Bible, Gospel Spirituality, Jesus, Preaching

Greidanus’ Ways to Christ, part 2

Sidney Greidanus is a retired preaching professor from Calvin Seminary. Greidanus’ Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method is an argument for Christocentric preaching and a history of how Christ has been preached from the OT. It is also an explanation of a biblical method for preaching Christ from the OT. Greidanus describes Christocentric preaching as “preaching sermons which authentically integrate the message of the text with the climax of God’s revelation in the person, work, and/or teaching of Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Testament.”[1] This integration is done using his seven ways to Christ. Previously I explained his first three ways. Below is an explanation of his fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh ways to interpret Christ from the Old Testament.


Greidanus’ fourth way is the way of analogy. Analogy is transferring meaning from a source subject to a target subject. This way links the goal of the original author’s message to the goal or goals of one or more of Jesus’ messages. Analogies can be found when connecting what God does, teaches, and demands of Israel in the OT to the church in the NT.[2] As an example, “God guided and protected Israel through the cloud (Exodus 13:21–22), so God guides and protects his church through Christ ‘to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:20).”[3]


Greidanus’ fifth way is the way of longitudinal themes, an approach that traces biblical themes from the OT into the NT. The biblical theology process is closely linked to the way of longitudinal themes.[4] It develops a theme through the history of redemption, to make applications for the contemporary church. One example Greidanus provides is the theme of the presence of God with his people that he traces from Jacob at Bethel in Genesis 28:10–22 to Jesus as Immanuel in Matthew 1:23.[5]


Greidanus’ sixth way is the way of NT references. This way is found when NT authors cite OT passages to support their own specific message. However, this message is not wholly distinct from the OT message. These messages can provide a bridge to Christ. An example cited by Greidanus is the reference in Mark 15:34 to Psalm 22:1. If a preacher is expounding Psalm 22, he will need to reference Mark 15:34. But the preacher can also bridge the messages and thus make Christocentric applications.


Greidanus’ seventh is the way of contrast. This final approach highlights distinctions between the OT and the NT. The emphasis is on how Jesus, not any human, changes a message. Greidanus changes a message by highlighting the problems in the OT, which then find their solution in Christ.[6] In one example, Greidanus highlights the difference in the closeness of the individual to the glory of God in Ezekiel 1:28 and John 1:14. Ezekiel is two-steps removed from the glory of God, but by contrast, God himself dwells as a human with his people in the NT.


Greidanus’ ways to Christ are useful tools to train church leaders to interpret Christ from the OT minor prophets. Greidanus’ concern is not to stick to “precise perimeters of a particular way”[7] but rather to be confident that any sermon from the OT has preached Christ. Every preacher of the prophets should share this same goal when using Greidanus’ ways.


*This material was originally published in chapter three of “The Gospel According to Micah: A Christocentric Commentary.” HERE

[1]Greidanus, Preaching Christ, 10.

[2]Greidanus, Preaching Christ, 263.

[3]Greidanus, Preaching Christ, 263–64.

[4]Greidanus explains, “Today it is especially the discipline of biblical theology that helps us trace longitudinal themes from the Old Testament to the New.” Greidanus, Preaching Christ, 267.

[5]Greidanus, Preaching Christ, 267.

[6]Greidanus observes, “Under the way of contrast we can also include a road to Christ frequently traveled by Spurgeon—a road which begins with the problems encountered in the Old Testament and leads to the solution in Jesus Christ.” Greidanus, Preaching Christ, 272.

[7]Greidanus, Preaching Christ, 276.


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