Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures  -     By: Dennis E. Johnson
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Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures

P & R Publishing / 2007 / Paperback

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It is all about Jesus. Him We Proclaim is pastor-professor Dennis E. Johnson's magnum opus on the interpretation and proclamation of Scripture. It is his call to the preaching of all of Scripture with a Christocentric focus for the purpose of transforming lives. This magisterial book goes beyond telling us what to preach, it shows us how to preach it. Sample sermons from both Old and New Testament passages are included.

Dennis E. Johnson (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is academic dean of Westminster Theological Seminary California and Associate Pastor of New Life Presbyterian Church, Escondido, CA.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 494
Vendor: P & R Publishing
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1596380543
ISBN-13: 9781596380547
Availability: In Stock

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Endorsements

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 apos-tolic, 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 2
Him We Proclaim is a masterful work that should help preachers to understand the necessary interplay between hermeneutics and homiletics that results from a com-prehensive 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 in-deed 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.
Moisés 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 Scrip-ture. Every preacher and teacher of the Scriptures should read this gem of a book.
Johnson convincingly explains and defends the thesis that Christ should be pro-claimed 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 in-terpretation and preaching in the light of issues in present-day biblical scholarship and homiletical debates. Not content simply to theorize, he provides extended expo-sitions 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 argumentthat 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 norma-tively 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 homi-letic 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 preach-ing. 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

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  1. St. Paul, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    homiletics manual & hermeneutical text 4 preaching
    May 16, 2011
    Bob Hayton
    St. Paul, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Any book which includes "Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures" in its title instantly grabs my attention. How Christ is revealed in the Old Testament, and how the Old Testament foreshadows New Covenant realities has been a theological interest of mine for some time. So when P & R Publishing agreed to let me review "Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures", I was thrilled with the opportunity. I hadn't known of Dennis Johnson, but I did recognize Westminster Seminary California where he is Academic Dean and Professor of Practical Theology. So with P & R as publishers, and the Westminster connection, I trusted it would be a good book.

    I was wrong. It was a phenomenally good book. In every way it exceeded my expectations. 500 pages is quite a bit of ground, and with that space Johnson covers an awful lot of territory. Even still, by the end of the book, I was eager for more.

    The book is part hermeneutic manual, homiletic textbook, and preaching guide. It's a polemic for apostolic preaching (that which recognizes the Christological bent of all of Scripture) even as it is an explanation for how to be exegetically careful in handling Old Testament texts. As I said it covers a lot of ground.

    The book is divided into two parts: first Johnson makes the case for apostolic, Christocentric preaching. He then he fleshes out the practice of that preaching. Johnson contends that:

    "Christians need to be shown how to read each Scripture, first in the context of its original redemptive-historical epoch, and then in terms of the focal point and climactic "horizon" toward which the particulars of God's plan always pointed, namely Jesus the Messiah, who is the second and last Adam, seed of Abraham, true Israel, royal descendant of David, and obedient and suffering Servant of the Lord." (pg. 49)

    Such preaching today is not all that common. Johnson traces the history of how the Church has interpreted, and preached the Scripture. Behind the preaching of today's "twenty-first century evangelicals", lies both "the Reformation's hermeneutic restraint and the Enlightenment's faith in scientific methodology as part of our almost invisible but virtually inevitable mental framework" (pg. 126-127).

    As an antidote, the major portion of the book focuses on a positive treatment of how to preach Christologically. Johnson focuses on Hebrews as an example of an extended Apostolic sermon, and goes on to carefully model his approach to preaching in five or six passages from each testament. The exegesis is very sound, and only with great care does Johnson run from the OT text to Jesus. But he does run to Jesus, and he shows us how to find the Biblical path to Jesus from most any Scriptural text.

    It is not only the Scriptural promises of the Messiah that point to Jesus, "What God said in the words of the prophets as they pointed Israel's faith toward the future in the imagery of the past and present, God had also said through his design of the events of the history of Adam, Noah, Abraham and the patriarchs, Moses, Israel and David." (pg. 226) Johnson shows how not just from the Old to the New, but often from older revelation to newer revelation in the Old Testament itself, God makes use of foreshadowings and types. The prophets use the imagery of the Exodus and the wilderness wanderings as they pronounce judgment or promise future blessing for Israel. Johnson's emphasis on how the Old Testament uses the Old Testament is extremely helpful and not something I've encountered before in the whole discussion of the NT use of the OT.

    With this background, Johnson can argue,

    "Because of the occasional character of the New Testament, however, we should not conclude prematurely that Old Testament texts that are not explicitly interpreted typologically by a New Testament writer cannot be read in the context of Christ's climactic work as Lord and Servant of the covenant, and as prophet, priest and king. Rather, we must seek to relate particular texts to the broader structures and institutions that provide the framework for God's relation to his people throughout the history of redemption." (pg. 279)

    Such an approach, Johnson admits, "requires a more comprehensive hermeneutic perspective." He proceeds to provide just such a perspective. He argues that Christ's role as the Mediator, and his threefold offices, Prophet, Priest and King, provide overarching themes by which to find Christ in the Old Testament revelation. He shows how to preach the promises in the Old Testament, and how to then preach the Promise Keeper in how we handle the New Testament. Showing how the NT passages interpret and fill up the OT provides a unified view of God's redemptive work which truly ministers to the believing soul.

    This work doesn't stop with theory and theology. Johnson provides numerous discussions of texts in the book, working through the passages step by step. After exegetical discussion, he provides simple outline with application points for the passage at hand. He then offers an appendix with two sample sermons that are more filled out. After reading all the sermon outlines, and seeing how the theory comes to life, one will certainly be impatient to try out this method of preaching for himself.

    I can't think of another similar book that rivals Him We Proclaim. If you are looking for a book to help revolutionize your preaching, or something to challenge your perspective of the Old Testament, look no further. For anyone interested in theology or aiming for a better understanding of how all of Scripture fits together, this book will be exceedingly helpful. I'm proud to be able to recommend such a great resource as this.

    Disclaimer: This book was provided by P & R Publishing for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
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