Christian fiction vs. the Book of Romans

I should have known.  Still–the fact caused me to wobble.  I visited a church library this week and found scores of books that fall under the category of “Christian fiction,” but not a single commentary on the book of Romans.

Not a single one.

I’ve often described the books of the Bible as the Himalayas of sacred literature and the book of Romans as Mt. Everest.

Have you spent much time in the book of Romans?  If not, begin doing so–today!  Romans is the theological textbook of the Bible.  Every Christian should be quite familiar with its contents.  Paul’s argument is legendary.  Passages and verses jump off the page with their assertions and exhortations.  So many questions are answered.  New questions are posed and answered.  Simply put–no book of the Bible accomplishes what Romans does! 

I like fiction.  I’ve read quite a bit–from the classics to popular, modern authors.  I’m a sucker for a good story.  To that end, I was excited to visit a genuine used bookstore here in Dayton yesterday.  However, no literature excites me like the Bible!  Last night while Jodi was serving in AWANA and my two eldest children were involved in the program, I was watching my youngest two.  While they enjoyed a video, I continued my study of Romans 9.  What an amazing chapter!  God’s sovereignty and grace are broadcast without reservation!  No doubt, it is a passage which exalts God and humbles man.  Karen Kingsbury and Janette Oke don’t “hold a candle” to the Word of God (they would wholeheartedly agree)! 

Enjoy your fiction.  Seriously.  I bought three novels today at the bookstore.  I’ll read them.  But I’ll continue to meditate upon the text of the Bible, especially the book of Romans.

Won’t you join me?!

I found the following on a blog (the link is given below):

There is no book of the Bible which has been so instrumental in changing lives and in impacting the church as Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Most, if not all, of the great revivals and reformation in the history of the church have been directly related to the Book of Romans. I don’t often list a great deal of historical quotes and facts here. But as a pastor, my calling and my life’s goal is to see the Word of God change people’s lives. More than any other Biblical passage, Romans does that! Read on:

In 386 A.D., Aurelius Augustine received Jesus Christ as his Savior after reading a passage from the Book of Romans. He went on to become one of the church’s most outstanding leaders and theologians.

A thousand years later, Martin Luther wrote, “Night and day I pondered Romans until I grasped the truth. I felt myself to be reborn. This passage of Paul became to me a gateway to heaven.”

Several centuries later (May 24, 1738 to be precise), a minister named John Wesley wrote this about his study in the Book of Romans: “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for my salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins….”

In assessing the importance of the Book of Romans, John Calvin said, “When one gains a knowledge of this Epistle, he has an entrance opened to him to all the most hidden treasures of Scripture.”

The famous sixteenth-century Bible translator William Tyndale wrote of Romans: “It is the principle and most excellent part of the New Testament… No man can read it too oft, or study it too well; for the more it is studied, the easier it is; the more it is chewed, the pleasanter it is. . . the more it is searched, the preciouser things are found….”


One response

  1. I can also confirm my absolute shock when I was going to do some volunteer work in the Church Library in the Mission area of the collection. I had a conversation with the new Church Library Coordinator and she mentioned that people at Church enjoyed recreation reading, and some of that reading if not all, was Christian Fiction. I had worked in Academic Theological Libraries and so I read quite widely in terms of Christian biographies, missions, Church History and other bookssome that were considered Christian Classics.

    Thank you for your comments on the book of Romans. I read only yesterday about the impact on Luther, Augustine, Wesley, and also the Reformation and Revivals.

    I did my research after the sermon on a few verses in Romans 10 :1 -15. I can hardly call it a sermon! I am not being critical I am being a Berean Christian, who the Apostle Paul complimented because they went home to check if what Paul taught was indeed the Word of God!

    I am now going to study Romans and maybe you can pray for me to grasp as Luther grasped the truths discovered and understood in Romans. I want to be a victorious and effective Christian.

    Warmly and Shalom!

    Flora M. Forbes

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