October 28th, 2009
Johnson, Dennis E. Heralds of the King. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009. 219 pp. $19.99. Purchase at Westminster Books.
Dennis Johnson has edited a tribute book of sermons centering on Christ in honor of Edmund Clowney. Some of the contributors include Arturo G. Azurdia III, Charles D. Drew, and Timothy J. Keller. Most importantly, each contributor learned the art of prophesying (to borrow from a Puritan friend) from Edmund Clowney.
For those who have never heard of Edmund Clowney, he was the first president of Westminster and lived to reveal Christ in all of the Scriptures. More can be learned at his website, http://www.EdmundClowney.com.
The book is divided into four parts: the Law, the Prophets, the Psalms and the New Covenant. Under the Law, we read three sermons from Genesis and one from Exodus. We look to Samuel, Isaiah and Zechariah under the Prophets and only Psalm 90 in part three. The fourth part keeps us in the gospel of Luke (2 messages) and the book of Hebrews (1 message).
Each sermon is original to the contributor. Each chapter has an introduction as to how Dr. Clowney influenced their preaching of the particular passage as well as preaching and sermon-crafting in general. It is interesting to see how each introduction corroborates with the others to form one voice for the impact that Edmund Clowney had on his students.
The subtitle of the book is Christ-Centered sermons in the tradition of Edmund P. Clownery. This is readily seen on each page of every sermon. Christ is preached and exalted over and over again without “forcing the round peg through the square hole.”
To review this book in minute detail would be to analyze the individual preachers who contributed to this valuable resource. Since the goal of the book was to showcase how Dr. Clowney influenced a generation of preachers to exalt Christ in every sermon, I would like to refrain from analyzing the individual chapters and instead, as I have done in a couple short paragraphs, focus on the message of the book as a whole.
If you are looking to go into the preaching or teaching ministry, this book belongs on your shelf. Unfortunately, we can no longer sit at the feet of Dr. Edmund Clowney, but we can listen to his students who drank deeply from his well. Dr. Clowney’s love for Christ and preaching is evident in his students love for Christ and preaching. I heartily recommend this book for anyone looking for to read quality messages centered on Christ.