The message of Peter's first letter turned the world upside-down for his readers. He saw the people of the young church of the first century as strangers, aliens who were only temporary residents, travelers heading for their native land.
Peter speaks to our own pilgrimage when he tells of suffering now and glory to come. Stormy seasons of persecution were beginning for the churches in Asian Minor. These storms rage on in the modern world.
Edmund Clowney believes that no true Christian can escape at least a measure of suffering for Christ's sake. Out of his firsthand knowledge as an apostle of Christ, Peter shows us what the story of Jesus' life means for us as we take up our cross and follow him.
“Church fellowship is not an optional advantage, to be chosen or ignored, like membership in a social club. It is the calling of every Christian. There is a spiritual ‘ethnicity’ to the church of Christ; Christians are blood relatives, joined by the blood of Jesus Christ.” (Page 94)
“our joy point beyond grief. In the second place, it is actually strengthened through the very sufferings that we endure.” (Pages 51–52)
“Christ’s resurrection spells hope for us not just because he lives, but because, by God’s mercy, we live.” (Page 45)
“This whole section is in direct antithesis to the spirit of the world, where every individual and group demands its ‘rights’ and understands liberty as freedom from responsibility.” (Page 100)
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.