Reclaiming the Prophetic Mantle: Preaching the Old Testament Faithfully. Edited by George L. Klein. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1992. 315 pages. Paper, $ 14.95.
George L. Klein, professor of Old Testament at Criswell College, has organized a dozen essays into three sections: preaching the literary genres of the OT, the relationship of the OT to the NT, and the use of the OT in church life.
The writers do a fine job of introducing the nature of the OT literature and its relationship to the NT. They provide crucial background for preaching from the OT. The chapters on preaching the OT genre, however, give far more attention to understanding the OT than to communicating the message of the OT. One could wish for better balance in this respect.
It is puzzling that the author of the chapter on OT narrative says that narrative texts require narrative sermon forms (p. 43), then gives a three-point outline for preaching a narrative text. A model narrative sermon would have been preferable.
Al Fasol avoids that mistake and focuses clearly on homiletical issues in his chapter. Fasol writes concisely about developing narrative messages from narrative texts, rhetorical messages from didactic texts, and biographical messages from biographical texts.
Richard Wells and James Emery White wrestle with ways in which preaching from the OT can transform church and culture, respectively. Wells gives special attention to the thorny issues connected with making legitimate application of the OT. White shows that the key themes of the OT are just the antidote for many of the ills of modern western society.
Despite its title, Reclaiming the Prophetic Mantle primarily covers OT hermeneutics. Readers concerned with the homiletical part of preaching the OT will find more help in the recent books by Elizabeth Achtemeier and John Holbert.