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What if a sermon fails to mention Christ?

This is a very interesting look at the fact that sometimes, if a preacher stresses the authorial intent of an Old Testament text, he will not mention Christ at all. It might surprise you what preacher is references in this post.

So is it a bad thing to not mention Christ in a sermon?

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Cutlure, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and three children.

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3 Responses to What if a sermon fails to mention Christ?

  1. As an appeal to authority, it’s quite a logical argument. However it’s predicated upon the assumption that what Calvin did/thought, we should do/believer as a matter of course. It asks the reader to say to themself, “Well I really, really respect Calvin, and I’m loathe to suggest he might not always be right, so this argument must be right.” In other words, it’s an argument from human authority rather than from biblical authority.

    I tend to sympathize with the Lutherans on the matter because when the NT authors interpret the OT for us, it is resoundingly Christological. Indeed, it was Christ’s own hermeneutic of scripture as he made clear in John 5:36-47.

  2. I thought you might weigh in on this one! :)

    I might agree that it’s a good idea to tie things back to Christ at some point in the sermon, but I’ve heard too much preaching from the OT that actually skips the primary authorial intent and really stretches the passage to refer to Christ.

    I think we also need to wrestle with exactly how the NT uses the OT. I would suggest that in many cases the NT is using the OT analogically rather than typologically, but that’s a topic for another time, I suppose. Mark Snoeberger has had some helpful posts on the topic over at the DBTS blog.

  3. I’m no seminarian, so my two cents are worth exactly that. With that in mind, reading Snoeberger/Zaspel’s articles, I was struck by this thought, that being forced to choose between an analogical or typological hermeneutic is a false dilemma. The goal of the redemptive-historical hermeneutic, as I understand it, is to show how both analogical and typological interpretation ultimately point us to Christ, thus the name.

    I may also be wrong in this, but I have the idea that Calvin’s use of the OT was heavily influenced by its misuse by allegory-heavy theologians among the Church fathers and doctors. It might be suggested that Calvin overcorrected.

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