Originally, I wasn’t too sure I wanted to undertake a blog tour review of a book that falls under the “reference” section of my pastoral library but I decided to do it anyway. I will say this much Charles R. Swindoll has done a wonderful job of integrating biblical scholarship with an approachability and engagement that often can be hard to find in the genre.
What I really likes is the way the book is structured it allows you to engage with scholarship while at times feeling like it is in conversation with Swindoll himself. Throughout the book he has placed some entries called “From My Journal” and they do a wonderful job of getting “real life” insights while finding connection with the scholarship. There are also sections within the text called “application” which try to bring the text into an application for one’s daily life.
Probably my favorite part of the book is the integration of wonderful imagery and diagrams. For those of who may not engage as much with just words, this is a great addition because it helps connect the text with images and concepts. This leads to another form of engagement with the text which is great and can expand this book to be valuable to anyone who seeks to look deeper into scripture.
Overall, this is a good book to engage in deeper insight and reflection on the Gospel of John and a chance to hear a particular voice with insights that can be beneficial to others within the Body of Christ. However, if one is seeking deeper scholarship that really parses and focuses just on the text primarily and application/insights lightly and secondarily you might want to look for something different. I would not use this as my sole “commentary” Scripture research if I were using this for research/preparation for sermons, etc.