Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Above, Not Outside

"The preacher has the ability, given the testimony and authority of the full Biblical witness, to preach the text and to preach above the text. This does not give him permission to preach outside the text. Preaching above the text means lifting the eyes of the hearers to see how a particular text fits into the overall arc of the grand story of the Bible. It means preaching a passage in both its immediate context and its canonical (or big-picture) context. It means we can exegete a passage and show how it fits into the wider reality of God's redemptive plan for His creation. In many ways it allows us to be a type of helicopter pilot who can freely navigate from the ground to the air and back down again. Our perspectives are widened, our vision is increased, and our hearts are humbled as we see the same text from a variety of angles. It is truly astounding to consider how intentional God's plan for His people really is."

    -Matt Chandler, Creature of the Word: The Jesus Centered Church,  page 132 (italics in the original)