The Necessity of a Christocentric, Kingdom-Focused Model of Expository Preaching
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ABSTRACT THE NECESSITY OF A CHRISTOCENTRIC KINGDOM-FOCUSED MODEL OF EXPOSITORY PREACHING David E. Prince, PH.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2011 Chairperson: Dr. Russell D. Moore The thesis of this dissertation is that Christocentric, kingdom-focused expository preaching constitutes the core of faithful biblical proclamation. Expository preaching takes a particular text of Scripture as its subject, proclaiming the truth of that text in light of its historical, epochal, and Christocentric, kingdom-focused canonical contexts, thereby exposing the meaning of the human and divine authors for the purpose of gospel-centered application. Chapter 2 explains the biblical-theological foundations for a Christocentric, kingdom-focused model in contrast to the single-intention-of-the-human-author interpretive methodology, as advocated by Walter C. Kaiser. It identifies Genesis 3:15, Luke 24:25-27, and Luke 25:44-46 as key texts for a Christocentric approach that affirms a canonical sensus plenior and identifies the kingdom of Christ as the unifying center of Scripture. Chapter 3 develops a contemporary model of based on apostolic hermeneutics and proclamation. The chapter contends that contemporary preachers, following the apostles, should be saturated with Scripture, reading and preaching the entire Bible, recognizing the centrality of Christ and the eschatological fulfillment of the kingdom of God through him. Chapter 4 interacts with and offers a summary evaluation of contemporary models of Christocentric expository preaching as represented by the seminal volumes of four prominent authors: Edmund Clowney, Bryan Chapell, Sidney Greidanus, and Graeme Goldsworthy. Each volume advances the cause of Christocentric expository preaching, but none is the final word. Chapter 5 explains the importance of Christocentric, kingdom-focused expository preaching for the local church and explores the dangers of non-Christocentric models. The chapter contends that the difference in these preaching models is not a matter of preference but rather one of effectiveness in kingdom warfare. The chapter emphasizes the necessity of conjoining exposition with a Christocentric focus on the kingdom. Chapter 6 summarizes and concludes the dissertation. Christocentric, kingdom-focused expository preaching is not an optional style but a necessity for faithful proclamation. Practitioners of the approach will of course be prone to error, but to err by preaching the Bible as though it is not all about Christ is a far worse danger.