Tag Archives: Preaching
I was trained in an Evangelical University and Seminary where I had an excellent Biblical education and training in Systematic Theology. After being a preaching pastor for about five years I realized that the best preachers I was admiring had been trained in Biblical Theology and so I enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry preaching program at Westminster Theological Seminary in Escondido, California.
I vividly remember one of my professors talking about how the story of David and Goliath wasn’t just about “David and Goliath” but pointed to the greater David – Jesus. It’s taken me years to learn how to preach Christ and not just moralistic sermons. However, one of the masters of preaching Christ from all of the Bible is Edmund P. Clowney. As a matter of fact a lot of preachers today are excited about the teaching ministry of Tim Keller in New York – who really learned most of what he knows (that’s what he will tell you) from the author of the sermons of this book – Dr. Edmund Clowney.
One of the first things I learned about at WTS was Redemptive Historical Preaching – which essentially follows the “big story line” of the Bible with an eye on Jesus and His Person and redemptive work in history. In my opinion, what Clowney does teaches and models in this book is the greatest need of the 21st century – getting back to preaching Christ from all of Scripture.
If you are a pastor who like me – has had trouble with “getting to Christ” from the passage – especially in the Old Testament – you will find some great examples of how to do this from the various genres in the Old and New Testaments from a brilliant and humble preacher who knew the Bible and the “big story” well.
Edmund Clowney’s book is an outstanding contribution in helping preachers do what the prophets and the apostles did – preach Christ. Clowney begins with a chapter demonstrating how all of the Scriptures point to Christ – and he makes a wonderful case for this reality. In the second chapter he gives his methodology for “preparing a sermon that presents Christ.”
The remaining chapters are sample sermons from different genres in the Old and New Testaments showing the application of the principles articulated in the first two chapters. The sermons are as follows:
“Sharing the Father’s Welcome” based on Luke 15:11-32
“See What It Costs” based on Genesis 22:1-19
“When God Came Down” based on Genesis 28:10-22
“The Champion’s Strange Victory” based on Genesis 32
“Can God Be Among Us?” based on Exodus 34:1-9
“Meet the Captain” based on Joshua 5:13-15
“Surprised by Devotion” based on 2 Samuel 23:13-17
“The Lord of the Manger”
“Jesus Preaches Liberty” based on Luke 4:16-22
“The Cry of the God-Forsaken Savior” based on Psalm 22:1
“Our International Anthem” based on Psalm 936:3
“Jesus Christ and the Lostness of Man”
“Hearing Is Believing: The Lord of the Word”
As of the writing of this review you can still hear Edmund P. Clowney and Tim Keller co- teach a class for free called “Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World.” It has 37 lectures and question and answers sessions from RTS and covers the full gamut of issues related to Christ–centered preaching. I highly recommend that you download this course and listen to it until you get it. It will make a huge difference in your teaching and preaching – and you will see real life change in yourself and your hearers as a result.
If you are a preacher, or teacher of the Bible you will definitely benefit from this book. More importantly, I hope that you will be influenced and impacted by this book so that your sermons and Bible lessons will be filled with Christ, lead to Christ, and bring glory to Christ in a way that articulates with passion and excitement – the greatest story ever told. I have been blessed in my own worship of Christ, understanding of Christo-centric preaching, and have become a better preacher and teacher as a result – going from teaching moralistically to Biblically and thus leading others to worship Christ the Lord.
Walter Kaiser is a gifted Old Testament scholar who has the keen ability to be able to communicate well among lay people and scholars alike. In this new offering Dr. Kaiser does not disappoint. This book is especially geared toward pastors, but is also extremely helpful for all those who teach and desire to understand the Old Testament and it’s connections to the New Testament and the ultimate promise plan of God.
Dr. Kaiser lands somewhere between a “covenant” and “dispensational” theologian – in my opinion he is very balanced and makes an excellent case for each passage he exegetes. He definitely leans dispensational – taking passages and promises to Israel literally unless there is a textual indicator deeming otherwise.
The book is composed of six parts – covering different aspects of the end times. Each of these parts contains two or three passages of Scripture, and is broken down in this way:
1) A discussion of the topic.
2) Specific exegetical and sermonic helps for the specific passage being taught including: the text; title; focal point; homiletical key word; interrogative question; and teaching aim.
3) A teaching outline for the passage.
4) An exegetical discussion of the passage.
5) Practical conclusions based on a thorough exegesis of the passage.
Here are the topics that Kaiser addresses in the book with thorough exegetical and insightful precision:
Part 1: The Individual and General Eschatology of the Old Testament
- Life and Death in the Old Testament (Psalm 49:1-20)
- The resurrection of Mortals in the Old Testament (Job 19:21-27)
Part 2: The Nation of Israel in Old Testament Eschatology
- The Everlasting Promises made to Israel (Jeremiah 32:27-44)
- The Future Resurrection and Reunification of the Nation (Ezekiel 37:1-28)
- The Future Return of Israel to the Land of Promise (Zechariah 10:2-12)
Part 3: The New Davidic King and the City of the great King in the Old Testament
- The Branch of the Lord and the New Zion (Isaiah 2:2-5; 4:2-6)
- The Extent of Messiah’s Rule and Reign (Psalm 72:1-17)
Part 4: The Day of the Lord and the Beginning of the Nations’ Struggle with Israel
- The Arrival of the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:28-3:21)
- God and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39)
Part 5: The Events of the Last Seven Years and the Arrival of the Western Confederacy
10. The Seventy Weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27)
11. The New Coming Third Temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40:1-41:26; 43:1-11)
12. The Coming Antichrist (Daniel 11:36-45)
13. The Battle of Armageddon (Zechariah 14:1-21)
Part 6: The Coming Millennial Rule of Christ and the Arrival of the Eternal State
14. The Millennial Rule and Reign of God (Isaiah 24:1-23)
15. The New Creation (Isaiah 65:17-25; 66:18-24)
I think this book is a welcome addition to any Bible student’s collection – especially due to the neglect of roughly 20-25% of the Bible being of a prophetic nature. Those of us who teach and preach God’s Word are required to teach the “whole counsel of God.” My only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen him draw more parallels in the passages to Christ and how the gospel applies to believers in the here and now – and not solely in the past or future (read Tim Keller or Paul Tripp for excellence in this matter). Overall, I think it’s an excellent resource with wise insights into God’s Word and how His promise plan will ultimately be fulfilled.
*Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (PhD, Brandeis University) is the distinguished professor emeritus of Old Testament and president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Dr. Kaiser has written over 40 books, including Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching; A History of Israel; The Messiah in the Old Testament; Recovering the Unity of the Bible; The Promise-Plan of God; Preaching and Teaching The Last Things; and coauthored (with Moises Silva) An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics. Dr. Kaiser and his wife, Marge, currently reside at Kerith Farm in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. Dr. Kaiser’s website: www.walterckaiserjr.com