The Gospel Coalition

 

Preaching Narrative

Overview

Interpreting and preaching narrative can often put the preacher on his heals. Unlike epistles, narratives often don't lend themselves to logical sermon outlines based on the line of argument in the text. We have to recognize the tensions in the narrative, the motivations of the characters, and plan of God presented in the storyline. The main point of the narrative is not to put yourself in the shoes of David or Elisha, for example, but to discern truths about God and how he fulfills his promises. He is the main character. But we want to preach Christ in our sermons, and narrative has its particular challenges like any other Old Testament genre. What if there is no clear type of Christ in the narrative? Or no clear prophecy? And even if I can make clear Christ-centered interpretations, how do I preach the text in a way that increases faith in the gospel? We've compiled resources that can help preachers recognize how narrative fits into the storyline of the Bible, how to build a sermon series around a narrative, and how to make applications from the text to encourage faith, along with help for a number of other challenges.

Recommended Resources

Workshops

Preaching Old Testament Narrative (1) Feb 08, 2011 | Author: John Woodhouse | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
Preaching Old Testament Narrative (2) Feb 08, 2011 | Author: John Woodhouse | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
Preaching Old Testament Narrative (3) Feb 08, 2011 | Author: John Woodhouse | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
Preaching Old Testament Narrative (4) Feb 08, 2011 | Author: John Woodhouse | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
Preaching Old Testament Narrative (5) Feb 08, 2011 | Author: John Woodhouse | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
Preaching Old Testament Narrative (6) Feb 08, 2011 | Author: John Woodhouse | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
The Story of Elisha Feb 08, 2011 | Author: Bob Fyall | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
Theory & Practice of Preaching Biblical Narrative Mar 21, 2009 | Author: Dan Doriani | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
Exposition of a Biblical Narrative Mar 21, 2009 | Author: Dan Doriani | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
Historical Narrative Jan 01, 2000 | Author: R.C. Sproul | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
Hearing and Handling Old Testament Narrative, Part 2 Jan 01, 2000 | Author: Alistair Begg | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
Hearing and Handling Old Testament Narrative, Part 1 Jan 01, 2000 | Author: Alistair Begg | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses
Approaching Historical Narrative Jan 01, 2000 | Author: Alistair Begg | Topic: Narrative | Category: courses

Interviews

Telling the Good Story: An Interview with Steve Mathewson

Collin Hansen
For such a large chunk of Scripture, the Old Testament narrative books remain little-known to many Christians. Many pastors don’t know where to begin in teaching it; fewer still can preach it in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But years of experience watching congregations come alive to these books helped Steve Mathewson write 'The Art of Preaching Old Testament Narrative.'

Books

From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch

T. D. Alexander
This is not a commentary on individual passages. Instead, Alexander reveals the larger picture of the Pentateuch, identifying prominent themes and connections between the Pentateuch and the New Testament.

The Art of Preaching Old Testament Narrative

Steve Mathewson
Guides students and preachers through a ten-step process from text selection to sermon delivery. Mathewson then provides sample sermons and interviews of five individuals, Haddon Robinson.

How to Read Exodus

Tremper Longman III
The book of Exodus is a key to understanding the Bible. Without it, the Bible would lack three early scenes: deliverance, covenant, and worship. Exodus provides the events and narrative, the themes, and imagery foundational for understanding the story of Israel and of Jesus.

He Gave Us Stories

Richard L. Pratt Jr.
Pratt suggests that OT narratives can be viewed as pictures (literary analysis), windows (historical analysis), and mirrors (thematic analysis). These roughly correspond to the theological conviction that the OT is (1) canonical; (2) historical; and (3) for believers.

The Gospel in Genesis: From Fig Leaves to Faith

Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Lloyd-Jones starts with the fall of man and ends with the call of Abram as it examines portions of chapters 3-12. Along the way he talks of serpents and sin, of the Word of God and the Babel of man. But the destination is clear: readers move from fig leaves in the garden to faith in the gospel.

Living in the Gap Between Promise and Reality: The Gospel According to Abraham

Iain M. Duguid
Duguid focuses on Abraham in this series of studies on the lives of Old Testament characters, written for laypeople and pastors, and designed to encourage Christ-centered reading, teaching, and preaching of the Old Testament.

The Pentateuch as Narrative

John Sailhamer
A leading comtemporary scholar, Sailhamer aims his book at the interpretive challenges of the Pentateuch that stem from its particular narrative form.

Preaching Christ from Genesis: Foundations for Expository Sermons

Sidney Greidanus
Greidanus uses the latest scholarly research to analyze 23 Genesis narratives, presents the rhetorical structures and other literary features of each narrative, discloses the message for Israel (theme) as well as the author’s likely purpose (goal), explores various ways of preaching Christ from each narrative, offers sermon exposition and commentary in oral style, and suggests relevant sermon forms, introductions, and applications.

Good Preaching Examples

Surprised By Devotion (2 Sam. 23) Aug 29, 2011 | Author: Edmund Clowney | Topic: Narrative | Category: sermons
Putting the Kingdom First Jan 01, 2000 | Author: Phil Ryken | Topic: Narrative | Category: sermons
1 Kings 11:1-8 Jan 01, 2000 | Author: Phil Ryken | Topic: Narrative | Category: sermons
1 Kings 1:1-10 Jan 01, 2000 | Author: Phil Ryken | Topic: Narrative | Category: sermons
The Enemy at The Gates Dec 16, 2008 | Author: Christopher Ash | Topic: Narrative | Category: sermons
Hope in a Dark World Dec 16, 2008 | Author: Christopher Ash | Topic: Narrative | Category: sermons
Rahab’s Faith Sep 06, 1992 | Author: Kent Hughes | Topic: Narrative | Category: sermons
The Scarlet Cord Mar 31, 1985 | Author: Kent Hughes | Topic: Narrative | Category: sermons
Joshua’s Divine Charge Mar 17, 1982 | Author: Kent Hughes | Topic: Narrative | Category: sermons

Recommended Series and Sermon Outlines

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Additional Resources

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