Zerach Patterson

Holland takes us into the heart of Paul’s writings’! “‘What is the heart?” you might ask’. ‘In a world divided by what authors of the Scriptures meant in certain passages,’ ‘it is imperative we find the driving force behind the writer’s words’! ‘Other than the Jesus, perhaps more, Paul is the most quoted teacher in Christianity to this day. Yet where did Paul receive his theology? Holland shows us Paul stays true to the core message in the Old Testament.’ ‘Paul’s message was derived from the long history of prophets,’ ‘leaders and teachers.’ ‘For instance the Apostle brings up the justification of David and of Abraham.’ ‘Holland takes us back into the setting in which these two men received their justification.’ ‘David’s being the forgiveness of his personal sins and Abraham’s having a corporate dimension. The church today has a personal understanding of justification. It is important we find personal justification, but it is of more importance that we focus on corporate justification. A justification that the Apostle Paul and Tom Holland point eagerly to.

Thanks to Holland I am beginning to understand Paul’s great desire to see the church live in unity. Discovering what lengths the Apostle went to urge these first Christians to solidarity, and peace, and love for their new found brothers and sisters has brought more clarity to my understanding of Paul’s writings. The Jews who were part the early church found themselves having meals and conversations with people they were prohibited from having contact with earlier. These people “the Gentiles” are now equal according to Paul and other first followers of the resurrected Christ. I now understand Romans is an insistence of this solidarity between these two and other groups.

What is so brilliant about Holland’s work is it seems he has no desire to insert his opinion on certain subjects? This is hard to grasp in our highly individualistic western culture. It seems Holland lines his beliefs to which he thinks Paul and other authors of the scriptures taught. Thanks to his adhering to scholarly integrity I can recommend “Romans: the Divine Marriage” to leaders and teachers searching for solidarity in their own churches. Due to his uncanny ability to relate to the layman I recommend it to all. Holland combines scholarship with heart!

Zerach Patterson

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