“Helpful, But Much Too Long”
In this guide to 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Ligon Duncan draws out different ideas and applications to help people better understand these books of the Bible and how they apply to our lives. Duncan moves through these books from beginning to end, and he draws on other Scriptures to provide context for different topics and issues that come up. He also shares some anecdotes from his life and pastoral ministry to illustrate different concepts and share encouragement.
Duncan's concern and care for other believers comes through clearly in this book, and he shares many helpful thoughts about the theological and Christian living topics that Paul addressed in 1 and 2 Thessalonians. However, while those epistles take up only eight pages in my smallest Bible, this commentary is 208 full-sized pages long. It is far longer than necessary, to the point where many of Duncan's reflections feel like word-padding to make the book longer. His insights can be valuable and helpful, but he often takes deep dives into concepts that seem obvious, and he explores lots of ideas and application points that are really just side notes to an exegesis of the passage.
"1 & 2 Thessalonians For You" can be a helpful study resource for pastors and Bible study leaders, and it's appropriate for both individual reading and discussion groups. However, because of this book's length compared to the fairly short Bible books it's based on, I would recommend it much less than other volumes in the series. This book feels overly long and dragged out, and because the author spends so much time making fairly basic points, this book seems most appropriate for a new believer who is learning more about their faith.
Note: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.