Many consider Jay Adams the father of the biblical counseling movement. If you aren’t familiar with the different counseling models often seen in the church here’s the basic breakdown:
- Christian Counseling – Begins with the insights and framework of modern psychology and uses Scripture as a supplement.
- Biblical Counseling – Begins with Scripture as the model of human behavior and care, and uses modern psychology as a supplement.
Around the turn of the 20th century psychology came to fame and the “care of souls,” which had traditionally been the domain of clergy, transitioned rapidly to psychologists and, later, psychiatrists. It is so prevalent that even today most seminary counseling programs, even at evangelical schools, are based on psychology first and the Bible second.
Adams made a huge splash with his first book Competent to Counsel where he argued for the church to return to her rightful role in soul care. Since then, he’s written tons on counseling and that’s what he’s best known for.
A Counselor Turns His Gaze On Preaching
But Adams has also been very active in the realm of preaching. I’d like to share an excerpt from an article he wrote in 2004, long before the recent resurgence of gospel-centered preaching. In an article titled Preaching Evangelistically he says that we must preach the gospel in every sermon. How? Continue reading Jay Adams on Gospel-Centered Preaching
I preached Ephesians 6:1-9 this weekend. It’s the hardest passage I’ve tackled. That’s due to the instruction: “slaves obey your masters.” If you want to pick a passage in the book of Ephesians that is most offensive to our day, it’s either this or “wives submit to your husbands.” My guess is that slavery is still more controversial.
Here’s the sermon in whole followed by the pertinent excerpt showing how God worked to redeem the institution of slavery: Continue reading How God Redeems Even Slavery
Over on the Ligonier blog Derek Thomas recently wrote an article titled “Bad Homiletical Models of Expository Preaching.” The fourth hermeneutic he lists is redemptive-historical preaching, more commonly called Christ-centered preaching. He makes two criticisms: Continue reading Should We Avoid Redemptive-Historical Sermons?
I recently preached a sermon on the ark of the covenant in Exodus 25. While studying the ark I realized that there was an overwhelming amount of typology written about the ark that, while not necessarily allegory, was definitely superficial. I would consider it unwise at least and probably irresponsible.
Most of these instances focused on how the Ark was built from two materials (gold and wood). Here’s an example: Continue reading Connect to Christ in Function, Not Form
Another awesome quote about the Ark of the Covenant. This one didn’t make it into the sermon but I really wanted to share it.
The deposition of [the Ten Commandments] in the ark underneath the mercy seat… testified to the fact that God’s kingdom in Israel was founded on immutable justice and righteousness (Ps. 89:15; 97:2). Even grace, in its actings, must respect law. Favour cannot be dispensed on terms which make the law “void” (Rom. 3:31). If sin is pardoned, it must be with full recognition of the law’s claims against the sinner. The ultimate end must be to “establish the law” (Rom. 3:31). Only in the Gospel have we the clear revelation of how, on these terms, mercy and truth can meet together, and righteousness and peace can kiss each other (Ps. 85:10; Rom. 3:21–27).
– H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Exodus, vol. 2, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 253.
I’m putting the finishing touches on a sermon about the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:10-22) for tomorrow morning and wanted to share this tremendous quote. It’s a meditation on how only Yahweh could bring together the conflicting demands of mercy and justice perfectly:
The teaching of the ark in this respect was, primarily, that of David in the eighty-fifth psalm: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Mercy without justice is a weak sentimentality, subversive of moral order. Justice without mercy is a moral severity—theoretically without a flaw, but revolting to man’s instinctive feelings. The synthesis of the two is required. The law, enshrined in the holiest place of the sanctuary, vindicated the awful purity and perfection of God. The mercy seat, extended above the law, assigned to mercy its superior directive position. The cherubic figures showed the gaze of angels riveted in astonishment and admiration on God’s mode of uniting mercy with justice, by means of vicarious suffering, which he can accept as atonement. Finally, the Divine presence, promised as a permanent thing, gave God’s sanction to the expiatory scheme, whereby alone man can be reconciled to him, and the claims both of justice and of mercy satisfied.
H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Exodus, vol. 2, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 251.
In the Ark of the Covenant justice (the tablets of the law) and mercy (the mercy seat) come together. They point forward to the day when God the Son would bear the wrath of justice due us so we could receive the mercy he lovingly bestows.
I’ll begin my link post with a link to a link post!
A very important article:
But as every good virtue in this fallen world has its Achilles’ heel, so this good and excellent principle has been taken too far by some. The very text we use, most often, to defend the preaching of Christ from all the Scriptures – does not, in fact, teach that every passage is necessarily about Him or His work. The misuse and abuse of the beauty of Christocentricity has (1) caused some to over-react in response and thus miss the clear testimony to Jesus from all parts of Scripture; and (2) caused some to be robbed of the “whole counsel of God” because they trample underfoot many profitable things in their zeal to pave a way to Jesus from every text and syllable.
If you want to read ahead a bit you’re going to see some thoughts on biblical theology coming from me over the next few months. My definition of “biblical theology” is a bit narrower than this one – I limit my own use of the term to biblical themes (#3 on this list).
This post shows one goal of Christ-centered preaching: Continue reading Gospel-Centered Links June-July 2014