At the heart of Christianity and at the center of the New Testament lies the epistle to the Romans, the most groundbreaking letter ever written. The author is Paul, an early convert from Judaism and the greatest early figure in the development and spread of Christianity. Romans contains his most cogent and compelling presentation of Christian faith and practice. The author takes logic and argument, poetry and imagination, scripture and prayer, history and experience, and weaves them into a letter that has become the premier document of Christian theology. The importance of Romans for Christian tradition is incalculable. Each generation of believers has found inspiration, relevance, and transforming power in this letter. To read Romans is to confront one's faith at its source.
In Romans, Paul deals with problems as contemporary as today's headlines: divisions and sectarianism in society; fixation with violence; discrimination, prejudice, and inequality; social injustice; the destiny of the Jewish people; the role of the individual in the total sweep of history; the responsibilities of citizens to their government; and the morality of actions in which adults engage, sexual and otherwise.
Grace is pervasive in Romans, present in every theme. As expected, it is evident in Christ's life and death, in God's righteousness (God's faithfulness and righteous justice), in justification, predestination, election, and saving faith; but grace is also present in Mosaic law and perhaps most surprisingly, in God's judgment and wrath. If grace can be said to underlie the Christian gospel and to embody the biblical portrayal of God's identity and activity, what does the word “grace” mean, and what is its transformative power? The answers are explored in Grace Revealed.