“A must read”
“Galatians is all about the gospel – the gospel all of us need throughout all of our loves. It’s dynamite, and I pray that its powerful message explodes in your heart as you read this book”. So begins Dr Timothy Keller’s book Galatians For You - clearly laying out the focus of both his work and the biblical book which it examines.
Keller’s book achieves three things superbly:
Firstly, it clearly explains the book of Galatians. Without getting bogged down in dull detail, Keller provides the reader with the right amount of information about the book of Galatians’ historical context, its author and the immediate situation which Galatians addresses for the readers understanding of Galatians to be enriched. Also, by working through the entire book of Galatians from beginning to end – chapter by chapter, verse by verse (i.e. an expository approach) Keller’s book is comprehensive in its scope. Although comprehensive, Keller’s work is very readable - the chapters of Keller’s book are around 12-15 pages in length – and are handily broken into two bite size chunks if you’re pressed for time (or have a short attention span).
Secondly, this clarity is coupled with a punchy and engaging style. Keller is always winning and winsome. He uses lots of relevant illustrations and examples to help us engage with the point he is trying to make. Often nice guys shy away from confrontation, but Keller never backs down from identifying error and pointing out where people have departed from the truth (and in doing so mirrors the author of Galatians – the great apostle Paul). Part of Keller’s brilliance is to show why such teaching can seem attractive or powerful to us – while helping us to see and understand both the lies that undergird such teaching and the dangers for those who adhere to such errors.
Thirdly, each chapter ends with “questions for reflection”, pushing us further in both our understanding and application of what they have just read. Keller helps us to see that for Paul – the gospel is indeed dynamite – blowing apart hard hearts of stone. Hearts that have been hardened by years of rebellious sin or hearts that have been hardened by years of self-righteous religious observance. More than that, the gospel contains an explosive force for the ongoing life of the Christian each and every day – as the spirit of Christ works in the believer bringing the gospel and its implications to bear upon every facet of our lives.
This book is a must read for any who wants an experienced and wise guide through the book of Galatians. It’s the kind of book that would make a great partner to your personal bible study – read a chunk of Galatians and then read a chapter of Galatians for You. Such an investment of time and effort will undoubtedly yield rich rewards. Galatians really is for you