Book Review: Charts on the Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul
Author: Lars Kierspel
Publisher: Kregel Academic ISBN: 9780825429361
This is the first experience I have had with one of Kregel Academic’s Charts books. My cursory description, in a word is phenomenal. Perhaps there are other academic resources that are more comprehensive and/or exhaustive, or at the least, equally comprehensive…but I am unaware of them. This is an indispensable resource when studying the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul or any of his epistles.
There are one hundred eleven charts in the collection arranged in four primary categories: Paul’s Background and Context (9 charts), Paul’s Life and Ministry (25 charts), Paul’s Letters (43 charts), and Paul’s Theological Concepts (34 charts). Kierspel also includes a commentary section, which provides a summary of the information in each chart. I found this commentary very helpful, and in some cases, almost as helpful as the chart itself. The final section of the book is very thorough (thirty pages) bibliography.
As I mentioned earlier, this is my first experience with information of this nature arranged in charts, but it will not be my last. While I have worked with other academic resources and used computer software for study, I found this arrangement of information one of the most intuitive and easy to work with of any method I’ve used to date. This Kregel Chart Book will not be the last I use.
I could share a little more detail about the nature of the charts, but a link on the Amazon.com site provides a look inside the book itself, which will speak much more than what I could here. This will allow you to see for yourself the beautiful functionality of the chart system. I think one of the highlights of this study tool is the objectivity of the presentation. It seems to me that the collection of information is simply “just the facts.” There does not appear to be any bias coloring the presentation of data at all. The great consolation about this detail is that I can enter my studies with a more relaxed attitude, knowing that I do not have to be on my guard filtering opinions or denominational perspective from my research. This alone is a priceless feature in my view.
I am beyond impressed with the book and a little disappointed this is my first exposure to the Kregel Charts Series. I do not know if every book in the genre is as good as this one, but I will be finding out and posting future reviews. If you have never seen or worked with one of these magnificent resources, don’t wait any longer… you won’t regret the investment.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”