Matthew 6:9-13 contain a string of words weaved together so masterfully that their profundity overwhelms the mind and soul. Despite the depths of that passage, often referred to as the Lord’s Prayer, our frequent use of it has diminished our reliance upon it. Mining deep within the intentions of the text, W. Phillip Keller has written A Layman Looks at the Lord’s Prayer.
Dissecting the passage phrase by phrase, he has put together 12 chapters that span about 160 pages in order to share the significance of the passage for his own life as an ordinary man and a child of God. Keller’s style has always been simplistic, but meaningful. He writes in such a way that it is easy to follow his thoughtful conclusions from point to point. Readers will especially appreciate the author’s masterful ability to create detailed implications through his storytelling.
After being greatly influenced by the author’s exposition of Psalm 23 in his previous book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, I looked forward to seeing what we he could bring forth here. There is no doubt about W. Phillip Keller’s desire to magnify God and thereby see believers dwell more deeply and richly with their father. Particularly in this most recent book, one will find themselves fixated upon a view of God through Christ and the significance of salvation through Him. With each phrase the author is certain
It is unfortunate though, that at the outset of the book, Keller includes in his purpose a desire to share what this means to me. That statement seem to play a greater role in some of his interpretations of the text than the simple meaning of the text itself. While his conclusions and teachings are not necessarily unbiblical, his derivation of them from these particular texts does not follow suite with the clear meaning. Perhaps the most striking of these is his application that the kingdom of God “is an inner condition of mind, will and spirit in which God’s will becomes my will” (pg. 70).
I have enjoyed Keller’s books immensely. So impacting is A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 that I actually keep a stack of them on hand at all times to give away to people during difficult times. So perhaps my expectations of this book were a little too high. I appreciate the way in which the book causes me to dwell more deeply on God and the things of God, and in this others will find great value in this as well. I wish that his interpretations, or perhaps the applications, would have followed a bit closer to the text at times. The book is not one to be shunned completely though and its value should be appreciated by readers.
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost to me. However, the review was not influenced in any way, but is the result of my own reading of the book.