Hodder Faith
ISBN 978 1 399 80642 1
267 Pages

I remember as a teenager using my lunch breaks to read and reread Paul’s letter to the Romans. Andrew Ollerton captures the compelling narrative substructure of Romans as he guides the reader steadily through this letter.

In some ways there is nothing new here, but how familiar ingredients are woven together into such a readable guide is quite an achievement.

The author imagines reading Romans as like the adventure of climbing a mountain. The climb is taken at a steady pace so that the 16 chapters of Romans are explored briskly. This is not a verse-by-verse commentary but rather one that takes large chunks of the letter in one go. This does not make this book superficial, but it does make it a book that people are less likely to leave on the shelf, and more likely to read.

When the author pauses to illuminate a text, as he does with same sex attraction, divine sovereignty, the place of Israel in God’s purposes, or the relationship Christians have to the secular state, they are some fresh insights succinctly expressed.

I finished reading this book grateful for lively guide to the mountain range that is the letter to the Romans. If the letter is unfamiliar to or you need a refresher course; look no further.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia