Thursday, March 29, 2007

Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures

Here are the endorsements for Dennis Johnson's new book, Him We Proclaim, due out next week from P&R.

If only we could learn to preach like Peter and Paul. The wish becomes solid reality in Dennis Johnson’s wonderful advocacy of preaching Jesus Christ in the twenty-first century as the apostles did in the first. Under Johnson’s tutelage, preaching apostolic, Christ-centered, redemptive-historical, missiological sermons that are grace driven becomes a dream within reach.
Bryan Chapell
President and Professor of Practical Theology
Covenant Theological Seminary
Author, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon

Him We Proclaim is a masterful work that should help preachers to understand the necessary interplay between hermeneutics and homiletics that results from a comprehensive biblical theology and a deep commitment to preaching the Word of God. This book holds the promise of the recovery of biblical preaching for those who will give themselves to the demanding and glorious task of setting each text within the context of God’s redemptive plan. This is a book that belongs on every preacher’s bookshelf.
R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
President
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Him We Proclaim is by far the most comprehensive study of what the Bible says about preaching. Through a very wide-angle lens, Johnson is able to show that none of the popular theories of preaching says everything that should be said; but each has some insights and can
be seen as an aspect of the biblical picture. The book also gives a clear and full account of the hermeneutical questions that preachers must deal with. Johnson’s arguments are cogent, his evaluations sound. If I could have only one book on preaching, this would be the one.
John M. Frame
J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy
Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

Every once in a while, a book comes along that is truly worth reading, and Dennis Johnson’s meaty volume, Him We Proclaim, is one of them. Although this work is indeed about preaching, it is no mere homiletics manual, for Johnson provides rich exegetical fare and incisive theological reflection in an understandable, literate style. In an area where considerable disagreement exists, the author’s commitments are clear, but he refuses to be drawn to extreme positions, and his irenic treatment of competing views can only affect the discussion in a positive way. Even those who may not be fully persuaded by Johnson’s arguments will be deeply grateful by what they have learned.
Mois├ęs Silva
Formerly Professor of New Testament
Westminster Theological Seminary
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Dennis Johnson has written a magnificent book that magnifies Christ in all of Scripture. Every preacher and teacher of the Scriptures should read this gem of the book. Johnson convincingly explains and defends the thesis that Christ should be proclaimed from all of Scripture. But he also illustrates with specific examples what it looks like to proclaim Christ in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. This book is exegetically faithful, theologically profound, and practically helpful. I wish I had a read a book like this when I started my theological education thirty years ago.
Thomas R. Schreiner
James Buchanan Harrison Professor of
New Testament Interpretation
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Apostolic hermeneutics? Dare we read the Scripture backward as well as forward? Dennis Johnson’s answer is a marvelously informed, and convincing “yes!” Yes, we can read and interpret and teach as the apostles did. Him We Proclaim is sure to be widely read and discussed both in the academy and by groups of serious-minded preachers of the Word. Sure to become a staple in the homiletical discussion of the twenty-first century.
R. Kent Hughes
Senior Pastor Emeritus
College Church, Wheaton, Illinois

This book is dedicated to the memory of Edmund Clowney, who inspired many of us to find and preach Christ in all the Scriptures. Clowney was a brilliant practitioner of Christocentric preaching. The question for the rest of us is how to do it well. In a wide-ranging discussion, Dennis Johnson brings his deep knowledge of the Bible and hermeneutics together with his experience and teaching of preaching to reflect on just this question. One need not agree with all his arguments or assumptions to appreciate the value and importance of what Johnson offers as the fruit of years of wise reflection and practice. The first part of his work defends the whole enterprise of Christological interpretation and preaching in the light of issues in present-day biblical scholarship and homiletical debates. Not content simply to theorize, he provides extended expositions of apostolic preaching and teaching, samples of Christological readings of OT and NT passages, and an appendix proposing basic procedures for moving from text to Christological proclamation. There is much, then, to stimulate thought and to give practical help in this major contribution. Not the least part of that contribution is Johnson’s persuasive argument that preaching that makes Christ its primary focus should at the same time be preaching that addresses the needs of its hearers in their particular cultural setting.
Andrew T. Lincoln
Portland Professor of New Testament
University of Gloucestershire

This is an important book, a timely book much in need of being written and one that will be read with the greatest profit. This is especially so for those who, committed to a redemptive- or covenant-historical reading of the Bible, recognize and seek to honor and proclaim as its central theme, Old Testament as well New, Christ in his person and work as the consummate revelation of the triune God. This magnum opus, written out of the author’s many years’ experience of wrestling with and teaching seminarians how to preach Christ from all of Scripture, is at the same time as much a book about sound biblical interpretation. His key contention is “that the apostolic preachers through whom God gave us the New Testament normatively define not only the content that twenty-first century preachers are to proclaim, but also the hermeneutic method by which we interpret the Scriptures and the homiletic method by which we communicate God’s message to our contemporaries.” This dual hermeneutical-homiletic program is articulated at considerable length and worked out with many examples, always with
an eye to the ultimate goal of preaching. In particular, concerning the use of the Old Testament in the New, about which currently among evangelicals there is considerable confusion or uncertainty that threatens, however inadvertently but nonetheless inevitably, to obscure the clarity of the Bible and undermine its full authority as God’s word, Johnson takes us a good distance along the only constructive way forward. For this we are greatly in his debt.
Richard B. Gaffin Jr.
Charles Krahe Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology
Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia