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Preaching Christ in All of Scripture

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Voicing one theme for the entire Bible and structuring all sermons around that idea may seem to be an impossible challenge. For veteran pastor and preaching professor Edmund Clowney it will not do to preach a text from either the Old or New Testaments without fully preaching its ultimate and primary focus-the person and work of Jesus Christ. He writes, “To see the text in relation to Christ is to see it in its larger context, the context of God’s purpose in revelation.”

Clowney’s rationale for emphasizing Christ’s presence in the Old Testament rests on the purpose of the Hebrew Scripture. The Old Testament follows God’s one great plan for human history and redemption, and the plan is not only from him but centers on him: his presence in his incarnate Son. The witness of the Scriptures to Christ is the reason they were written, so it is appropriate to emphasize this element in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament.

By offering numerous full-length examples of his own sermons that emphasize Christ as the principle theme of Scripture, Clowney illustrates for those who will never have the privilege of being his students how they can craft sermons which present Christ as the primary consideration of the text. He also offers specific instructions on preparing such a sermon. He discusses the personal habits of prayer and Bible study that prepare pastors to seek out Christ’s presence.

Clowney emphasizes the importance of including a specific application in every sermon so that Christ is presented both in what he says and does to reveal himself in the biblical text and in what he says and does to direct Christians’ lives today.

Students preparing for the pastorate, pastors desiring to increase their emphasis on Christ in their sermons, and those seeking Christ’s presence in all of Scripture will find a help in Clowney’s writings.

Resource Experts
  • Christ in All of Scripture
  • Preparing a Sermon That Presents Christ
  • Sharing the Father’s Welcome (Luke 15:11-32)
  • See What It Costs (Genesis 22:1-19)
  • When God Came Down (Genesis 28:10-22)
  • The Champion’s Strange Victory (Genesis 32)
  • Can God Be Among Us? (Exodus 34:1-9)
  • Meet the Captain (Joshua 5:13-15)
  • Surprised by Devotion (2 Samuel 23:13-17)
  • The Lord of the Manger
  • Jesus Preaches Liberty (Luke 4:16-22)
  • The Cry of the God-Forsaken Savior (Psalm 22:1)
  • Our International Anthem (Psalm 96:3)
  • Jesus Christ and the Lostness of Man
  • Hearing Is Believing: The Lord of the Word

Top Highlights

“When I reached the book of Jonah, I came upon the verse, ‘Salvation is of the Lord!’ I realized then that the Bible did not give a full history of Israel, but a history of God’s work of saving his chosen people. It is all about what God did. He who holds the worlds in his hand came down to save us. The Bible is the story of how God came down to be born of the Virgin Mary, to live and die for us, and to rise in triumph from the tomb. It was not my grip on God that was my hope, but his grip on me.” (Page 9)

“Ceremonial symbolism in the Old Testament uses the fundamental distinction between the clean and the unclean. The comparison of sin to filth is linked with the need for cleanness to approach holy things or the holy Lord. The prevailing power of sin is shown in the fact that the unclean pollutes the clean, never the other way round. Haggai’s message focuses on this feature (Hag. 2:10–14). In fulfillment, the prevailing power of Christ reverses the principle. When Jesus touches a leper, Jesus is not defiled, but the leper is cleansed and can claim his new status through the priest and sacrifice. This same reversal appears when Paul teaches that those converted to Christianity are not required to separate from their unbelieving spouses, as was necessary in the Old Testament.” (Page 23)

“Since the New Testament is complete, it provides a seventh way for us, namely, following its interpretation of the Old. The ways he lists are not ways that we may create to look back to the Old Testament to find Christ. Rather, they are roads along which the Old Testament leads us forward to Christ: They are: (1) the way of redemptive historical progression; (2) the way of promise-fulfillment; (3) the way of typology; (4) the way of analogy; (5) the way of longitudinal themes; (6) the way of contrast; (7) the way of New Testament references.” (Page 35)

Edmund Clowney is this generation’s patriarch of redemptive-historical preaching. For decades he was the voice crying in the wilderness to encourage evangelical preachers to make Christ the focus of all their messages, since he is the aim of all the Scriptures. Now, many others have joined Clowney’s gospel chorus, but none with greater mastery than he of the harmonies that weave the symphony of grace throughout the Bible. As Clowney shares with us the jewels of his research, message, and heart, we discern ever more clearly how to make the Pearl of Great Price shine through all the treasures of Scripture.

—Bryan Chapell, pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, IL

Edmund Clowney has given a wonderful gift to the church in general and to preachers in particular. Preaching Christ in All of Scripture is the kind of book that isn’t just about preaching. It’s about Christ and the call on all believers to see him and his glory in all of God’s Word. Preachers can rejoice and profit from the practical and profound teaching, and all believers can rejoice in the awesome reality of Jesus as Lord.

—Stephen W. Brown, professor of preaching, Reformed Theological Seminary

Here is instruction from a master Bible teacher on how to preach God-honoring, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered sermons. Edmund Clowney’s classes at Westminster Seminary transformed my understanding of how the whole Bible fits together, and I expect this book will do the same for all who read it.

—Wayne Grudem, distinguished research professor of theology and biblical studies, Phoenix Seminary; author, Christian Ethics

Ed Clowney taught me how to preach the gospel to postmodern people. To anyone who wants to learn how to do so as well, these sermons are priceless.

—Timothy Keller, founding pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City; chairman and cofounder, Redeemer City to City

  • Title: Preaching Christ in All of Scripture
  • Author: Edmund Clowney
  • Publisher: Crossway
  • Print Publication Date: 2003
  • Logos Release Date: 2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible › Homiletical use; Bible › Sermons; Jesus Christ › Person and offices--Sermons; Preaching; Reformed Church › Sermons; Sermons, American
  • Resource ID: LLS:665191F912191A24B30C19A6BAD3BC98
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-07-14T16:10:31Z

Edmund P. Clowney (1917-2005) 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 he remained there until 1984, when he took a post as theologian-in-residence at Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 1990, Clowney moved to Escondido, California, where he served as 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 returned to Charlottesville, where he resumed part-time the post of theologian-in-residence at Trinity Presbyterian Church. He remained in this role until his death. Clowney was instrumental in the birth or growth 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 was grown the Center for Urban Theological Studies. Clowney is remembered by many as a preacher, perhaps the most gifted proponent and practitioner of redemptive-historical preaching of this generation. His writing also 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 and the Church, The Message of 1 Peter, The Unfolding Mystery and Preaching Christ in All of Scripture. Clowney left a legacy not only of written book and articles, but also a great number of sermons and lectures, as well as magazine columns such as the humorous "Eutychus and His Pin" for Christianity Today and Bible studies for Tabletalk.


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    Digital list price: $14.99
    Save $3.00 (20%)