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Greetings All: I've had someone suggest that our church go through John Oortberg's "Old Testament Challenge" next year. I don't know a lot about it other than the bits and pieces I've gathered online. Anyone has experiences to share, good or bad? Strengths and weaknesses? I'm particularly curious about the hermeneutics applied and what it's like to prepare a sermon on a (presumably) large chunk of scripture. Thanks! Joel


I don't know if anyone has written to you, Joel, but I was the Zondervan editor who edited the OTC (also ordained in the CRC, by the way). If you are looking for something that looks at the OT in a covenantal framework, you will not find it in OTC; for the most part, the OT is used as examples for our lives. But I do think the content is good. Especially if your church is weak in OT history and you follow the full OTC program, you will get coordinated preaching, small groups, and personal Bible study with a rather complete survey of the Old Testament. Bible knowledge is always a good thing, and, of course, you can shape your own messages on the passages to meet the needs of your own congregation.

It's been a while since I did the series, so I don't remember all the passages without looking at it again, but you can always get a copy of the leader's guide to see if it might be for your church.

Verlyn D. Verbrugge

Hey Joel,

I'm just getting on board this Network thing and see that your question was posted already back in May.  If you are still looking into the OTC for next year, I highly recommend it as a way of helping your congregation to see the whole story of the OT.  When I used it in Conrad, I basically would pick one or two of the highlighted passages for each service and use them as my sermon text by going into more depth than what the study guides offered.  I would use some of the key themes they suggested, but not all.  I tried to use texts that provided the key concept of the particular books they came from in order to paint the broad strokes of the OT canvass.  I do remember doing seven sermons just on Judges which was sort of a mini-series within the OTC series.  We also did not have a very good video system so I didn't use any of the movie clip stuff.  I found most of thier illustrations and support materials were geared to a more seeker-oriented or new believer setting.  But the main Leader's Guide really did help me to get ideas.  Hope that helps...I know others have benefitted from it as well.  Blessings..Reese    

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