by Keller. Our people need to understand that they didn’t just need Jesus and the Gospel the day they believed but that they need Christ and the Gospel every moment of every day.]
Don’t get to Christ artificially. This is a big subject of course, but I believe two of the best ways are (a) by identifying in your text one of the many inner-canonical themes that all climax in Christ (Don Carson’s language), and (b) identifying in your text some “Fallen Condition Focus,” some lack in humanity that only Christ can fill (Bryan Chapell’s language).
[I would pay big money to sit in a class with Keller and learn how to do (a) better.]