Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
SBTJ 18:4 (Winter 2014) p. 149
Galatians. Concordia Commentary. By A. Andrew Das. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2014, lxix, 738 pp., $54.99 hardback.
A. Andrew Das serves as the Donald W. and Betty J. Buik Chair of Religious Studies at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL. His fresh and substantial contribution to the Concordia Commentary series represents some of the best of contemporary, conservative Lutheran scholarship. Like other volumes in the series, Das’s commentary engages current scholarly discussion concerning Galatians, Paul, and his theology, with respect, reflection, and genuine interaction. The aim of the series is to enable and equip pastors and teachers of the Scriptures to proclaim the Gospel with greater clarity and accuracy. For those with ears to hear: that means not only Lutheran pastors and teachers, but any and all who regard the Gospel as central to Christian preaching and teaching. Here is a contribution from Lutherans and for Lutherans that serves the larger body of Christ. True, Das’s commentary might “infect” readers with elements of Lutheran thought. But from my perspective, that is all to the good.
The “Editor’s Preface” (x-xiii) clarifies the guidelines and presuppositions of the series: 1) Jesus Christ in his saving work is the ultimate message and content of Scripture. The commentaries are thus to be Trinitarian and Christ-centered. 2) The Scriptural witness to Christ takes the form of Law and Gospel, demand and gift. This form is not limited to particular language, but appears within a variety of ways within Scripture. The commentaries are in this sense to be Evangelical. 3) The Scriptures are God’s vehicle for communicating the Gospel. Together with Evangelicals (in the broader sense of the term), the authors of the commentaries maintain a high view of Scripture. 4) The Scriptures have as their target and purpose the creation and sustenance of the church instead of the scholar’s desk. The pulpit and the pew are the decisive context for the interpretation of Scripture. As the series itself attests, the pulpit and the pew do not do away with the need for the scholar’s desk! They, however, provide the scholar with his proper context. Das’s Galatians more than fulfills these admirable aims without
SBTJ 18:4 (Winter 2014) p. 150
exhibiting stuffiness or taking hide-bound positions. At least, I can’t find them. Indeed, Das at points takes pains to distance himself from traditional Lutheran readings. R. H. C. Lenski often becomes his sparring partner. As is to be expected (and welcomed), Das cites Luther regularly, but not slavishly, and to good effect.
Before all else, Das is an exegete. His work certainly belongs in this scholarly series. He already ...
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