When I think of charts, I think of large maps on the wall or some graph on an easel in a political campaign. No longer. Lars Kierspel in his book Charts on the Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul has transformed the word for me.
His “charts” combine bullet point precision of a USA Today article with the theological depth of a systematic theologian’s multi-volume work. I expected maybe 40 “charts” to consider when I had signed up to review the book. There are 111 organized in 4 categories:
Paul’s background and contest (great way for an overview of New Testament life, not just Pauline life).
Paul’s life and ministry including chronology, cities he visited, major cities in Paul’s day, and even a look at why the book of Acts ends when it does.
Paul’s letters, a great snapshot of each letter, or in other words an outstanding reference guide when one teaches through the letters of Paul.
Last but definitely not least, Paul’s theological concepts bringing together not only Paul’s concepts but comparing different translations even though the primary translation used in the book is the New American Standard Version.
In the opening preface Lars writes, “My best hope is that these charts not only inform but also inspire the reader to analysis and discovery pages of the book.”
Yes it will! Yes it does! I give Charts on the Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul by Lars Kierspel 5 out of 5 stars. What a great reference tool for pastors and teachers and especially those who want to engage a bit deeper in Paul, his ministry and his letters. I love the 1-3 page charts that provide both a succinct and all-encompassing overview. These charts provide a great starting point for engaging Paul’s letters and Paul’s life.
My thanks to Kregel publishing for a free copy to review. What a great addition to digging deeper into God’s Word. Check out an excerpt here. Scroll down to see the list in the table of contents and the great examples given including why Luke ends Acts the way he does.