Preach the Word – November/December 2010

Key Issue #1: Keeping Preaching Christocentric

Making sure the gospel is not assumed and recognizing textually legitimate and illegitimate ways of displaying Scriptures’ gospel predominance.

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As a companion to the November/December 2010 issue of Preach the Word, we offer these resources for further study by individuals, study groups, or circuits:

Helpful Articles

Dr. Sidney Greidanus, professor of preaching at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, provides an overview of how to approach the challenge of preaching christocentrically from the Old Testament.

  • Introduction Putting Creativity in Perspective by Francis Rossow. From Preaching the Creative Gospel by Francis C. Rossow © 1983 Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission under license number 10:10-3. To order this publication (#12-2856POD), please contact Concordia Publishing House at 800-325-3040 or visit them on the web at

This is a brief excerpt from the introduction to Preaching the Creative Gospel Creatively by Dr. Francis Rossow, professor emeritus of homiletics at Concordia, St. Louis. In this excerpt he encourages us to appreciate and imitate the creativity of Scripture as we approach the task of proclaiming the gospel.

Sample Sermons

This sermon by Pastor Jon Hein, who serves at Beautiful Savior in Summerville, South Carolina, was preached at the 2010 WLS Symposium on Worship and Outreach. The sermon gives ample evidence of an ear for how to speak the gospel in its scriptural beauty.

Pastor John Paustian serves as one of two associate pastors at Good Shepherd in West Bend, Wisconsin. His sermon provides a fitting example of how to proclaim Christ using the beauty of the language and the imagery of a specific Old Testament text.

Professor Zell serves as a professor of New Testament and Homiletics at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. His sermon, preached for St. Michael and All Angels, provides another example of proclaiming Christ in a way that flows naturally from an Old Testament text.

Other Resources

Dr. Graeme Goldsworthy is professor emeritus of Old Testament, biblical theology, and hermeneutics at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia. His book provides a guided tour through all the different genres of literature in Scripture. At each stop on that tour, he offers ways to faithfully and textually proclaim Christ.

Dr. Bryan Chapell is president and professor of preaching at Covenant Theological Seminary (Presbyterian Church in America) in St. Louis. The primary focus of his writing is to overcome the tendency toward Christ-less preaching he sees in many Evangelical pulpits.

Keeping Preaching Christocentric

Our sermons as acceptable pulpit fare in synagogues? Impossible! Would any WELS pastor argue against Walther’s final thesis from Law and Gospel: “The Word of God is not rightly divided when the person teaching it does not allow the Gospel to have a general predominance”? Shouldn’t we move on to issues where there’s actual growth for WELS pulpits? That would be dangerous…

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Two Unintentional Gospel Omissions

I have yet to meet a Lutheran pastor who seeks to obscure his people’s view of Christ. Gospel omissions in Lutheran pulpits tend to be of the unintentional variety.

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