Skip to main content

Review: Romans (Everyday Bible Commentary)

Formerly known as the Everyman's Bible Commentary, Alan F. Johnson's perceptive commentary on the New Testament book of Romans has been republished as Everyday Bible Commentary: Romans (Moody, 2018). This is a full-length commentary on Romans but is written for a popular audience. Nevertheless, Johnson provides a wealth of scholarly insights that are accessible to those without a seminary education! The mission of this commentary series suggests that Bible study should not be for the scholarly elite; if the Bible was written for the people, then all people should be able to understand it. Johnson fulfills this mission in his commentary.

The book is divided by the book's major divisions, just as a normal single-volume commentary would be. Especially useful are Johnson's charts and diagrams. Romans is a notoriously complex work, and Johnson does an excellent job untangling it for laypeople. Johnson treats theological issues fairly and does not dive too far into doctrinal interpretations, instead leaving the assumptions to the reader. This book is rather designed to serve as a reference to one's Bible study, teaching preparation, or personal devotions. It remains readable and interacts with the entirety of Scripture, the historical witness, and theologians throughout church history. This physically small book is actually quite hefty in its content, and laypeople and ministers alike will find value in this incredibly accessible commentary on Paul's masterpiece. It is also very affordable!

(My thanks is given to Moody for providing a complimentary review copy.)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Trinity Without Hierarchy

Some recent evangelical trends have insisted that the Son is subordinate to the Father. It is in response to such complementarian theologians that the contributors to Trinity Without Hierarchy: Reclaiming Nicene Orthodoxy in Evangelical Theology (Kregel Academic, 2019) write. Edited by Mike Bird and Scott Harrower, sixteen respected theologians from around the world have come together to rescue the doctrine of the Trinity and reclaim the Nicene position, that all persons of the Trinity are co-eternal and co-equal.

The first essays introduce the doctrine of the Trinity from a New Testament standpoint, followed by a set of essays that trace Nicene Trinitarianism through church history, from Athanasius to the Reformers to Pannenberg. Although written with varying levels of difficulty—from introductory surveys to advanced theological treatments—each essay is short and digestible. The implications of the doctrine of the Trinity meet the challenges of modern evangelicalism, particularly su…

Review: Practicing the Preaching Life

Most preachers burn out. So claims celebrated homiletician and preaching professor David Ward. Ward contends that, while preaching is a life-giving activity, most practices of it lead to exhaustion and life waste. In his new book, Practicing the Preaching Life (Abingdon, 2019), Ward sets out to paint a practical theology of preaching that spiritually forms preachers and brings renewal, not only to preachers, but to their listeners as well.

Ward, as a student in the New Homiletic, draws heavily on Augustine and Aristotle, who view preaching as a means to embed virtues within the preacher. He begins by establishing a correct theology of preaching: what makes good preaching "good"? What are the offices of the preacher? From there, he moves toward practical applications, including weekly sermon preparation routines and sermon forms. Ward's approach to preaching practice, however, diverges from traditional books that either offer homiletical theory with little application, o…

Review: The Significance of Singleness

In this much-needed book, theologian Christian Hitchcock develops a vision for singleness and the church. Recent evangelical tendencies, argues Hitchcock, view singleness as a problem rather than an asset, a curse rather than a blessing. Drawing from her own experiences as a single Christian woman, Hitchcock skillfully combines personal reflection, historical evidence, and biblical-theological support to claim that single persons are themselves a theologically significant group.

Hitchcock begins by tackling the problem of singleness head-on. She describes the perception of the “problem of singleness,” from pop culture to the Marriage Mandate Movement. In her view, American evangelicalism views marriage as the most desired social institution, under which nothing can compare. Most of her examples come from her experience as a student and professor at small Christian colleges, which have a notorious tendency to inflate issues of marriage. Hitchcock then turns to three figures from churc…