In a Q&A section of their workshop “Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World”, Tim Keller & Edmund Clowney talk about preaching Christ from Old Testament characters both so that it our preaching is not reduced simply to moralism and yet does not ignore moral principles in an effort to point to Christ.
Keller stresses that it is not either or, but neither is it really both-and. It must be a synthesis.
It is not “As a type, Joseph points us to Christ.” AND “Joseph models for us sexual purity.”
But it IS: “You will never be sexually pure (you will not be able to say no to temptation) unless you put trust in the one that Joseph is pointing to at this very second. If you just try to be like Joseph, you will fail. It is only when you embrace Joseph’s God that you will ever be able to overcome sexual temptation.”
It is not “As a type David points us to the true King, the Messiah, Jesus.” AND “David models for us how to face the giants in our lives.”
But it IS: “You’re not going to be able to face the giants in your own life unless you first embrace David’s greater son, Jesus. Only when I see that Jesus has dealt with the bigger giants of sin & death that I am able to go back & face the lesser giants.”
I really appreciate this insight. I usually am too moralistic a preacher.