"Romans" by Thomas R. Schreiner

Mark R. Talbot
Thursday, July 5th 2007
Jan/Feb 2000

Calvin said a true understanding of Romans would open the door to all of the most profound treasures of Scripture. This book, which is part of the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, aims at helping its readers to gain such an understanding.

This series, under the general editorship of Gordon-Conwell Seminary professor Moiss Silva, attempts to provide up-to-date evangelical scholarly commentary that emphasizes the argumentative structure of each New Testament book. Each commentary proceeds in a way that is consonant with but not enslaved to the historic formulations of Christian doctrine as they are found in both the ecumenical creeds and the great Reformational confessions. So while these commentaries are exegetically oriented, they take Scripture's overall theological thrust seriously. Their intended audience runs from the motivated Christian layperson to the serious scholar, with particular concern for pastors and teachers involved "in the preaching and exposition of the Scriptures as the uniquely inspired Word of God."

Schreiner, professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, believes that Paul wrote Romans to unite the Roman church's Jewish and Gentile factions under his Gospel in a way that would be true to the Old Testament's predictions. Rome then could serve as the base for expanding his mission to Spain, which would open the prospect for the salvation of many more Gentiles to the honor and praise of God's name. So God's glory as manifested in his age-old plan for saving both Jews and Gentiles (see especially Rom. 9-11) is the central theme as well as the ultimate motivation for Paul's letter.

Schreiner always begins by considering Paul's words in their specific grammatico-historical contexts but then often moves out towards a wider theological synthesis that highlights Paul's more general perspectives. Like Calvin, he has tried to be brief, so that Paul's meaning is not muffled by the commentator's verbosity. So this commentary can be read straight through with profit.

All in all, this is a valuable addition to the long list of English commentaries on Romans, and one that should be especially welcome to the readers of Modern Reformation.

Thursday, July 5th 2007

“Modern Reformation has championed confessional Reformation theology in an anti-confessional and anti-theological age.”

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