Tim Keller has done it again. On this blog, I have reviewed two other commentaries in the God’s Word for you series. Both have been incredible (read Galatians here and Judges here). So, it was with high expectations when I began to anticipate Romans 1-7 For Your being dropped off by the book fairy. I was not disappointed.
Like the two other books I have reviewed, Romans 1-7 simply drips with the gospel. Though I suppose that is not hard to do with a book like Romans, Keller does it in such a way that is clear, articulate and using terms any layman can understand. This is not a book for ivory tower theologians, but an understandable volume for anyone who sits in the pews of your church. That’s what makes this book valuable. A glossary of terms in the back aids with that understanding and questions for reflection at the end of each section will aid with application.
There were two sections I found specifically edifying. Section 9, covering Romans 5:12-21, concludes with a chart describing the differences between legalism, the gospel, and liberalism. Having these views placed side by side helps see the stark contrast these errant views provide the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sections 11 and 12, covering Romans 7, provides a clear treatment of a difficult passage. Using Paul’s analogy of a wedding, Keller describes what the Christian life ought to look like after having been freed from the law and alive to Christ.
“Marriage does entail a significant loss of freedom and independence. You cannot simply live as you choose. A single person can make decisions unilaterally but a married person cannot. There is duty and obligation. But, on the other hand, there is not the possibility of an experience of love, intimacy, acceptance and security that you could not have as a single person. Because of this love and intimacy, our loss of freedom is a joy, not a burden. In a good marriage, your whole life is affected and changed by the wishes and desires of the person you love. You get pleasure by giving pleasure. You seek to discover the wishes of your beloved and are happy to make changes in accord with those wishes. (page 157)
This is book is a must have for anyone wishing to have a better gospel-perspective from the book of Romans. It is well worth your time reading wherever you are in your theological growth.
Purchase the book here.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.