Skip to main content

Comfort from Romans




Comforts from Romans: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

This new devotional called Comforts from Romans by Elyse Fitzpatrick is a hard-hitting, edifying and challenging book on the first eight chapters of Paul’s letter to the Romans.  Many readers will know Elyse’s work from her devotional entitled Comforts from the Cross which were meditation on the good news of Jesus Christ.  The book itself is broken up into 32 daily readings starting with Romans 1:1 and ending with Romans 8:38-39.  One of the most important insights in the book is that the gospel is not good news temporarily for those who come in contact with it, but it is good news at every stage of faith development in the Christian life.  Elyse writes, “Oh, my friends, do you think about this good news every day?  Won’t you let it inform, enflame, embolden, and cheer you?” (21).  The gospel written about by the apostle Paul is a liberating message which brings about a new relationship in context of a new obedience.

One of my favorite chapters was the one entitled Remember Who You Are.  Mrs. Fitzpatrick links the good news of our identity in Christ and death to sin with sacraments. She writes, “The Lord Jesus is well acquainted with our propensity to forget unless we actually have something we can regularly see, taste, feel, smell, and touch” (106).  The sensory reminder of the elements of the Supper is a physical reminder of the giving of his life for our sins, of the way of the cross for the redemption of many.  Real strength and real grace are communicated through the partaking of the sacraments.  Furthermore, the sacraments call us back in reminding us of our true identity, in Christ.  Elyse makes it clear that our identity is not found in our past sin and failures but in the one who bore those sins upon his body, Jesus Christ.  This assurance of grace gives us motivation that nothing we can do will remove us from God’s love for us in Christ.

This book is different from other devotionals in that it seeks to draw forth many of the doctrinal themes from the book of Romans into a panoply of meaning in order to help us understand the good news.  If you desire to soak up the riches of God’s grace through understanding sin, death, sacrifice and redemption this will be a balm to your weary soul.  I was certainly encouraged by this book.

I did have a few criticisms of the book.  One, there could have been more interaction in the book with the story of Israel as it relates to Paul’s writing.  The question of Jew and Gentile and the way Christ fulfills not only the law but the hopes of Israel is an important matter. Secondly, some sections, even the one on reconciliation offered individual comfort for the believer.  Yet, there was not a sufficient balance of how these key teachings work themselves out in the culture, world, and the church as a whole, not just on an individual basis. 

Overall, I think this book is a good example of discerning the riches of the gospel in the book of Romans.  We get a glimpse at the end of the book at Elyse’s own spiritual journey which adds a personal touch to the devotional.

Thanks to Crossway for the review copy in exchange for review. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Growing up with the NIV, the NKJV was not a bible I was familiar with.  This new NKJV Study Bible takes all of the features of the Thomas Nelson Study Bible and makes them better.  Right out of the box I noticed that the Bible was considerably lighter than most study bibles I have read.  Further, the text font was much larger than most study editions, although I’m not quite sure of the size. The aquamarine color was a great touch and the Bible was finely put together, enduring the wear of many coming years of use.
Why is this Bible worth the purchase?  First, the study notes were great for extra handling of particular confusing and messy areas of Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments.  Yet, the study notes aren’t an obstruction to the reading of the biblical text.  Clearly, the editors have taken great care in making the text stand out and the notes illuminate certain themes and areas of Scripture.  Second, the NKJV takes into account all t…