“The Word became flesh—and then through theologians it became words again.” ~Karl Barth
This quote sums up what many feel when they hear the word theologian. They have this idea that it is about men debating, arguing, dare I say fighting, over various doctrinal beliefs. Through it all one thing seems to emerge: Christianity is about being the right theological camp.
Get in the right camp and you are all set.
Commentaries, studies, lectures, and sermons all drive home this idea that the right camp is what is needed to be a good Christian. I agree that there needs to be some foundational understanding of Scripture, but sometimes the doctrinal issues take control over what really is the heart of Christianity: Christ.
Dr. Sproul in his commentary on John has reversed what Karl Barth said. This commentary is revealing who Jesus Christ is. It is not trying to prove a theological bent, though the reformed view is emphasized. Rather it seeks to show Christ for who He is: God incarnate.
Dr. Sproul does a masterful job of taking the book of John, showing who Christ is (John’s intent in his Gospel), and then bring the reader to a point of decision: who is Christ to me?
Over and over the commentary reveals various aspects of Christ’s ministry and then presents the reader with a thought.
For example, near the end of the commentary, Dr. Sproul focuses on John 21:15-25. In verse 25 Peter asks about John. Paraphrasing Jesus tells Peter that it is not Peter’s concern what happens to John; just follow Me (Christ). Sproul then writes
The Lord has jobs for each of us to do, and what others do is ultimately
none of our business. Each of us must do what God has given him or her to
do, and fulfill the mandate of Christ. (pg 408)
What a great challenge! I am not responsible for others; I am responsible to God. That is what is so great about this commentary. It is a commentary with a devotional mindset. For that reason, it is a commentary worth having.