Text-Driven Blog

Teaching How to Interpret in the Sermon

I recently heard of a pastor who began most of his sermons the same way, “This passage is really difficult. I have struggled this week to understand what God is saying here.” Sometimes such expressions aren’t meant to convey the relative difficulty or ea... Read More »

Consulting the Analogy of Scripture

In preaching, clear interpretation is paramount. After all, we want to be able to say with authority, “This is what God is saying to us!” But how do we clearly interpret Scripture when some passages are less than clear to our understanding? How do we move ... Read More »

Cultivating Humility in Interpretation

If you and I played Bible trivia, you would win. I don’t remember all the details like the name of Peter’s mother-in-law’s neighbor’s younger sister. I can’t spout off the succession of the Israelite kings. Not being the smartest person in the room, ... Read More »

Worship in Preparation

Humbert Romans (1194–1277) a Dominican friar, looked to the act of preaching as an act of worship from the preacher to God. He believed that the preacher needed to be saturated in prayer and study to prepare himself to preach the Word of God.[1]Hughes Olipha... Read More »

Jesus as Our Interpretive Key

Many years ago, I came to an important realization. You might call it an epiphany. I had gone to church for years, I had heard hundreds of sermons, I had even read every single word of the Bible. I knew what the Bible said. I could tell you where to find many ... Read More »

Rooting the Sermon’s Authority in God’s Authority

Back in the spring of this year, my wife asked me to remove a massive plant from our backyard that was sharply pointed on the ends. She wanted it gone because we have five young children under the age of thirteen (that is a prayer request by the way) that love... Read More »

Twist the Lid, Not the Scripture: An Argument for a Text-Driven Approach

I recently saw a cartoon of a man attempting to open a jar of pickles. As he struggled with the herculean task, he grunted, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” A woman standing next to him said, “It’s a pickle jar, Tom… Twist... Read More »

Crafting a Sermon from the Old Testament

My wife has the green thumb in our home. Over the years, it has been fun to work alongside her in planting gardens and flower beds and seeing something beautiful develop. Gardening is tough work, but if you invest the time and “sweat equity,” there is frui... Read More »

Dangers of Preaching Jesus from the Old Testament

Any preacher studying preaching has seen the rise in discussion on the need to preach from the Old Testament. Between the increased plea to preach the Old Testament and the off-handed remarks by some that we should find ways to separate the modern Christian ex... Read More »

Using the Types of Christ

Jesus taught His disciples that the Old Testament (OT) writers predicted things about Him that had to be fulfilled (Luke 24:25–27, 44–47). One of the ways the OT Scriptures predict New Testament (NT) realities about Jesus and His gospel is by means of typo... Read More »

Canonical Interpretation and Intertextuality

Let’s be honest: preaching is hard. Preaching from the Old Testament is harder. This is likely why it seems a majority of preaching in churches today comes from the New Testament. This is so much the case that it almost seems that we are susceptible to becom... Read More »

The Rest of the Story: Placing an Old Testament Text in Salvation History

The following is an excerpt from my The Story of Scripture: An Introduction to Biblical Theology (Hobbs College Library; Nashville: B&H Academic, 2017), pp. 82–83. Used with permission. Because I focused on expository preaching in my master’s degree co... Read More »

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