Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book: Romans 8-16 for You

What do you know? It’s a book!

This book review is sponsored by Cross-Focused Reviews, who persuaded the Good Book Company to send me a free copy in exchange for this review.

I’m torn in reviewing Romans 8-16 for You by Timothy Keller. It’s a good, compact study on the second half of Romans. It’s not at all a bad book, and Keller wisely did not try to address all of Romans in one volume in this series. The “For You” series aims for a 200 page volume, and this one hits that mark.

I have several of the other volumes in this series, and have greatly profited from these, including Keller’s first Romans volume. And I tried to really like this one as much as the previous ones. I just don’t.

I don’t dislike it, mind you, I just don’t find it compelling. There is good exegesis: Keller treats the text as important and the source of his ideas. He does not produce odd or novel ideas, nor does he spring off the wall.

For example, he threads the needle of Romans 13 on submission to the state quite well. It’s not a command to submit to Caesar rather than God, but it is a command to follow God first and not just aggravate the government.

Overall, though, I just couldn’t get into this one. I think that some portions of Scripture do not work with trying to be both simply explained and deeply applied as this book aims for. Romans 8-16 feels like it needs more time spent on it, more effort in the cultural setting and application.

It’s a good add to the series, and a good add alongside other volumes about Romans. But I don’t see this one standing alone as a guide through Romans 8-16 like I had hoped.

Still worth having, a solid base hit. Just not a home run.

My opinion is my own. You can ask Paul if Dr. Keller did him justice later.

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