If you didn’t go look at the introduction to Tim Keller and his sermon notes over at Josh Harris’ page, you missed a terrific observation by Tullian Tchividjian (pictured at right), the pastor at New City Presbyterian Church. He is introducing the preaching of Tim Keller, but the observations he makes about the three ways that preachers must apply every text is extremely helpful.
To be a great preacher, one needs to be tri-perspectival in their exegesis. That is, they need to be committed to the exegesis of the Bible, the exegesis of our culture, and the exegesis of the human heart. Some preachers claim that if you exegete the Bible properly, you don’t need to bother yourself with the exegesis of our culture or the human heart. The problem with this view, however, is that the Bible itself exhorts us to apply Biblical norms to both our lives and to our world.
As a preacher myself, I benefit greatly from listening to a wide variety of preachers. In some cases I learn what to do, and in other cases I learn what not to do. But in every case, I learn something. Some preachers teach me how to be a better exegete of the Bible. Others teach me how to be a better exegete of our culture. And still others teach me how to be a better exegete of the human heart.
I had never heard of exegeting the human heart, but I think that it is an extremely helpful term. Oh, I have DONE it, but I have never seen in that tri-perspective before.