“While I appreciate Tim Keller’s sermons, I think they’re too Christocentric. I mean, does he have to relate everything to Christ from every Bible passage?”
If there is any one critique I hope to be guilty of in preaching, it is this one. I want to be “too Christocentric.” While every Bible passage may not properly be used to point to Christ, every Bible passage worth preaching will.
The great misunderstanding underlying most “too Christocentric” critiques is the notion that the goal of preaching is to deliver a certain life principle. No. The point of preaching is to deliver a Person, not a principle.
To “preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2) means to preach the Word who became flesh (John 1). The words of Scripture and preaching have their significance to the extent that they derive from and point to the living Word, Jesus Christ.
To miss the Word for the words, to miss the the Truth (John 14:6) for truths, is to miss the chief function of Scripture and the primary goal of preaching for secondary matters. What matters most in Scripture and preaching is the development of a relationship, not a lifestyle.
Too Christocentric? That was definitely Jesus’ problem. “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). Again, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me” (John 5:39). Christocentrism was also Paul’s problem. “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” (Philippians 1:18). God, may more preachers be too Christocentric.