Calvin’s Institutes: The Ten Commandments

Are the ten commandments relevant today? Are they something we only pay lips service to? Or do they still guide and order the moral imperative for Christian living? Calvin says, “[M]an is so wrapped in darkest ignorance that, through natural law, he is scarcely able to savour what it means to serve God acceptably” (110). And that’s the bottom line isn’t it? Without God’s law we would remain in “darkest ignorance” and we would not know (not just sipping kind of know, but the drinking deeply kind of know) that we need the mercy of God. Calvin again, “[W]hen we compare the righteousness of the law with the life we lead and when we see how little we comply with God’s will, we recognize that we do not deserve to keep our place and position among his creatures, still less to be reckoned as his children” (111).

Some might say that this is whole of the law. It shows that we need the mercy of God, but Calvin goes on to make an important point. “The Lord, however, is not content to teach us only to revere his righteousness. He seeks to train our hears to love it and to hate iniquity, and thus adds both promises and threats” (ibid). The law does not exist solely to inspire fear of punishment and despair without the gospel. It does that, but, after it does its first work, God then trains our hearts to love him through loving his law. As David so regularly said in the Psalms, he delighted in the law of God.

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Review: Timothy Michael Law’s When God Spoke Greek

One of my favorite topics to read about is the transmission history of manuscripts. Until I started taking college level Bible courses, I had no idea about the kind of diversity of manuscripts found in the New and Old Testaments. I had no idea there was a Hebrew and Greek Old Testament. I knew there were original languages behind the translation, but that was my extent of knowledge.

For some, having the deluge of information dumped on them would have shaken their faith. However, it strengthened mine and has continued to as I read more on this topic. Part of the reason, I see in the diversity and preservation of manuscripts God’s providence at work. I see confidence from the New Testament authors as they quote their Greek Old Testament. Jesus says, “Scripture cannot be broken” and he’s probably engaging with a Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) and Hebrew scrolls. No wavering or qualification.

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Calvin’s Institutes: The Knowledge of God

I used to carry a book with me everywhere. I would casually read, be interrupted, and read more. However, as I age I find that approach no longer sustainable. Something about reading a book over an extended period of time no longer works for me. I find now I enjoy having several hours to sit down and plow through a book.

I have tried several times to take the slow approach to Calvin’s Institutes. It just never worked for me and I don’t think that’s changing anytime soon. That’s why when I saw Banner of Truth’s new translation—a handsome, single volume edition of Calvin’s Institutes—I knew now was the time to move beyond my patchwork reading of Institutes and read the entire volume.

My approach will be one hundred pages plus per week until the end of the year, which leaves me time to do other reading projects and writing. My hope is to offer bi-weekly posts to highlight sections that are interesting in hopes of encouraging more of you to pick up this classic work of theology and read it. I won’t have a specific format for these posts. They won’t be a traditional book review or a more focused post. They will be more of a rambling commentary. Without further ado.

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Review: Zondervan’s The Books of the Bible (NIV)

For many, reading the Bible is a tedious task. Often the forest gets lost for the trees in the Old Testament. For some, a simpler and more original version of the Bible is helpful in instilling newfound interest in the Bible as literature. In this vein, Zondervan’s The Books of the Bible (NIV) seeks to return the Scriptures to a readable, story-like form. Reference markers (e.g. chapters, chapter headings, and verse) have been removed and a single column format is utilized, creating the feeling of reading a story. The effect on the general reading is excellent. The NIV is perfect for this format and is enjoyable to read without the additional reference points that have become standard in printed Bibles.

The order of the books in BOTB is also set to accommodate this story-like approach. The Old Testament (referred to as the “First Testament”) utilizes “an order much closer” to the Hebrew tradition in book order (1). 1st & 2nd Samuel are combined with 1st & 2nd Kings. Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah are recombined into their long scroll form and are placed among the concluding “Writing” (e.g. Psalms, Lamentations, Job, Esther, and Daniel) of the First Testament. The prophets are presented in some semblance of a chronological order.

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Review: Peter Enns’ The Bible Tells Me So

“Christians, don’t expect more from the Bible than you would of Jesus” (243).

Peter Enns is a familiar name in the discussion on the content and purpose of the Christian Scriptures. In The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It, Enns brings a wealth of humor and honest questions to many common held beliefs among conservative Christians. The jokes range in value. The questions are necessary. Enns’ answers are the source of controversy and disagreement.

Enns starts The Bible Tells Me So with a flurry of helpful statements and personal history (chapter 1). Enns’ story acts as background for his thesis that conservative Christians demand too much of the Bible. One cannot disagree with the statement “the Bible isn’t the problem” (7-9) since the church must reform itself to the Scriptures. Disagreements occur over what the Scriptures are ontologically and what they were written to communicate.

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Review: Adam Hamilton’s Making Sense of the Bible

There’s no denying that the Bible contains things that are hard to understand; there are issues that not only non-Christians and new believers wrestle with, but issues on which even “professional” Bible scholars disagree (as can be evidenced by multi-view books on topics such as the Canaanite genocide, the historical Adam, etc.). And the difficulties aren’t just with seemingly theoretical issues that largely do not affect our daily lives—issues such as the biblical view on gender, sexuality and marriage are in the heat of debate in our day, with profound societal ramifications.

Adam Hamilton, founding pastor of the largest United Methodist Church in the U.S., has written Making Sense of the Bible – Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today to help the average person in the pew make sense of the Bible.

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Review: Michael Graves’ The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture

For Christians, the Holy Bible is the standard for faith and obedience. Understandably, the interpretation of these Scriptures has been the principal activity of the church since its foundation. In The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture Michael Graves presents a sweeping introduction to the thoughts and perspectives of early church fathers in this field, knowing, “Many of their beliefs about Scriptures prove to be not only helpful but even essential for contemporary Christians who want to read Scripture and hear its divine message” (3). Working on the basis that the idea of inspiration and interpretation were knit tightly together (2), Graves presents these men’s views through some simplified and uniform categories.

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Sojourning Through the Deluge

I went and saw Darren Aronofsky’s Noah during the opening weekend with my wife. The point of this article isn’t to review the movie. You can find some helpful reviews from Greg Thornbury, Joe Carter, Brian Mattson, and Kevin McLenithan at CaPC (those will give the sweep of evangelical responses). As they mention, there were positive and negative points about the movie, but the one area where I think Aronofsky pushes into the narrative well is right as the flood starts and the Ark is being tossed about by the wind and the waves. During this scene, you can hear the cries of people mixed with the roar of the waters. You can hardly distinguish the two. That realization that all other humans were being killed by the deluge weighed heavily on Noah and his family.

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The Crumbs of Grace

Last time, we talked about the episode of Jesus calming the storm and how it was a polemic against the failure of rehearsing the gospel story as seen through the redemption of Israel through the waters. I now want to turn your attention to Mark 7:24-30.

This passage is one of my favorites from the life of Jesus and it highlights wonderfully the polemic nature of Jesus’s ministry. When preaching this passage, my pastor used the metaphor of Jesus holding his cards close to his chest until he folds, He mentioned that this is one of the only times Jesus lets someone win a verbal match. This metaphor helps as you read along because this passage confuses people. Jesus seems gruff with this women. He seems to affirm some of the racial and gender prejudices common among first century Jews. Just remember he’s holding his cards close to his chest. We can’t see them right off. Thankfully we’ll get to peek at his hand in a bit.

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The Psalms in the Life of Jesus

Why Don’t We Lament?
The New Testament authors quote the Psalms more than any other Old Testament book. It’s quoted almost seventy times with even more allusions. The Psalms are on the tip of Jesus’ tongue as well. The sermon on the mount is peppered with Psalms’ quotations and allusions (see Matt 5:2 cf Ps 78:2; 5:5 cf 37:11; 5:6 cf. 42:2; 5:8 cf. 24:4; 5:42 cf. 37:21). Hebrews is also brim full of Psalms in connection with Jesus Christ. Most memorably, many of the Psalms are used as Messianic prophetic fulfillment like Psalms 2 and 22.

I’ve pointed out previously the Psalms are full of laments which the Church currently neglects. My recent review of The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul only solidified that opinion. Specifically, we have lost the art speaking frankly to God, lamenting to Him. I think we find it hard to accept that kind of emotional rawness is acceptable. I want to make a connection with the gospel and laments which will hopefully encourage those of you who have never prayed one of the Psalms of lament to your Father to do so. Whatever your difficulty is. Whatever you are going through. Whatever your pain. Praying the Psalms of lament to God will demonstrate faith in His covenant promises.

I want to return to one of the most popular quotations of the Psalms in the New Testament--one of the sayings of Jesus on the cross.

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son[i] of God!” Matthew 27:45-54

Verse forty six is the relevant quotation, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” The phrase Jesus quotes starts this Psalm but take a minute and meditate on the rest of Psalms 22.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.

3 Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

9 Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
10 On you was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother's womb you have been my God.
11 Be not far from me,
for trouble is near,
and there is none to help. . . .

16 For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet[b]—
17 I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
18 they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.

19 But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dog!
21 Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen! Psalms 22:1-11, 16-21

A Gospel Dirge
So in the midst of his suffering and death, Jesus is praying, crying out this Psalm of lament to the Father. The Psalm is honest and gritty. “Why have you forsaken me?,” “You do not answer me,” he laments the mocking he received for trusting God, and he says, “Be not far from me.”

These words of lament are on the tongue of the Son of God, “Light of Light, very God of very God.” He is praying these words to His Father. The One who He has enjoyed infinite and full fellowship and love with. That should give us resoluteness when we lament to God. He laments actual separation from the Father so we will never have to experience that kind of aloneness--no matter what we feel. We can pray boldly than when we lament know God hears us.

This Psalm of lament strikes at the essentials of the gospel--the death of Jesus Christ. The cross is the heart of the gospel. Part of His steadfastness in suffering came from the inspired words found in Psalms 22. The gospel, in some sense, was completed because of the grace poured out from this lament.

If you remember when Jesus begins his ministry, His cousin John washes Him in the Jordan River. God speaks words of affirmation over Him and the Spirit descends like a dove. Jesus enters the wilderness and rebuts the Devils attacks with Scripture. As we noted with the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus regularly quotes Scripture. He is meditating on the Law of the Lord. We can safely assume He’s regularly singing the Psalms. We know when the disciples and Jesus left the last supper they sang a Psalm (Matt 26:30).

The point: Jesus lives His life always pursing the filling of the Spirit. He’s constantly soaking Himself in Scripture; He’s always finding a solitude place to pray; and He’s always seeking fellowship with those who know the grace of God. We can safely assume the Psalms were also a vital part of his daily spiritual nourishment. Some argue that the Lord’s Prayer is outline of the Psalms. The petitions are summaries of the most common themes found within the Psalter. The Psalms again directly and indirectly strike at the vital of the gospel story. The life of Jesus, his perfect obedience on our behalf, was lived by the power of the Spirit and with the Psalms stained into the deepest fibers.

Psalms for Your Daily Liturgy
The Psalms more than most books are structured for use in rehearsal. They are songs you can sing. They are prayers you can pray. They are grit and grace for living in this fallen world. But most of all they are full of hope for the advent of the Messiah. For the time when He will come and reign on earth, son of David, son of God. We need that tension in our life. We also need the daily reminder of the gospel that the Psalms provides. It’s littered with Messianic allusions, hope, and reality. It’s littered with gospel foreshadowing like Psalms 22.

So friend, don’t neglect the Psalms. Sing them. Pray them. Read them. Meditate on them. Search for Christ in them. Put them to the test. As the words of God, they will not fail you.

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Review: Andrew J. Schmutzer & David M. Howard Jr.’s The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul

I’m planning on spending a lot of time in the Psalms this year so I’ve been looking for books that will help me get the most from my reading. The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul was the perfect book at the perfect time.

You will find the journey through this forest dense. It’s not your entry level reading, but there’s so much beauty to behold. It’s worth the steady toil. Also, the chapters get gradually less technical. The last part gathers sermons on particular Psalms and so readability increases there.

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Review: John D. Currid’s Against the Gods

If you plan on purchasing Against the Gods, consider supporting Grace for Sinners by purchasing from Amazon.

9 out of 10 Stars
Author: John D. Currid
Publisher: Crossway
Reading Level: Easy

I thoroughly enjoyed Against the Gods. It really hit the sweet spot for me with just the right mixture of easy to read, practical theology and scholarly background on the culture in the ancient Near East (ANE). Reading Against the Gods will aid your Scripture reading in the Old Testament immediately. John will introduce you to ANE culture and shed light on how we should interpret the Old Testament in light of the growing history, literature, and background in the field of ANE studies.

Tweet This: The Old Testament undermine ancient Near Eastern literature by using common stories and culture in polemic ways @CrosswayBooks #AgainsttheGods

John argues many of the parallels scholars find in the ANE literature and the Old Testament point not towards strict borrowing but demonstrate the polemic nature of the Old Testament. He says, “Polemic theology is the use by biblical writers of the thought forms and stories that were common in ancient Near Eastern culture, while filling them with radically new meaning . . . . Polemic theology is monotheistic to the very core” (25). It’s a way of undermining the polytheistic pagans surrounding Israel making “essential distinctions” between the two (26).

John then walks through major Old Testament stories which have counterparts (indirectly or directly) in the ancient Near Eastern literature. That ranges from the creation, the flood, Joseph and Judah’s tale at the end of Genesis, Moses’s birth and childhood, and different aspects of the Exodus.

See Also: Review: Tom Holland’s Contours of Pauline Theology and “Tom Holland: Justification and Creating a New Covenant

I was riveted while reading through these accounts and amazed at the creative way God undermines the nations surrounding His people. I’ve been studying on the topic of the New Exodus in New Testament thought and its significance for the church. You cannot understand the New Exodus in the gospel without understand the original Exodus in the Old Testament and the story of Israel. After reading Against the Gods, I’ve been reading through the Gospels trying to discern what (if any) polemic elements can be found in the life and ministry of Jesus. It’s a book that’s given me a lot to think about. I hope to see more on this topic from John Currid in the future.

Do you find reading through the Old Testament boring? Are the customs and culture in the Old Testament confusing and foreign? What has been helpful in making the Old Testament come alive?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: Tough Topics by Sam Storms

4 out of 5 Stars
Author: Sam Storms
Publisher: Crossway/Re: Lit
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Reading Level: Easy

Sam Storms desires to answers tough questions believers ask. He does so pastorally and carefully. He says,

Sadly, many believers walk away from church or from a friend or even from a pastor, frustrated that such issues are either answered badly or met with an “I don’t know,” or perhaps even ignored altogether. My aim in this book is to overcome that frustration by looking deeply, not superficially, at what Scripture says and deriving clear and persuasive explanations for these thorny matters. (p. 12)

Also, he writes with “the educated layperson in mind” (p. 12). Sam walks through each issue not just to discover the truth but to convey it in love. He writes with a pastors heart.

What I loved. Sam answers these tough questions thoroughly. As quoted earlier, these aren’t easy questions and his answers reflect that. Most chapters include a brief survey of the most popular answers to the question and Sam seeks to include the biblical evidence for even the opposing opposition. Related, he roots his answers in the biblical text. He builds texts, stories, and passages to provide solid biblical grounds for everything he teaches.

Second, I love that Sam says, “In other words, the ultimate aim of this book isn’t knowledge; it’s worship” (p. 13). There are a lot of good books which tackle the tough passages in Scripture but a lot of these are more academic. Nothing wrong there. I’m glad there’s a resource now which seeks to dialogue with the average Christian by encouraging them to worship God in the midst of what could be intense trials, doubts, or struggles.

Last, I’ll share my favorite chapters out of the book. I loved Chapter 3 “Does God Ever Change His Mind?” He handles this topic masterfully. A very full discussion of a hard passage. Also, Chapter 8 “Are Those Who Die in Infancy Saved?” Again a full discusion with a major pastoral implication. It’s a questions nearly everyone will encounter directly or indirectly in their life. Chapter 15 “Can Christians Lose Their Salvation.” What I appreciate in this section is the Trinitarian focus. He lay the theological groundwork for his position then explores the implications of the opposing position on each person of the Trinity. Chapter 19 “What Is Baptism in the Spirit, and When Does It Happen?” He examines all positions and lays out the biblical evidence for each position.

If you’re a Christian with doubts or questions and one of these topics hits home you won’t find a more readable and Biblical rooted resource than Sam Storm’s Tough Topics.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

If you plan on purchasing Tough Topics, consider supporting Grace for Sinners by purchasing from Amazon.

Review: Crucifying Morality by R. W. Glenn

5 out of 5 Stars
Author: R. W. Glenn
Publisher: Shepherd Press
Cross Focused Blog Tour
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Reading Level: Easy

R. W. Glenn offers a Christ-centered look at the Beattitudes. Crucifying Morality runs from moralizing and pants after Christ. Glen sums up the central thesis of the book,

Think of the Beattitudes as a gospel litmus test. They show you how much (or how little) your faith is in the gospel of grace. (p. 17 see p. 53)

This is repeated multiples times in the book. So instead of reading the Beattitudes as a to-do list (“no imperatives whatsoever” p. 16), he reads it in light of what Christ has done for us.

Seek Jesus. As  you see what it cost the heavenly Father to save you, you will see yourself as a bankrupt beyond words. . . . Who can take a posture of superiority at the foot of the cross? (p. 18 see p. 117)

Glen takes us phrase by phrase through the Beattitudes expounding the person and work of Jesus Christ and applying the gospel of grace to our hearts.

Glenn’s exposition gains steam as he progresses through the Beattitudes. The arguments build. The gospel looks more glorious. The glory of Christ shines more brightly--until the book ends with a pinpoint focus on Jesus Christ. He takes all the arguments, exposition, and application and focuses our attention on him who died for us.

The Beattitudes specifically assume that “blessed” people have come to the end of themselves. They realize that their own moral excellence won’t cut it. They can hardly believe that Jesus crucified morality as they know it when he died on the cross for their sins--for all the bad and all the good they ever did. And they rejoice at the grace that makes them so blessed. (p. 117)

Can I get an amen?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Shepherd Press via Cross Focused Blog Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

If you plan on purchasing Crucifying Morality, consider supporting Grace for Sinners by purchasing from Amazon.

Review: Mark by the Book by P. M. Smuts

4 out of 5 Stars
Author: P. M. Smuts
Publisher: P&R Publishing
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Reading Level: Easy

Mark by the Book is an advanced resource for Bible study. If you’ve been reading your Bible and have desired to get more out reading Scripture this book will assist. Instead of only explaining the method, Smuts walks us through the Gospel of Mark demonstrating the craft along the way. “Multidirectional” is key to understanding the approach. Dennis E. Johnson explains in the “Foreword,”

In the introduction to a multidirectional hermeneutic for exploring the Gospels, Dr. Smuts explains why and how we need to read each passage downward (seeing its depth in the context of the evangelist’s whole document), sideways (comparing it with parallel accounts, particularly in the other two Synoptic Gospels), backward (discerning allusions to previous revelation in the Old Testament), and forward (tracing motifs in Jesus’ ministry as they are developed in the rest of the New Testament, for the church this side of the cross, the resurrection, and the descent of the Spirit). (p. x)

Mark by the Book doesn’t go verses through verse. Smuts has carefully selected passages where the multidirectional approach can easily be demonstrated. Using this straightforward study technique Smuts is able to unearth practical insights into the gospels. It’s a hands on how to for serious Bible study. It’s also Christ-centered study technique. Smuts urges Christians “not to lose a proper focus on Jesus Christ” (p. 4). Throughout he’s able to demonstrate how this is possible while staying faithful to the text. Last, each chapter is broken up into an initial reading of the passages then a downward, sideways, backward, and forward reading of the text. You can move around throughout the book easily and you can focus on one part of the multidirectional technique for a brush up if necessary.

“‘The better you know the whole Bible, the better you will be able to interpret any part of the Bible!”” (p. xxii). Smuts sums up the end game of the multidirectional technique. Knowing the whole Bible. Some of you might be asking, “Will I need fancy Bible study tools?” or “How will I know which passages to turn to?” But the beauty of this approach is you can get started with a single Bible with cross references. Choose a handful of passages that interest you and set aside an hour a week. Read through it for general comprehension and then pick out the cross-reference and meditate on how they connect with the story you’re reading. I recommend Mark by the Book for Christians who are already reading their Bible but want more of a whole Bible approach. It would also make a good hands on resource for churches wanting to teach their people how to better study the Bible.

A free copy of this book was provided by P&R Publishing. If you plan on purchasing Mark by the Book, consider supporting Grace for Sinners by purchasing from Amazon.

Review: Galatians for You by Timothy Keller

5 out of 5 Stars
Author: Timothy Keller
Publisher: The Good Book Company
Cross Focused Blog Tour
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Reading Level: Easy

Galatians for You strikes the perfect balance with understandability, gospel focus, and technical knowledge. It’s a verse by verse exposition for you--the average church goer, the mother with children at home, the blue collar father, the new Christian, or the mature Christian who loves the gospel. You won’t find a lot of the plumbing exposed but it’s there. You will find fertile soil for planting gospel seeds in your every day life.

The gospel--the message that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope--creates a radical new dynamic for personal growth, for obedience, for love. (p. 10)

Another gem

The way to progress as a Christian is continually to repent and uproot these system [of self-salvation] in the same way that we became Christians--by the vivid depiction (and re-depicting) of Christ’s saving work for us, and the abandoning of self-trusting efforts to complete ourselves. We must go back again and again to the gospel of Christ crucified, so that our hearts are more deeply gripped by the reality of what He did and who we are in Him. (p. 69)

Galatians makes a perfect launching pad for this series because it highlights the gospel in a unique way which highlights Keller’s unique skill set as a pastor and author. Paul writes Galatians as a polemic against the Judaizers who are undermining the gospel in Galatia. Keller has done a lot of gospel work as a polemicist in New York City. Keller sums up the book of Galatians and thrust of this every day commentary when he says,

The book of Galatians is dynamite. It is an explosion of joy and freedom which leaves us enjoying a deep significance, security and satisfaction--the life of blessing God calls His people into. (p. 9)

What got me even more excited about this book was knowing there’s more like it to come. The last few pages promote future books in Judges, Psalms, Romans, 2 Timothy, and 1 John. If Keller can provide this level of understandability, gospel focus, and technical knowledge to a book like Judges all who read it will be better for it. It’s a difficult task unpacking the gospel story in the Old Testament but Keller may be better suited for the task than most. I would strongly urge those of my readers who may lead small groups or one on one discipleships to consider using this book. I doubt you will find another commentary that could be used in these types of groups with as much benefit and with such ease by people from all backgrounds. It will also promote further study in those who read it.

A free copy of this book was provided by The Good Book Company via Cross Focused Blog Tour. If you plan on purchasing Galatians for You, consider supporting Grace for Sinners by purchasing from Amazon.