John Piper has long recommended “arcing” as most fruitful exegetical tool. I discovered today that Piper’s booklet “Biblical Exegesis” – which is basically a description of the arching method – is available free online. Here is also a website that will help you draw arcs electronically.
Archive for August, 2010
Phillip D. Jensen has a book out on preaching. Here is Tim Challies review of “the Archer and the Arrow.”
Carl Trueman lectures on the theme “The Preacher as a Prophet.” I would add a hearty ‘Amen’ to Trueman’s main thesis: Preaching is “confronting people with God”, not merely conveying information. This lecture deserves a much wider audience than the 40 or so people who originally heard it.
John Calvin’s comments on Ephesians 3:18. Who says biblical commentators can’t entertain, as well as educatel! (Note how Calvin simply brushes Augustine aside!)
“What follows is sufficiently clear in itself, but has hitherto been darkened by a variety of interpretations. Augustine is quite delighted with his own acuteness, which throws no light on the subject. Endeavouring to discover some kind of mysterious allusion to the figure of the cross, he makes the breadth to be love, — the height, hope, — the length, patience, and the depth, humility. This is very ingenious and entertaining: but what has it to do with Paul’s meaning? Not more, certainly, than the opinion of Ambrose, that the allusion is to the figure of a sphere. Laying aside the views of others, I shall state what will be universally acknowledged to be the simple and true meaning…”
From Ephesians 3:7-11:
1. Gospel ministers are God-made.
“Of this gospel I was made a minister” (v 7, ESV)
2. Gospel ministers are servants.
“I became a servant [diakonos] of this gospel” (v 7)
3. Gospel ministers serve by God’s grace.
“I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me” (v 7)
“…this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles…” (v 8 )
4. Gospel ministers serve by God’s power.
“…through the working of His power” (v 7)
5. Gospel ministers preach Christ.
“…to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ (v 8 )
6. Gospel ministers explain the mystery.
“…and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.” (v 9)
7. Gospel ministers contribute towards God’s greater purposes.
“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (v10-11)
The question he answers, over at Gospel Coalition:
Why don’t more people think of love when they read about God in the Old Testament?
What are the primary challenges for preaching expository messages from the Old Testament?
What resources, disciplines, or teachers have made you a better preacher of the Old Testament?
J.I. Packer suggests that we ask 6 questions of any bibilcal text. I’ve found these most helpful:
(1) What do these words actually mean?
(2) What light do other scriptures throw on this text? Where and how does it fit in to the total biblical revelation?
(3) What truths does it teach about God, and about man in relation to God?
(4) How are these truths related to the saving work of Christ, and what light does the gospel of Christ throw upon them?
(5) What experiences do these truths delineate, or explain, or seek to create or cure? For what practical purpose do they stand in Scripture?
(6) How do I apply them to myself and others in our own actual situation? To what present human condition do they speak, and what are they telling us to believe and do?
J.I.Packer, Among God’s Giants: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, p138.