Ian S McNaughton
Day One Publications
Star Rating: 4
John 17 is one of the key chapters of Scripture. We learn what Jesus desired, what he prayed for, and therefore what he receives, for us, his church.
Ian McNaughton’s commentary is a verse-by-verse, usually phrase-by-phrase, exposition of this chapter. He writes in a style in which each sentence carries weight. We have here a book than cannot profitably be skim-read. It needs careful study.
This is not a criticism. Rather, this is a book which makes one think for oneself. It stretches the mind, without failing to warm the soul.
John 17, carefully studied, brings many great theological topics to our attention. The strength of the book is that the author deals which each of these thoroughly as they occur, with other Scriptures brought in and expounded in depth, if necessary.
So, for example, under ‘The work you have given me to do’ there is a discussion of the incarnation, which includes five pages of exposition of Philippians 2:5-9.
In this way, the author covers much ground, including the Trinity, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and heavenly session of Christ, election, covenant of redemption, effectual calling and adoption. There is also interaction with Islam and the claims that Mohammed, not Jesus, reveals God’s will as the Prophet.
The vocabulary makes no concessions to the ill educated. In the first few pages, for example, we have unexplained occurrences of ‘Synoptic’, ‘oblation’, ‘impeccability’ and ‘antinomianism’ — the last two of which are later helpfully defined.
It is a book for preachers and practised readers with some theological knowledge, or at least the desire to acquire it. It is not the first book to give to a Christian who reads little or wishes only to be spoon-fed.
No pastor, who plans to preach on this passage, should fail to study this book carefully before he begins. He may find he will need more weeks than he thought to cover the ground properly!