Monday, March 03, 2008

The Gospel of Ruth Carolyn Custis James

On my second preaching tour of Ruth I thought I would get a few new commentaries to spark my thinking. Bought David Jackman in the Preacher's Commentary series, Lawson Younger in the NIV Application Commentary series and Ian Duigid in the Reformed Expository Commentary series. All quite useful and have helped in putting together an entirely new series of sermons. But one surpasses them all, namely, "The Gospel According to Ruth" by Carolyn Custis James. Tremper Longman III's note on the cover assured me I had bought at least reasonably wisely. He writes, "a compelling and rivitting read." And that is exactly what it is. The author relies heavily on Hubbard's useful and detailed commentary but then writes in the most spell bounding manner. I honestly couldn't put it down. It is just over 200 pages in length, so it is not a doorstoper in size but in application and in giving new insights it is unsurpassable. I wish I had come across this before I preached on Ruth the last time - but since it has only appeared this year from Zondervan and I last preached on Ruth over five years ago I am excused. Having said that, in light of things I have gleaned from this book I think I will have to apologise to Naomi when I meet here. She was not the backslidder I previously labelled her as. I see her now through new eyes as a woman of faith, a female Job with much to teach us even in her shakier moments. Every man intending to preach through Ruth needs to read this. If you have a wife give it to her when you have finished. Carolyn Custis James is an expert in getting to the heart of the gospel from this fascinating OT narrative. All you young fellas who read this blog should get this and read it thoroughly. If you are not married and praying that the Lord will give you a spouse then you need to know how to recognise a stunner like Ruth.

I'm off now to order on line Carolyn Custis James two other books "The women we thought we knew" and "When Life and Beliefs Collide." I will turn the pages carefully and then be able to give them to my Ruth life wife as a gift. Don't tell her!

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