Book Review: Straight To The Heart Of Matthew by Phil Moore

Commentaries are supposed to be dry and boring. At least, that’s the impression that you’ll get if you ask the average Christian about commentaries. They’re for preachers and teachers, not for the average man on the street. Nobody would ever think of reading one.

That is, until you hand them one of the volumes of the Straight To The Heart series.

The first thing I noticed about this book is that it’s broken down into easily digestible parts. Matthew is broken into 60 pieces, each one around four pages. This makes it a really good book for personal devotions — it’s something that you can read every day that is going to give you something to chew on all day long.

Moore also sticks to the theme of the book throughout. Matthew’s Gospel is about the coming Kingdom, and that’s how the book is structured. We get the Prologue, which is The Coming of the Kingdom. The rest of the book is about different aspects of that Kingdom — lifestyle, mission, message, community, and judgment. Then the Epilogue, which is the Proclamation of the Kingdom. Each of the 60 bite-sized pieces contributes to the unified whole, giving the reader a daily bite of God’s Word while also giving a greater understanding of what Matthew’s purpose was, and what God has to teach us through this Gospel.

Moore teaches in this book, but it doesn’t sound like he’s teaching. You won’t learn Greek roots, there’s no discussion of whether Matthew or Mark was the first Gospel or whether Matthew was originally written in Greek or Aramaic. It’s also not a verse by verse study; instead, Moore takes the major themes of each section of the book and expounds on that. Everything that you learn is immediately applicable to daily life; the purpose is to teach how to function as a citizen of the Kingdom of God.

According to Amazon, there are 5 volumes in the series so far — Matthew, Genesis, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Acts, and Revelation. After reading Matthew, the other four have been placed on my wish list. This is a series that at the very least should be used for personal devotions; it’s also very suitable for a church Bible study. I highly recommend each book in this series, and look forward to more.

This review is part of a Blog Tour sponsored by the fine folks at Kregel Publications. Head over there for more information, or follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/KregelBooks. They sent me the book for free, on the condition that I posted an honest review. There was no expectation of a positive review; just an honest one.

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