Must a good sermon ALWAYS connect a text directly to Jesus Christ?

If there is an obvious connection, yes, but not ALWAYS
87% (13 votes)
Yes
0% (0 votes)
Other
13% (2 votes)
Total votes: 15
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Ed Vasicek's picture

This is a post about your view.  Please do not link us to articles or suggest books that make a good argument for one viewpoint or another.  If you cannot succinctly state and defend your belief, you are probably not very fluent in it.  A "read this" answer is not what we want.  If you offer your succinct answer and then want to offer a link for further study, I won't have a fit, but I might be a bit grumpy!

Also, assume that all of us agree that we should bring Jesus into the picture often, and certainly when a connection is clear.  For example, the manna from heaven or the serpent on the pole.  The issue involves texts in which we suspect the preacher is more into IMAGINATION than finding an actual connection.

I have long noticed that, for some reason, many Christians view a brother or sister with imaginative interpretations or applications as being "spiritual."  Whereas I am a big fan of  imagination, this is not always the best way to interpret or apply the Bible.

 

I am sure that I have given away my choice.  I think we should bring Jesus into the picture often, but some texts really do not lend themselves well to this.  If I am preaching on the proverb that says it is better to dwell in the corner of an attic than with a contentious wife and then talk about how Jesus loved us despite the fact that we are contentious, I have made a connection.  But, I would argue, an inappropriate one.  How do you see it?

"The Midrash Detective"

JD Miller's picture

On a related issue, I am not a fan of "types."  If we can find a clear scriptural text that clearly shows something or someone to be a "type" of Christ, then preach it, but to simply try to make every person or event imaginable into a type can quickly lead to a distortion of not only the original passage, but also the very representation of Christ Himself. 

Look at the text.  Study the text.  Preach the text.  Trying to force the text into a preconceived idea is isegeses, not exegeses.   I want to get my ideas from the Bible, not force my ideas into the Bible- even good ideas.  A lot of people do not take preaching or even Christianity seriously because far too many preachers have tried to force an idea into the text that is not there.  Often their ideas are good and could be found other places in scripture, but people are not idiots and if they cannot clearly see an idea in the text, then either we need to communicate better, or perhaps we need to reexamine what we are saying and stick to the text and preach it.

The problem is that we as preachers have our hobby horses.  If we try to put our hobby horse into every text, then why should we be be surprised when people tune out what we say.  Further, we end up missing so much powerful scripture, because we start to think our hobby horse is more important to share than what God has already shared in His word.

Ed Vasicek's picture

JD Miller wrote:

On a related issue, I am not a fan of "types."  If we can find a clear scriptural text that clearly shows something or someone to be a "type" of Christ, then preach it, but to simply try to make every person or event imaginable into a type can quickly lead to a distortion of not only the original passage, but also the very representation of Christ Himself. 

Look at the text.  Study the text.  Preach the text.  Trying to force the text into a preconceived idea is isegeses, not exegeses.   I want to get my ideas from the Bible, not force my ideas into the Bible- even good ideas.  A lot of people do not take preaching or even Christianity seriously because far too many preachers have tried to force an idea into the text that is not there.  Often their ideas are good and could be found other places in scripture, but people are not idiots and if they cannot clearly see an idea in the text, then either we need to communicate better, or perhaps we need to reexamine what we are saying and stick to the text and preach it.

The problem is that we as preachers have our hobby horses.  If we try to put our hobby horse into every text, then why should we be be surprised when people tune out what we say.  Further, we end up missing so much powerful scripture, because we start to think our hobby horse is more important to share than what God has already shared in His word.

 

The whole "types" thing is tricky indeed.  Legitimate types can add spiritual depth, such as Christ as our Passover or the first fruits of them that sleep.  But beyond the obvious ones, you are right; it is easy to end up in left field.  Some, for example, see the personification of wisdom in Proverbs as a type of Christ.; I do not, but can understand why some might, since Christ is the "wisdom of God" (I Corinthians 1:24). 

It is tricky.  For example, I believe that the almost-sacrifice of Isaac foreshadows Jesus actual sacrifice and resurrection, as Hebrews 11:10 implies (although Hebrews only mentions the ressurrection as being foreshadowed).  But I am not convinced, for example, that Joseph is a type of Jesus. Joshua the high priest is stated as being a foreshadowing of the Messiah (Zechariah 3:8).  So there are lots and lots of types in the Bible clearly revealed; we need to be careful seeing Jesus at every turn, though.  

 

In western logic, a common term does not mean a common connection.  In Jewish logic, if the term is infrequent, then a connection is assumed. This idea is important in interpreting the NT in light of the Old.

 

"The Midrash Detective"