Of the seven messages heard the conference, my mind has been most drawn back to Ligon Duncan‘s Thursday morning message entitled “Preaching from the Old Testament” drawn from 2 Timothy 3.14-16. Yes, yes, yes . . . Piper was vintage, Sproul was brashly winsome, MacArthur was iconic. But, Duncan is my man so far. Perhaps you’ll benefit as well from his eight insights into preaching from the OT (especially since the messages are not yet available online).
1. Preach the OT as a Christian book. Paul exhorted Timothy that his familiar OT would wisely lead him to “salvation through faith which is Christ Jesus” (v14).
2. Preach the OT expositionally. Paul urged Timothy to preach “all” the OT (v16).
3. Preach Christ from the OT (cf. Lk 24.25-27). It is easy to preach Christ from the OT when the NT specifically inteprets Christ in the OT. However, there is a way to Christ and the Cross from all OT Scripture.
4. Preach the one plan of redemptive history from the OT. God has never saved His people in multiple ways.
5. Preach grace from the OT. Duncan’s pungent insight still reverberates in my ears. To paraphrase, the question is not if OT saints are saved the same way as NT saints, but quite the opposite: are NT saints saved the same way as OT saints?! Duncan reminded us that when Paul argued salvation by grace alone through faith alone he went to Genesis 15. Grace has always preceded law!
6. Preach the character of God from the OT. This will guard us from reducing OT narrative to mere moral/ethical instruction (see #8 below, though).
7. Preach experientially from the OT. The Psalms (so Duncan) record the gravity of sinful human experience in light of the Holy, Covenant God. The OT is not dusty narrative, but explorations into the crevices of the human soul. How do tempted, adulterous, treasonous, idolatrous sinners relate to God? How does God tolerate such sinners? The human experience detailed in the OT describes every soul and our morning paper proves it.
8. Preach the Christian life from the OT. There is moral teaching in the OT. There are ways to be and ways not to be. There are people to be like and people not to be like. There are things in the OT Christians should emulate and other things Christians should look nothing like.
Well, this has helped refresh some key thoughts in my mind. I hope Duncan will do the same for you.