By Tim Keller:
Recently, a couple of books and websites have referenced me as a good example of how to exegete and “engage culture” in the task of preaching. They include citations of certain cultural references in my sermons. While I know this is meant as a compliment, for which I am grateful, I also have some concerns about the way this practice has been described. I can easily imagine that some (especially younger) preachers will aspire to imitate the method and miss the underlying principle.
I think it may be possible to say that every sermon should have three aspects or purposes. First, you need to preach the text in its Scriptural context; second, you need to preach Christ and the gospel every time; and finally, you need to preach to the heart. Put another way, you should preach the truth, not just your opinion; you should preach the good news, not just good advice; and you should preach to make the truth real to the heart, not just clear to the mind. The first is often discussed under the heading of expository preaching, the second is often called Christ-centered preaching, and the third is usually named “application” (though I think each aspect contains more than these traditional categories might imply).
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