If the Bible is the book that has changed the world, and it is and has, then that part of the Bible which has focused its laser like energies to tear through the strongholds of this world is the book of Romans.
I have never preached through the book. I have heard the disastrous attempts of others to do so. I haven’t actually seen people’s hair set on fire running from the sanctuary screaming “I can’t take another week in the book of Romans” , but I could see the hair smoking. By the time most preachers get through the closely reasoned, densely packed, and rhetorically tight book, the minds of most listeners have long ago been fried and the spiritual brook dried.
But the book still stands as a spiritual Mt Everest. It says to those below, “climb me if you can. I have killed better preachers and teachers than you.”
I dip into Romans again and again in my preaching. One has to!! Too much that is precious and necessary is therein contained. But I have not done sustained verse by verse study of the book. I did Galatians in seminary. What a disaster. By the end of that course, I was absolutely convinced neither the professor or I understood any more of that book than when we started the course. Even worse, Galatians was permanently scarred in my memory.
But at age 61 I think that maybe now is the time to get to the greatest part of the greatest Book. I have gathered my view materials and will carefully work my way through over the next couple of years. At my age I am not going to do one of those Donald Gray Barnhouse episodes of a decade plus in Ephesians or WACriswell’s 17 years through the Bible. Too late for that!!! (I think I can hear any number of parishioners sighing relief). But one can stay distant from Romans for only so long.
Here we go.