Preaching and Teaching Jesus from Scripture (Part 2)

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by Mark Driscoll

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 Acts 29 Regional [NW] Taught by Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church

Preach the Word . . . 2 Timothy 4:2

Part 2 - Reflections on the Narrative Preaching Trend Cons:

  • Mainline, liberal origins with a low view of Bible
  • Can be a move away from propositional truth in favor of relativism and perspectivism as if transformation were possible without information.
  • Can mean that the Bible is a story (not metanarrative story) and preaching is a story about the story.
  • Can mean that books of the Bible that are not narrative (e.g., Proverbs is generally not narrative though it does include some interspersed narratives such as chapters five and seven) are not well taught because a form is imposed on a book without regard for its literary form.


  • Can mean that a sermon can follow the storyline of a Bible story from one event to the next rather than a systematic theology approach of proposition to proposition.
  • Can mean that the hearer is not given the thesis up front followed by its defense but rather is taken on a journey through the story of the text through conflict, tension, and eventual resolution. This is often more gripping and memorable.
  • Can mean that the Christ-centered preaching approach inspired by Geerhardus Vos and the biblical theology stream of reformed theology promoted by Graeme Goldsworthy, Edmund Clowney, and Bryan Chapell (as opposed to the more strictly systematic stream of reformed theology) are applied.
  • Can mean that the Bible is THE STORY (metanarrative) and that preaching always connects to THE STORY, which is the story of redemption, or the gospel. This means that every sermon needs to be explained in terms of where it fits in terms of creation, curse, covenant, Christ, church, and consummation. This does not mean that every sermon is a story, but rather that every sermon fits within THE STORY and the genre and style of biblical literature determines the format of the sermon. Some are narrative and some are not. This also allows us to start in a better place than systematic theology. For example, the five points of Calvinism start with the fall and human depravity and ignore the first two chapters of Genesis, where the story of the Bible begins.
  • Can mean that not only is the Bible the metanarrative story that moves from creation to new creation, but that it has Jesus as its hero and centerpiece in both His incarnation and exaltation:
    • Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
    • John 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me . . .
    • Luke 24:27 . . . beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
    • Luke 24:44-45 He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

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