The other day I learned of Stephen E. Fowl’s recent contribution to the New Testament Library Commentary set, Ephesians: A Commentary. I tweeted about it and asked if any one knew much about it since it was so new and I hadn’t seen any reviews. Chris Tilling said to be sure to get it as Stephen is the real deal. A little while later that day, a friend blessed me with a copy (Thank You!) and I can already tell it is going to be good and one you are going want to get your hands on!! Dr. Fowl is a leading scholar on the theological interpretation of Scripture and he incorporates that into this work on Ephesians! Michael J. Gorman calls it a “truly theological commentary.”
Well, for me at least, how do I know it is going to be good? 🙂 Feast upon this short snippet summarizing Ephesians chapter 1:
Following the opening greeting, Paul offers a blessing to the “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” On the one hand, this directs praise to God and invites the Ephesians to likewise praise God. Moreover, this blessing also allows Paul to narrate God’s drama of salvation, a drama that was initiated before the foundation of the world and that reaches its climax as everything is brought to its proper end in Christ. This drama is cosmic in its scope and consequences. In addition, God has graciously incorporated the Ephesians into this drama. Indeed, the presence of the Spirit in the Ephesians’ midst confirms their incorporation into God’s drama of salvation (1:3–14).
This leads Paul to offer a prayer on the Ephesians’ behalf. The hope of this prayer is that the Ephesians will come to understand the significance of God’s drama of salvation and Christ’s particular place in this drama (1:15–23).
I love it! Paul is narrating the great drama of God’s redeeming work in Christ to redeem all creation and especially to include us in that process! A story that reaches back to the very beginnings of time and space! A story that each one of us, who is “in Christ,” has a part in (he later talks about how Eph 2 tells more of our incorporation in to the great drama of God in Christ!) A story that each one of us lives out in the different contexts of our own lives and situations and circumstances!
Yeah, this is gonna be a good one! 🙂