January 20th, 2010
Sproul, R.C. St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary-Romans: The Righteous Shall Live by Faith. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009. 520 pp. $34.99. Purchase at Westminster Books.
o many, R.C. Sproul needs no introduction. For those that have never heard of Dr. Sproul, allow me to introduce you to him. Dr. Sproul hosts the radio program Renewing Your Mind which is part of a larger ministry dedicated to equipping the saints in their faith. This larger ministry, Ligonier Ministries is dedicated to “faithfully present the unvarnished truth of Scripture and help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness.” Dr. Sproul has written numerous books to this end.
The St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary series is not a traditional commentary as some may think. This series is a collection of Dr. Sproul’s sermons each Sunday as he preached verse-by-verse through a particular book of the Bible from start to finish. Romans, the first volume to be published in the series, consists of 58 weekly sermons preached by Dr. Sproul.
Given the nature of this series, it is difficult to pick up in the middle of the book and select a chapter at random without first having read the previous messages. What is more, the reading of these sermons helps to “see” the thinking of Dr. Sproul as he exposits the Bible. Many will disagree with his understandings and comments in Romans (see esp. chapters 24, 25, 33, & 34) though they cannot argue that Sproul “makes this up as he goes.” However, once read from cover to cover, you will have a deeper understanding of what Paul wrote to the Romans.
Having a compilation of Dr. Sproul’s sermons on a particular book of the Bible is a wonderful addition to any Christian’s library. I would recommend Romans to any Christian. Even more, I would recommend this book to any young preacher seeking to understand the art and craft of a sermon. To be able to read a series from start to finish and see how Dr. Sproul planned each sermon with those of the past and the future in mind is a priceless by-product to this series.
Those who are not going into the preaching or pastoral ministry will also gain much from this series. To be able to “sit at the feet” of a faithful expositor such as R.C. Sproul and learn about God’s Word is a wonderful treat. While not nearly as massive a collection as Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ series on Romans, I personally believe that many will benefit from the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary series just as many have from Lloyd-Jones’ sermons.