Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism
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Pastor, preacher, and New York Times bestselling author of The Songs of Jesus Timothy Keller shares his wisdom on communicating the Christian faith from the pulpit as well as from the coffee shop.
Most Christians—including pastors—struggle to talk about their faith in a way that applies the power of the Christian gospel to change people’s lives. Timothy Keller is known for his insightful, down-to-earth sermons and talks that help people understand themselves, encounter Jesus, and apply the Bible to their lives. In this accessible guide for pastors and laypeople alike, Keller helps readers learn to present the Christian message of grace in a more engaging, passionate, and compassionate way.
From the Hardcover edition.
his disciples that unless you understand who he is and what he came to do, you can’t understand either God’s salvation or the Bible itself.3 To show how a text fits into its whole canonical context, then, is to show how it points to Christ and gospel salvation, the big idea of the whole Bible. Every time you expound a Bible text, you are not finished unless you demonstrate how it shows us that we cannot save ourselves and that only Jesus can. That means we must preach Christ from every text,
of salvation), or 4) “resultant,” showing how the life called for by the text could only come through faith in Christ. Some ways to preach Christ fall into more than one category. For example, the “divine warrior” motif explored by Tremper Longman is a prophecy (Genesis 3:15) but is also an attribute of God (Exodus 15) and includes a number of human figures that are “types” of Christ (e.g., David before Goliath). So the categories are artificial in the end, just ways of forcing us to observe
Dworkin, Religion Without God (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013); and Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion (New York: Vintage, 2013). All of these volumes are efforts to find inner peace, meaning, fulfillment community, and a sense of “fullness” and greatness that people have looked for traditionally in religion and belief in God. 4. Barna Group, “Barna Technology Study: Social Networking, Online Entertainment and Church Podcasts,”
MacIntyre, Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame, 1989); and the more recent Thomas Pfau, Minding the Modern: Human Agency, Intellectual Traditions, and Responsible Knowledge (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame, 2013). Terry Eagleton too rejects the idea that secularity has no history of construction, that it is simply “the facts.” See Eagleton, Culture and the Death of God, chapter 1, “The Limits of Enlightenment,” pp. 1–44. 13. On this term see Taylor, Secular Age, p. 427. 14.
4:12)—God’s power in verbal form. It is only as we understand the meaning of the words that God names us and shapes us and recreates us. If you, the Christian communicator, know and believe this doctrine of the Bible, it will have a profound influence on how you preach. If you believe only that the Spirit may, in some general way, attend to the preaching of the Bible under some circumstances, then you are likely to undermine its power and authority as you preach by overemphasizing your own