Over this summer, a few guys from my church (Windham Baptist Church) will be reading through Dennis Johnson’s new book Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures. And you are cordially invited to follow along with us and join the discussion.
I’m seriously pumped about this book because it’s all about equipping Jesus followers to preach, teach, and understand the entire Bible with Jesus as the Hero of every page. He argues that one of the biggest problems in interpreting and proclaiming the message of God’s Word stems from a warped perspective of how the Old Testament and the New Testament work together. His goal is to persuade us that there is a Christ-focused marriage between Old Testament promise and New Testament fulfillment. So basically Him We Proclaim will show us how to preach God-centered, Christ-exalting, gospel-driven, biblical-theological sermons.
One of the most significant things about this book that I’ve noticed so far is that Johnson shows why biblical theology is important, and when understood correctly, will drive us to Jesus. So naturally, he’s going to lean on all of my heroes (and then some!), like Geerhadus Vos, Meredith Kline, Vern Poythress, G.K. Beale, Graeme Goldsworthy, and Tim Keller.
In chapter two, after summarizing and critiquing the most popular approaches to preaching (preaching to convert, preaching to edify, preaching to instruct), Johnson teases us by introducing the method that he will argue for throughout the rest of the book. He calls it “Evangelistic, Edificatory Redemptive-Historical Preaching.” Despite the horrible title, it resembles Tim Keller’s preaching a lot. And those of you who’ve been influenced by Tim Keller and especially his Spiritually invigorating emphasis on the Centrality of the Gospel are gonna love this!
Keller says “The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s but the A to Z of Christianity…. The main problem, then, in the Christian life is that we have not thought out the deep implications of the gospel, we have not “used” the gospel in and on all parts of our life. So the key to continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival is the continual re-discovery of the gospel.”
And since the only way for us to understand the Gospel and proclaim the Gospel is to see and savor Jesus Christ on every page of Scripture and in every act of the drama of redemption Johnson’s Him We Proclaim promises to be a valuable read. I hope you join us.