There is a lot of discussion about whether preaching is anthropocentric or theocentric (man or God-centered). Some like to get into the theocentric versus christocentric debate (God or Christ-centered). I am not getting into that one in this post (although I will mention a helpful category I heard recently from Walter Kaiser – christocentric is one thing, but christo-exclusive is another . . . I like that helpful distinction!)
Based on the nature of Scripture, I think it is vital that we grasp the necessity of theocentric interpretation, and consequently, preaching. Kent Edwards, in a journal article, stated:
The point of a biblical story is always a theological point. We learn something about God and how to live in response to him when we understand a biblical story. The narrative literature of the Bible is concretized theology.
J.Kent Edwards, JEHS 7:1, 10.
How true that is! Even if you were to study Esther, the story in the Bible where God is textually absent, it doesn’t take long to recognize that God is very much present as the hero of the story! Let’s be sure we don’t study Bible passages, stories in particular, and merely derive little lessons for life. We can leave that with Aesop’s Fables. Let’s be sure we grapple with the theological point of every story, the intersection between God and humanity. God’s Word is all relevant and useful, so our preaching should likewise be relevant and useful to life. But we also center our preaching on God, because the Bible is centered on Him!