Redemptive-Historical Preaching

This episode is an introduction to redemptive-historical preaching. The proponents of this kind of preaching argued that Old Testament narratives are not given primarily – to us by God to be moral examples, but as revelations of the coming Messiah. The narratives, the stories, of the Old Testament served as types and shadows pointing forward in history to the time when Israel’s Messiah would be revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

In support of this view, the advocates of redemptive-historical preaching drew heavily upon the text of Luke 24:27 (where Jesus is teaching the disciples on the road to Emmaus), “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (English Standard Version). Along with this verse, also invoked was v. 44 of the same chapter where Jesus says, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

In this way, then, the bible is seen not as a collection of abstract moral principles, but rather as an anthology of the events of God’s great works in history. The bible is dynamic, so the redemptive-historical advocate claim, and it progressively unfolds revealing more and more of Christ to us as it progresses through salvation history. This, then, is to be the way in which the narratives are to be preached – preached with a view towards showing how the text points towards Christ.

Visit http://www.calvary-amwell.org/sermons.htm for more history on redemptive-historical preaching.

Panel Members

  • Jim Cassidy
  • Jeff Waddington
  • Camden Bucey



Chapell, Bryan. Christ-centered preaching : redeeming the expository sermon. Grand Rapids Mich.: Baker Books, 1994.

Clowney, Edmund. Preaching Christ in all of Scripture. Wheaton Ill.: Crossway Books, 2003.

Clowney, Edmund P. Preaching and Biblical Theology. Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co, 1979.

Goldsworthy, Graeme. Gospel-centered hermeneutics : foundations and principles of evangelical biblical interpretation. Downers Grove Ill.: IVP Academic, 2006.

Goldsworthy, Graeme. Preaching the Whole Bible As Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000.

Greidanus, Sidney. Preaching Christ from Genesis : foundations for expository sermons. Grand Rapids Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2007.

Greidanus, Sidney. Preaching Christ from the Old Testament : a contemporary hermeneutical method. Grand Rapids Mich.: W.B. Eardmans Pub., 1999.

Greidanus, Sidney. Sola Scriptura: Problems and Principles in Preaching Historical Texts. Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2001.

Greidanus, Sidney. The modern preacher and the ancient text : interpreting and preaching biblical literature. Grand Rapids Mich. ;Leicester: Eerdmans ;Inter-Varsity Press, 1988.

Johnson, Dennis. Him we proclaim : preaching Christ from all the scriptures. 1st ed. Phillipsburg NJ: P&R Pub., 2007.

Ryken, Leland. Dictionary of biblical imagery. Downers Grove Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1998.

Vos, Geerhardus. Grace and glory : sermons preached in the chapel of Princeton Theological Seminary. Grand Rapids Mich.: The Reformed Press, 1922.

Vos, Geerhardus. The idea of biblical theology as a science and as a theological discipline. New York N.Y.: Randolph, 1894.

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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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Andrew Barnes

10 years ago

I will have to disagree with the general definition that was given of experimental or experiential preaching near the beginning of this episode. Experiential preaching’s purpose is not to elicit an simply an emotional response.

Joel Beeke recently lectured on this at RTS Jackson and gave a great definition in his lecture, which you can find here: http://www.rts.edu/Site/RTSNearYou/Jackson/Audio/09%20Fall%20Beeke%203.mp3


9 years ago

two-age.org seems to no longer exist. Is there somewhere else we can hear the resources listed at “Hearing It Preached” ?

Jeff Downs

9 years ago

Andrew, I don’t believe I listened to this episode, but I would have to agree with you. Greenville Seminary also endorses experiential preaching. For further information on this see Ian Hamilton’s lecture Experimental Calvinism.

Also, you might want to check out Dr. John Carrick’s critique of Redemptive-Historical preaching here. Bill Dennison gave the positive presention here. I also have a Q&A between the two, but have held off posting it.

Dave, I believe GPTS has some taped lecture from that website. I’d like to post them and with someone’s permission, I would.



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