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The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament Paperback – February 1, 1989


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing (February 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875521746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875521749
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Edmund Clowney has guided thousands of readers along the same path through the Old Testament on which Jesus led [two downcast disciples], replacing shattered dreams with confident joy. --Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary California

Dr. Clowney's admirable treatment should be greatly valued. . . . Expect your heart to be stirred, as well as your head cleared. --J. I. Packer, Board of Governors Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia

Dr. Clowney's admirable treatment should be greatly valued. . . . Expect your heart to be stirred, as well as your head cleared. --J. I. Packer, Board of Governors Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Edmund Clowney was an influential pastor, theologian, and educator, both in church settings and several leading seminaries. The author of acclaimed works such as The Unfolding Mystery, Dr. Clowney completed How Jesus Transforms the Ten Commandments shortly before his death in 2005. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book is an easy and fun read.
Erik Raymond
If you enjoy Tim Keller's preaching, you'll love Clowney - he was one of Keller's mentors, and they share a knack for good storytelling.
Victor L King
The depth and breadth in this short book is astounding.
Mathew Sims

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was a fantastic book! It did a great job of showing how God's promise of redemption in Christ was pointed to over and over again throughout the Old Testament. I thought that it really painted a wonderful picture of the coherence of God's word and the constancy of His purpose, which cannot be thwarted. It gives a great outline of some of what Jesus might have said to the disciples while on the road to Emmaeus ("Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself."--Lk 24:2) and what Philip caught a glimpse of and wanted to share with Nathaniel ("We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."--Jn 1:45). I highly recommend it.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kathy F. Cannata on March 22, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a pure joy to read. He illustrates how the Old Testament is as much about Christ as the New Testament is. To see this is to grasp a whole new sense of the relevance and excitement of the Scriptures.
This is a real classic.
My only criticism -- the chapters are long and often rambling, with little sense of an organizing principle. While every word in Clowney is golden, and his style is very lyrical and engaging, one wishes he had a better editor to organize the thoughts in chunks they would hang together. This made it difficult to adapt to an adult c.e. series, when I did that 5 years ago.
BTW -- if you liked this book's Christo-centric approach, try Charlie Drew's Ancient Love Song (2001) which is better organized. For preaching see Bryan Chapell's Christ-Centered Precahing (1997).
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By B. C. Richards on January 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book traces the progress of the message of salvation in Christ through the Old Testament. Dr. Clowney follows in the Biblical theological tradition of Geerhardus Vos, but at a much more popular level. As a matter of fact, I was a little disappointed with the book in terms of its depth. While I had not seen it indicated, my opinion is that this book is basically at the high school level. It would also be excellently suited to someone from a dispensational background who is interested in starting to learn about the Reformed and historically Christian view of the unity of the Bible.

Clowney begins with a chapter comparing Adam and Jesus Christ, and follows it with a broad overview of the Old Testament, through the fall of man, Abraham, Jacob, the Exodus and the ministry of Moses, Joshua, the judges, David and Solomon, and the prophets. In all this Clowney shows how the saints of the Old Testament were looking forward to the promised Messiah, and how their lives and experiences also point forward to Jesus Christ.

While I had no specific objections to the book, I was definitely a little underwhelmed by the level. I was excited to read the book (it was the second book I tackled of the roughly dozen I received for Christmas), but unfortunately I came away with the feeling that I hadn't heard too much that I haven't heard before. If you are looking for a sound, easy introduction to Biblical theology (the study of the history of redemption) this book may be just what you want. It is certainly easy to read. But I have a suspicion that most people who are going to take the time to read books about theology may want something a little deeper.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erik Raymond on July 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
It is one of those "I wish I could have been there moments". You know the scene. It is post resurrection. The Lord Jesus is walking with his disciples only they have no idea that it is him. Instead of giving them a whack on the back of the head and telling them who he was Christ unpacked the Scriptures that pointed to him. It was this unpacking, Luke says, that ultimately caused their eyes to be opened and see Christ. The disciples very hearts "burned within" them (Luke 24.32).

What did Jesus preach? The text tells us broadly "beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (24.47). This was not an isolated proof text here or there but rather a systmatic unpacking of the Bible's central story-line that culminates in the person and work of Christ. This seven mile walk must have been sermon after sermon of how the Old Testament Scriptures point to Christ. O' how wonderful this walk must have been!

We obviously do not have access to the sermon notes but we do have the text. And Edmond Clowney aims to help us see how the Old Testament Scriptures point forward and speak loudly as to Christ. Beginning with Adam and Eve and working throuhout the biblical narrative, Clowney carefully and passionately points us to Christ.

I say that he does so carefully because there is a dangerous tendency to find Jesus in passages where he is not there. I often times hear preachers run to Christ from a passage and wonder how they got there; I am delighted that they are bragging on Christ but wonder how in the world they made it there. Clowney does not do such things. He carefully and faithfully explains the passages within the overall biblical context and shows how Christ is seen in the Scriptures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Victor L King on October 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If you've been hanging out in Evangelical Land lately (especially in the section known as YoungRestlessReformed World), you know that "Christ-centered" preaching is the soup du jour. Well, like a good hipster, Edmund Clowney was doing it before it was cool.*

Here Clowney takes us on a tour of the Old Testament, pointing out sightings of Christ (types, pre-incarnate appearances, and the like). If you enjoy Tim Keller's preaching, you'll love Clowney - he was one of Keller's mentors, and they share a knack for good storytelling.

This book could be considered his most significant work, although for my money his volume on The Church is even more important, as one of the few good books on ecclesiology by a contemporary conservative Presbyterian. (Guy Waters' book How Jesus Runs the Church is very good, too, but not nearly as comprehensive.)

This the second edition of his 1989 book, and the only significant addition is by his granddaughter: discussion questions after each chapter. So if that's not your bag, you can pick up the 1989 edition used for a little bit of nothing.

If you're looking for edifying sermonic theology, this book is for you. If you're looking for more of a how-to-find-Christ-in-the-OT book, I'd recommend pretty much anything by Graeme Goldsworthy, or, more recently, David Murray's excellent book Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament.

*Ed Clowney was anything but a hipster. And he died in 2005, so he didn't even get to see the wildfire of Christ-centered preaching that he helped to ignite.
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