Book Reviewed: Him We Proclaim ~ Preaching Christ from all the Scriptures
Author: Dennis E. Johnson, P & R Publishing Company ~ Copyright 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59638-054-7 pp 493.
Reviewed By: Pastor Tim Crockett
Well, it’s time for another book review. I just finished reading this one this weekend and hoping to start my next book on the Revolutionary War on Monday.
As a rule or matter of personal growth and discipline, I like to read books that have to do with preaching, sermon development, style, and delivery. Also included in this group would be those works that deal with the ministerial side of things as a pastor. Doctrinal, historical and other areas of importance are also covered. It never ceases to amaze me how much I don’t know about things.
Honestly, this book was not an easy read. No-fault of the author, he’s just writing his thing. Sometimes authors can be a bit verbose in their writings, in doing so only reach a small target audience or turn people off about halfway through. I did read it and in some spots more than once.
Many of his sentences were a paragraph in length and introduced several new concepts that require some thinking through and revisiting. I will be putting this on the shelf next to Chapell’s work so I can peruse over it from time to time.
The main theme of the book is, of course, preaching HIM, that is to say, Christ. We can never be reminded enough on what our calling is as preachers, with so many cultural intrusions into everyday church life and the thoughts of the average believer being wrapped up in everyday junk it becomes more pressing for God’s man to stay on point with the text and mission. Paul said it best, for necessity is laid upon me; yea, Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
Within the body of this work there are four streams of thought interwoven throughout:
1) The Hermeneutic approach (Bible interpretation is a lost science these days at least it seems so)
2) The Apostolic approach (What can be gleaned from the apostles’ approach to interpretation, use of both Testaments, and keeping it all Christocentric)
3) The Homiletic approach exegetically ( Sermon prep and delivery)
4) The unity between both the Old and New Testaments “in the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ…” pg9
He states emphatically that both the Old and New Testaments must be seen in unity and further states that, “preachers who believe in the gospel revealed through the apostles should proclaim that gospel in light of Christ’s fulfillment of the Law, Prophets, and the Writings. (Luke 24:44-47) pg 12
Throughout the author gave ample references, examples and set forth his case all the while keeping the main theme (s) of the book before the reader.
I particularly enjoyed Appendix A & B and while the book was a bit arduous, these two appendices made it all worthwhile. The author supplied a step by step breakdown on how to put into practice what the previous 400 pages took to articulate.
All in all, I believe we need to stress the return ad Fontes to the word God and restore it to its preeminent place in the pulpit and all facets of ministry and personal life.
I am done here for now! Carpe Diem!