Reflections on Preaching Christ from the Old Testament -- By: Hershael W. York

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 22:3 (Fall 2018)
Article: Reflections on Preaching Christ from the Old Testament
Author: Hershael W. York


Reflections on Preaching Christ from the Old Testament

Hershael W. York

Hershael W. York is Victor and Louise Lester Professor of Preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Dean of the School of Theology. He earned his PhD from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Cordova, Tennessee. Since coming to Southern Seminary in 1997, Dr. York has written dozens of articles in journals and online publications on preaching and he is the author of Speaking with Bold Assurance (B&H, 2001) and Preaching with Bold Assurance (B&H, 2003). His preaching has been featured in Preaching Today as among the best in North America, and he has twice preached at the International Congress on preaching in Cambridge, England. Dr. York is also the Senior Pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church, Frankfort, Kentucky.

How to read and to preach the Old Testament (OT) remains one of the greatest challenges and points of debate among evangelicals. It does so precisely because the issue stands at the intersection of so many others, such as: hermeneutics, biblical theology, eschatology, and homiletics—all of which are subjects of disagreements! These three essays by three serious biblical scholars demonstrate how far evangelicals are from consensus, not only on how to preach the OT, but even how to understand it and its relationship to the New Testament (NT).

I am grateful to Daniel Block, Elliott Johnson, and Vern Poythress for allowing us to peer over their shoulders as they each look at a single text and explain how they read it, understand it, and proclaim it.

One of the best arguments against open theism was written by a classical Arminian, Robert Picirilli. Calvinists predictably denounced

the suggestion that God did not know, let alone control, the future, but Picirilli’s pronouncement that open theist John “Sanders and his friends may be doing evangelical Arminianism more harm than good”1 and that it was “too flawed to be helpful,”2 was effective precisely because his criticisms could not be construed as knee-jerk reactions to a view radically at odds with his own.

My criticisms of Daniel Block’s article, “Christotelic Preaching: A Plea for Hermeneutical Integrity and Missional Passion,” are not because I agree with the Christocentric model he condemns because I do not; nonetheless I find his characterizations largely superficial and unfair, and the argument for “Christotelic” preaching underdeveloped and inconsistent.

Block portends an argument for “missional pa...

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