The Drama of Ephesians (IVP, 2010) is an intriguing book that author Timothy Gombis suggests, “Most books (on Ephesians) are either popular treatments or inaccessible scholarly works. My hope is that this book fills that gap between commentary and popular exposition” (Interview with the author from IVP).
I would suggest that he hit the target, as the book is not too scholarly and is not a run-of-the-mill Christian self-help book based on a New Testament letter.
The book contains 7 chapters that focus on the book as whole. His main thesis is that Paul wrote the letter with the drama of spiritual warfare all around him. Ephesians 6 (the spiritual warfare chapter) is not a note at the end but the climax of the letter that informs the whole. Although I am not yet willing to agree with him on the definition of the powers of this world, I appreciate his analysis and practical understandings of how we are influenced by evil forces today.
The book is well written and extremely applicable to North American culture. Gombis does an excellent job at using major and minor themes in Ephesians to engage with extremely tough and touchy modern subjects such as materialism, U.S. political parties, and issues of justice.
If one is solely looking for a commentary on Ephesians that will give a verse by verse analysis then this book is not for you. However, if you want to read an engaging book on the background of Ephesians and how the letter as a whole applies to people today then pick it up and enjoy the read. You will be challenged – in a good way.
Thanks for the book review. Sounds like something I would enjoy reading. I have to finish Richard Foster’s Freedom of Simplicity first. I liked your comments on its relativity to the North American Culture. I wonder how it would blend with Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.