Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World: Introduction to the Christ Centred Model of Preaching

Lectured Tim Keller

In order to prepare a good sermon the preacher should be asking:
What does this text tell me about the person and work of Jesus?

In preaching the preacher should be asking the people:
How am I failing to rejoice in and live as if this text is true about who Jesus is?

The preacher should be showing that people are poor due to their lack of faith in Christ.

The aim of every sermon is to experience Christ through the text. You need to get people to adore and enjoy Christ through the text. We shouldn’t preach principles or example to live up to but re-assure people that living a holy life is derived from faith in Christ.

In a lecture the aim is to transfer information.
In a sermon the aim is to be get the listener to worship on the spot.

Three types of questions to evaluate a sermon:
1) Was it a sound sermon? Was Jesus the climax of the text?
2) Was it practical? Was Jesus presented as the solution to spiritual problems?
3) Was there a sense of God? Was Jesus made visible or only talked about?

Three types of emphases in preaching:
1) Doctrinal Preaching
Too much expounding
Hits the intellect and not the heart
Doesn’t lead the hearers to worship

2) Practical Preaching
Hits the will
Doesn’t challenge the mind
It majors on application
The sermon acts like a manual on how to live
Little theology and passion

3) Devotional Preaching (Narrative Preaching)
Goes straight to the emotions
Misses the mind
Lack of theology

The Christ-Centred Model
A Christo-centric model is where Christ is the centre of all these factors. When you show that Christ is the centre of the sermon the aim of the sermon becomes worship and not information giving or life improvement.

Applying this Model to David and Goliath
Chuck Swindoll talks about the faith it takes to pull down giants in your life.
A better way is to say that David points to a greater ancestor like this:
‘David is a federal head. David represents his people. The victory of David is the victory of the people. The people get credit for David’s victory. Christ is a greater David dieing for our sin in our place, you get the victory and the righteousness from His work.
Why are you having problems? Because you haven’t seen that Christ has the victory for you. David is pointing to an attribute of Jesus. Your problem is that you’re not living as if that attribute and victory is true.’

If you ever tell a particular Bible story without fitting it into the main Bible story (the message of Christ) you’re losing the meaning. The sermon then illustrates an example to live up to or a principle to obey rather than an exhortation to live by faith in Christ.

Scripture is about Christ not us. Christ is David in the story; David does not represent us trying to conquer giants. The Bible is not a book about us.

Comments

Anthony said…
Looks good, Simon. Is there a recording somewhere online? Not sure I understand the devotional/narrative preaching thing - is narrative preaching a kind of devotional preaching? How so?
Simon said…
Yes. Search Reformed Theological Seminary on iTunes. The click on the seminar series 'Preaching Christ...'.

He defines narrative preaching as a preaching that uses a narrative to stir emotion without using much doctrine. Keller's making the point that we need to have all three emphases to be balanced when preaching.

Need to meet up with you soon!
~ N said…
Hi - I just stumbled across your blog while searching for notes for this class and am really thankful for what you've put up here! Is there anywhere one might be able to download all the class notes in one document? I wasn't sure if I missed it. If not, is there any chance I might be able to bother you to email me a document with your notes for this class? I'd greatly appreciate it!
Simon said…
Hey, thanks for your comment. Glad you found the blog helpful. If you leave your email below I'll send a pdf of these notes as well as the handout that Keller + Clowney gave out when they lectured the course that I found online.

God bless
~ N said…
Thanks!

It is huantino(at)gmail(dot)com

I really appreciate it!

-Nate
PORTICO[band] said…
I too would like these notes and handout. If the offer is still good here's my addy: jbporticoATgmailDOTcom

oh and PS. thanks so much for posting these notes, they've already been a big help.
Anonymous said…
This is an excellent thing you're doing to provide notes to go along with the RTS material. I hope you continue in your venture.

I would also appreciate the pdf of the notes. My email is bob.browning(AT)Ymail(DOT)com
Anonymous said…
Hi Simon - was looking for notes of this lecture series and came across your blog - would it be possible for you to also email me the pdf of your notes (thank you - very helpful!)and the handouts? I couldn't find them online - they seem to have been removed.
my email address is aadavis2005(dot)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk
Many thanks
Anita
Familia Andre said…
Hi Simon. I just found your Blog and is exactly what I was looking for.
Please send to me the handout that Keller + Clowney gave out when they lectured the course . I can find it anywhere. my e-mail is fernandaandre7(at)gmail(dot)com
I really appreciate it!
Familia Andre said…
Hi Simon. I just found your Blog and is exactly what I was looking for.
Please send to me the handout that Keller + Clowney gave out when they lectured the course . I can find it anywhere. my e-mail is fernandaandre7(at)gmail(dot)com
I really appreciate it!
Freedom Now said…
Simon! I couldn't find these notes anywhere! Could you please email a copy as well? Loved the course, but missed the notes.

mjdech(at)outlook(dot)com
Freedom Now said…
Simon! I couldn't find these notes anywhere! Could you please email a copy as well? Loved the course, but missed the notes.

mjdech(at)outlook(dot)com

Not sure if already submitted this comment, the page reloaded like three times.
Claudia R said…
Hi Simon!

If the pdf offer is still good, please send them to me at crobison4@verizon.net. Thank you so much
Claudia R said…
Hi Simon,

This didn't seem to post so I'm trying again:

Would you please email me the pdf at crobison4@verizon.net? thanks! Claudia
joepangallo said…
If the notes are still on offer: joepangallo(at)gmail(dot)com

Thanks!
Ben Reid said…
Hi. If possible I too would love a copy of the notes. benreid02@hotmail.com

Thanks so much! This blog is a great resource!
Unknown said…
Thanks so much for putting this together. I've listen to this lecture series probably more than any other sermon series or podcast I've found. It's brilliant! But I've never been able to find the notes that they reference. If you still have them would you please send them to montyje(at)gmail(dot)com? Thanks again!
alvan morales said…
Hi is there a chance you can email me the PDF?
alvan.morales@ywamsarasota.com

Thank you so much!
alvan morales said…
Hi is there a chance you can email me the PDF?
alvan.morales@ywamsarasota.com

Thank you so much!
alvan morales said…
Hi! Can you please send me the PDF.

Thank you so much!

alvan.morales@ywamsarasota.com
Gaby said…
Hi Simon, thank you so much for the time and effort you put into this. I would love to have a copy of the notes if you're still sending them. My email is gabybotha(at)gmail(dot)com
Thank you
Gaby

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