David Cursed and in exile (Preaching 2 Samuel 14-24 part 5)

I think that 2 Samuel 16-17 is central to the Absalom story. This is the part where David goes into exile. How do we exegete this section? Well if I am looking at an Old Testament passage, here’s how I would approach it. Continue reading


Biblical Theology and Absalom’s Rebellion (Preaching 2 Samuel 14- 24 part 4)

Graeme Goldsworthy and Chris Wright have helped us to think about Biblical Theology in terms of the paradigm that God’s People live under God’s Blessing in God’s land or God’s place. How do we see this paradigm at work in 2 Samuel 14 – 24? Here are some thoughts. Continue reading

Preaching on challenging Narrative Texts (2 Samuel 14-24)

I want to share a few thoughts on how we approach what happened to David following his adultery with Bathsheba and Amnon’s rape of his sister Tamar.

The challenge is that we are dealing with narrative that describes what happens to David. We see the response of David and his evaluation of events. We also see the response of others and their evaluation. However, we seem to lack explicit divine evaluation. We might usually expect to find this from two sources. Continue reading

When Expository Preaching is not expository preaching

I believe in expository preaching.  I don’t think we should slavishly stick to one approach at all times, there are contexts when I think it is right to pick up on a theme, topic or character however, I believe that the primary content of our preaching diet should be expository. By this I mean that the preacher’s responsibility is to take the test and expound on it showing what it is saying and applying it to the congregation.

However, there is the risk that we can think we are doing expository preaching when we are not. Glen Scrivener makes the point far better than I can with humour and poetry here:

I want to suggest that it is not expository preaching if: Continue reading

Deuteronomy, rape, sexual violence and a deeper approach to application

In the last article we had a close look at Deuteronomy 22 but any preacher reading should have been screaming “You’ve only one part of the job.” You see, in the first article we didn’t touch too heavily on application. And yet this is so important. I have been strongly critical of a more liberal approach to Scripture that discourages the deep interaction with the text that it wants to claim. However, my own conservative evangelical constituency can miss out too if we simply look at these texts as apologetic problems and when we see them think purely in terms of “How am I going to explain that one.” Continue reading