Romans: A Study Course in the Gospel

This is a 23-session in-depth study of the Book of Romans, written by Tim Keller, teaching minister of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and its “city to city” satellites in major metropolitan centers around the world.

The Message of Romans is a content-rich examination of the apostle Paul’s powerful exposition of the Gospel. Martin Luther cited Romans as the book that triggered his conversion from institutional Christianity to personal faith. John Calvin called it “an open door to all the most profound treasures of Scripture.” Tim Keller has found in Romans an essential tool for engaging New York intellectuals who seek the Truth amidst a mélange of cultural competitors.

Keller’s commentary will best be employed by classes that have experienced an introductory course in Romans, are generally familiar with its content, and are ready to dig deeper into Paul’s insights. In each lesson, Keller provides “launching” questions designed to guide the group’s discussion.

Keller poses three kinds of launching questions: Observation questions (what does the text say?), Interpretation questions (what does it mean?), and Application questions (what does it mean to us – how would we live differently if we were to take this seriously?).

Keller’s questions are narrowly focused, designed to keep participants on task with the text rather than to allow diversions into unrelated personal experience and speculation. This is a study for those who wish seriously to grapple with Scripture and avoid prolonged flights into participant opinions.

At key points along the way, Keller injects a “summary question.” This is especially helpful for students of Paul’s writings, for the apostle often runs multiple truths through labyrinthine paragraphs that may be difficult for the casual reader to pursue. After chipping gold nuggets from these various and sundry veins, the group is led to refocus on the main message by Keller’s summary queries.

The Leaders’ Guide is rich with Keller’s commentary, quotations from the Reformed Confessions and a host of biblical scholars.

This course is definitely not “Romans for Dummies.” Neither is it impossibly erudite. Rather, it is designed for thoughtful Christians who are familiar with the basics and wish to dig more deeply into the person and work of Jesus Christ.

The Message of Romans may be obtained by accessing The Redeemer Presbyterian Church web site, choosing “store,” then “studies and training,” then “small group materials.” For a fee of $10, one may download and print one copy of the Participants’ Guide and Leaders’ Guide. Special pricing is available for multiple copies.