Interview with Richard Phillips

In a new interview Richard Phillips takes on “redemptive-historical” method of preaching. He states,

“I preach the text of the passage before me. The message of my sermon is determined by the message of the passage, and the points of my sermon are given to me by the text. If the passage offers promises, I offer promises. If it makes demands, I present the demands. If it rebukes sin, I rebuke sin. Properly speaking, “redemptive-historical” preaching means to understand every passage not only in its local context but also as it relates to Christ and his saving work. Just as it used to be said that “all roads lead to Rome,” I believe that all texts lead to Christ. But each text leads to Christ via its particular message, and I must not impose any one doctrinal perspective on every text. My main criticism of redemptive-historical preaching or “Christ-centered” preaching is that many take it to mean that every text teaches the doctrine of justification. Instead of preaching the text and connecting it organically to Christ’s saving work, too many preachers merely ignore the text and dole out the same presentation they always give. This impoverishes preaching and flattens out the rich, redemptive contours that the Bible actually contains. Another abuse of this approach is to select a pastoral issue or sin concern on which the sermon will focus in such a way as to ignore the context of the passage and the pastoral issue or sin concern on which the original author and the Holy Spirit are focused.”

You can read the full interview here.

One response to this post.

  1. Very interesting interview. I share some many of the same frustrations as Phillips, and at the same time I find myself guilty of the same mistakes in some of my own preaching and teaching.


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