les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Book review : Romans 8 - 16 for you, by Tim Keller - "for reading, for feeding, for leading"

This is the second volume of a two part presentation of the letter to the Romans, aimed at everyone. This isn't a technical commentary. It's written at a popular level and should be accessible to most Christians, useful for personal study, for Bible study groups, for one-to-one studies, etc.

It's a very helpful book. Tim Keller has a simplicity and an economy to his writing that makes the book very easy to read. At the same time he discusses all the big questions that the latter half of Romans raises, quoting Lloyd Jones a lot, as well as other writers and commentators like John Stott.

The books would give a good overview of the gospel for Christians, either read individually or in a group, while more experienced Christians would also benefit from reading it or using it as a help for studying Romans.

The book isn't without its more debatable issues.

Keller advocates an ethic of gratitude, which has gone out of favour in some circles.

In his discussion of Israel's unbelief he describes Israel's ignorance as "vincible", and the word is correctly defined in the glossary, but that produced a statement that made no sense at all to me. Perhaps he really meant culpable? Or perhaps I'm just a bit dim.

A future conversion of Israel is taught, though he does mention that not all take the verses this way.

"Incarnational" evangelism is advocated, though it could be strongly questioned in what sense any ministry I undertake could be "incarnational" since I have been rather stubbornly "in the flesh" ever since my mother gave birth to me. Only Christ could really be incarnate , and the day I realised this another nail was hammered into the coffin of my messiah complex.

But these are small and nitpicking points in what is a splendid book. It struck me as I thought about this book, that just as people are adapting John Owen and Jonathan Edwards for the modern reader, so perhaps others will need to adapt Lloyd-Jones to make him accessible to a wider audience. IN a way Keller's book is a start at doing just that.

No comments: