Here’s a great suggestion from Byron Welsh and our resource center.
You saw in the bulletin last week that the suggested reading for the summer included three books:
Galatians For You by Tim Keller
Ten Questions to Diagnose your Spiritual Health by Donald Whitney
Spiritual Depression by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones
In this posting I will describe why I think the first book, Galatians for You, is a book you should seriously consider. I’ll post articles regarding the other two books later. I found out about this book from one of my favorite bloggers, Tim Challies, earlier this year. Tim reviews lots of books and I nearly always find his reviews useful for my own reading choices. Besides, Tim Keller is one of my favorite authors. Challies’ full review of this book is here.
In this review Challies writes: Galatians For You is a new book from Tim Keller that simply opens up the epistle to the Galatians, teaching it verse-by-verse. It is the first in a new series of expository guides from The Good Book Company—a series I’m excited about. These are books that can be used to read, to feed and to lead—to read on your own, to feed you devotionally and to help you lead others through Galatians. It can be read from cover-to-cover as any other book; it can be read as a personal Bible study; it can be a curriculum for a group study. It will prove excellent in any of those contexts. Based on this recommendation I bought it and decided to use it when I got to Galatians in my own Bible reading. I was blessed in incredible ways.
Studying Galatians helped me to understand that the gospel is not only the avenue for new believers to be brought into the Kingdom of God, but it is for Christians, like you and me, in our everyday lives. Keller states it well in the introduction: The book of Galatians is dynamite. It is an explosion of joy and freedom which leaves us enjoying a deep significance, security and satisfaction—the life of blessing God calls His people into. Why? Because it brings us face to face with the gospel. It’s very common in Christian circles to assume that “the gospel” is something mainly for non-Christians. We see it as a set of basic “ABC” doctrines that are the way in which someone enters the kingdom of God. We often assume that once we’re converted, we don’t need to hear or study or understand the gospel—we need more “advanced” material. But in this short letter, Paul outlines the bombshell truth that the gospel is the A to Z of the Christian life. It is not only the way to enter the kingdom; it is the way to live as part of the kingdom. It is the way Christ transforms people, churches and communities.
BTW: We’ll be using this book for a class this summer starting on June 9th (9 AM on Sundays for 6 weeks). Even if you don’t get a chance to join this class, I encourage you to get this book for the next time you read through Galatians. The chapters are short and you’ll be able to study all of Galatians and read the commentary in less than 2 weeks (assuming roughly 30 minutes a day).