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  • Writer's pictureScott Carr, Jr.

The Implications of Scripture's Narrative

If the Bible is one grand metanarrative, individual texts do not stand on their own but play a role in furthering the entire story. Old Testament passages contain the plot points that drive us to the culminating act of Christ in the New Testament. The New Testament makes sense of all the clues contained in the Old Testament.

Consequently, we cannot read the two testaments separately but must interact with them side by side. The full depth of the New Testament cannot be uncovered without seeing how it draws on the Old Testament and resolves its various themes. The Old Testament does not make sense unless looked through the cross and empty tomb of Christ. Both testaments go hand in hand and compliment each other. Neither unveils its full meaning without the other.

In preaching, this means that yes, we draw on both testaments in our exposition of a passage, but it also means more than that. In preaching, we are not merely expounding on a single text, but are helping to show the larger narrative of God's workings in the world throughout history, a story that makes sense of all our individual stories. Preaching that does not finish demonstrating how a singular passage uncovers another layer of the good news of Christ falls short of what Scripture itself is doing. Furthermore, preaching that does not show how the stories and needs of the congregation fit within that larger story, that does not show how the metanarrative redeems our individual narratives, also falls short of the mark. All preaching must do what Scripture does and that is to tell the full story of God's work in the world and demonstrate the touch points where that story intersects with our own.

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