The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2019
Advent / Christmas Calendar
Walsh and Keesmaat have a skillful way of engaging scholarship and transforming it into accessible prose that makes it appealing to a wide range of Christian audiences. For those who choose to follow along with the scholarship, it is worth doing a careful reading of the footnotes and participating in the conversation that way. The book is unique in that it utilizes a variety of genres, from didactic, to poetry, to the genre of targum—a way of rephrasing the biblical text in modern day idioms and concerns based on our context. Throughout the book, they have made the subject conversational by creating a fictional dialogue partner in the text that interjects with questions throughout, all based on real questions Keesmaat and Walsh have encountered over the last 15 years as they lectured and presented this material.
Ultimately, this book seems incredibly timely in our current political and sociological climate. Whether it is xenophobic nationalism or the urgency of climate change, Keesmaat and Walsh show us how scripture like the book of Romans can speak poignantly both to the original audience and to us; in so doing, they model a lens through which to read all of Scripture so we can commit to living ethically as disciples of Jesus today.
- from our review by Jasmine Smart
in our Eastertide 2019 magazine issue