I was interviewed over at Amateur Theologians about Romans in light of my forthcoming commentary.
How has the theology of Romans shaped your scholarship and personal life?
In many ways! Just yesterday I finished teaching a course on Romans and it was a wonderful pleasure to spend the final hour just getting the students to summarize Romans brick by brick in Paul’s argument. I try get my students to not only memorize several parts of Romans (1:3-4, 16-17; 3:21-26; 6:23; 8:1-2; 12:1-2; 14:19; 15:7), but to carry a mental map of Romans with them wherever they go. That is because Romans is not a systematic theology, but it is freighted with big picture theology, about God’s plan in Christ to call a people to himself through Israel from among the nations (see Rom 15:7-13). Romans is not a road to salvation as much as it is Paul’s attempt to show how God has planned to create a Christ-shaped family from among Jews and Gentiles. Paul believes that God has planted a network of five or so house churches acclaiming Jesus as Lord, right under the nose of the Roman emperor, a shining light in a pagan city, heralding the good news that Jesus is Lord and he is the one who will rule of the nations (see Rom 15.12). I love it because of its themes of gospel, baptism and ethics, law and grace, assurance and hope, how to relate to unbelieving Israel, how to be the church in a pagan world, and how to be a missional community.