Monday, March 21, 2005

Edmund Clowney (1917 -2005)

One of our great Christ-cented teacher-preachers has gone to be with the Lord. Here is his obituary as posted on the Westminster Seminary webpage:

Edmund P. Clowney (b. July 30, 1917) met his Lord face to face on March 20, 2005, at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jean Wright Clowney; by his five children: David Clowney, Deborah Weininger, Paul Clowney, Rebecca Jones, and Anne Foreman; by his twenty-one grandchildren; and by his eleven great grandchildren.

Born in Philadelphia, Ed received his B.A. from Wheaton College in 1939, a Th. B. from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1942, an S.T.M from Yale University Divinity School in 1944, and a D.D. from Wheaton College in 1966. Ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, he served as pastor of several churches from 1942 to 1946 and was then invited to become assistant professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in 1952. He became that institution’s first president in 1966, and remained there until 1984, when he took a post as theologian-in-residence at Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 1990 Ed and Jean moved to Escondido, California, where Ed was adjunct professor at Westminster Seminary California. In 2001, he took a full-time position as associate pastor at Christ the King Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Houston, Texas. After two years, he moved back to Charlottesville, where he once again became part-time theologian-in-residence at Trinity Presbyterian Church. He remained in this role until his death.

Ed was a compassionate counselor; a devoted servant of Jesus Christ, his Word, and his church; a peacemaker; and a true visionary. He dreamed for Christ’s kingdom and was instrumental in the birth or furtherance of such ministries as the Reformed Theological Seminary in Aix-en-Provence, France; Westminster Seminary California; Trinity Church, Charlottesville; the Lausanne Conference; InterVarsity ministries, both in the United States and in England; and “The Westminster Ministerial Institute,” an inner-city training program for pastors in Philadelphia, out of which the Lord developed the Center for Urban Theological Studies. He also had a life-long interest in children’s Christian education materials.

Ed will be supremely remembered by many as a preacher, perhaps the most gifted proponent and practitioner of redemptive-historical preaching of this generation. He was unique in his ability to pick up the threads of redemptive history and to weave a rich expositional tapestry that brought Christ in all his perfections and glory before God’s people so that they were drawn to love and worship the Redeemer.

His writing displays the great theme of his life, namely Christ’s presence in the whole of Scripture and his present work in the church. His books include Preaching and Biblical Theology, Called to the Ministry, Christian Meditation, Doctrine of the Church, The Message of I Peter, The Unfolding Mystery, and Preaching Christ in all of Scripture. Some of these titles have been translated for the benefit of the worldwide church. His last book, How Christ Transforms the Ten Commandments, was accepted by his publisher only days before his death.

Ed left behind a legacy not only of written books and articles, but a great number of sermons and lectures, as well as magazine columns such as the humor column “Eutychus and His Pin” for Christianity Today and Bible studies for Tabletalk. His sense of humor and his love for people left a mark wherever he went. In the last week of his life, one attending nurse, laughing as she left his room, exclaimed, “What a sweet man!” Those who knew and loved him would agree. His tender-hearted encouragement and wisdom will be greatly missed, but his work will be established by his Master who has now welcomed him with those reassuring words: “Well-done, good and faithful servant, enter now into the joy of your Lord!”

Information on memorial services in Charlottesville, Virginia, and at Westminster Theological Seminary's Glenside, Pennsylvania campus will be posted shortly.

The family has etablished a scholarship fund at Westminster Theological Seminary. Contributions in support of Dr. Clowney's continuing Kingdom legacy may be made to The Edmund Clowney Memorial Fund. Click here to make a contribution online via credit card. To make a contribution by check, send your gift (clearly designated "Edmund Clowney Memorial Fund") to:
Westminster Theological Seminary
P.O. Box 27009
Philadelphia, PA 19118

The family is also creating a memorial website where remembrances may be posted by the public. A link will be posted here shortly.

Media Inquiries: Requests for photos or other information should be directed to Mindy Withrow at

(HT: Jeff Downs)

I'll try to post some links to his books and sermons later. I suspect many of you had never heard of Dr. Clowney. His writings and sermons are some of the most edifying, Christ-centered materials I've ever read.