Monday, June 15, 2020

46. Reading Romans with Luther

Reading Romans with Luther. R.J. Grunewald. 2017. 128 pages. [Source: Review copy] [Christian nonfiction; devotional]

First sentence: When I was a kid, I dreamed I could fly like Superman.

I love, love, love, love, love the book of Romans. I am currently working my way through seven different commentaries of it. (Barnes, Calvin, Clarke, Henry, MacLaren, Spurgeon, Wesley) I wanted to love R.J. Grunewald's Reading Romans with Luther. I did. I have read several of Luther's books in the past--including his commentary on Galatians. I ended up slightly disappointed with Reading Romans with Luther. Grunewald's stated intent was to make Luther accessible and good theology within reach. He wants to explain Luther in such a way that all intimidation is removed.

If you're looking for a good, basic book on the themes of Romans you probably won't be disappointed. It is well laid out and quite good.

I was reading an ARC of Reading Romans with Luther provided through Netgalley. At least in the ARC, it was not clear which words were Grunewald's and which words were Luther. I had a hard time distinguishing between Luther quotes--I am assuming there are some--and Grunewald's summaries and "cliff notes" of Luther's commentary. Luther does require translation, I realize that. Unless you read German or possibly possibly Latin--I'm assuming those are the two languages you might find him writing in--you're going to need a translation. I wanted to be able to tell Luther from Grunewald. Now this might not be an issue in the actual actual book.

As a devotional it is mostly excellent. As a commentary, well, it disappoints because it's like you're expecting a meal and are handed a breath mint.

Essentially I am conflicted because it was a nice enough devotional organized around a handful of main themes found in the gospel of Romans. It depends on what you're looking for.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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