Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies)
Douglas J. Moo
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Throughout the history of the church, the Book of Romans has received considerable attention. In the last thirty years especially, scholars have raised questions regarding just how Paul in general and Romans in particular should be read. In Encountering the Book of Romans, Douglas Moo guides students through the ancient letter against the backdrop of these contemporary debates. Moo begins his study with a clear, concise, and helpful survey of the two broad contemporary options for understanding Romans: the "Reformation approach" and the "new perspective approach," pointing out that how one approaches the book inevitably affects how one interprets it. He encourages students to decide which approach best fits with the actual teaching of the letter, and as a help in this process, often indicates how the two opposing views would interpret key texts. Moo goes on to address other introductory matters that are necessary for understanding Romans-the first-century context, the situation in Paul's life as well as the situation in the lives of his readers. Other items discussed include the theme (the gospel of Jesus Christ), purpose (to help Roman Christians understand their place in the flow of salvation history), and structure of Romans. After laying the groundwork for reading Romans, Moo leads readers through the weighty argument of this significant book, highlighting key themes and clarifying difficult passages. Throughout, he also helps students to see the continuing relevance of Romans. He concludes, "The deep theology and practical advice found in Romans have as their ultimate purpose the glory of God. It is when readers of Romans seek to understand that theology and to live out its consequences that God is glorified." As with other volumes in the Encountering series, Encountering the Book of Romans is designed for classroom use and includes a number of helpful features, including a bibliography, key terms, chapter objectives, chapter outlines, sidebars, and illustrations.