Taking the book of Romans as the departure point for an exposition of Bible doctrines, Barnhouse’s phrase by phrase commentary examines the epistle in its immediate context as well as in the larger context of Scripture. Scripture is thus interpreted by Scripture, bringing all the correlated truths of the Bible to bear on each line and word of Paul’s epistle. Or as Barnhouse expresses it, “The method employed is to take the epistle, phrase by phrase, and to invert the whole of the Bible, like a pyramid resting on its point, with the full weight of all the truth on each succeeding text, phrase, and even word.”
Romans (full title: Expositions of Bible Doctrines Taking the Epistles to the Romans as a Point of Departure) is based on the author’s renowned series of radio broadcasts, themselves preceded by approximately 140 Sunday sermons on the epistle. Demonstrating the author’s acute understanding of Romans and heart for effective preaching, these studies deftly and reverently expound even the most difficult passage in a clear way. Barnhouse’s concern for a universal appreciation of the epistle fuels his commentary and invites all readers into a deeper understanding of the life-changing message of Romans.
[Romans] excels in three particulars. Its exegetical insight is characterized by accuracy, even brilliancy. The author is obviously well acquainted with the original text. In the second place its illustrations are apt and telling… In the third place, the appropriate application is made following each message. [The commentary]… is commended highly as a valuable addition to the expository literature on the great Epistle to the Romans.
—S. L. Johnson, Jr., Bibliotheca Sacra
Barnhouse has the gift to be able to present deep doctrinal truths in popular form without the loss of incisiveness. Conveyed in trenchant thought, clothed in poignant language, and clarified by apt illustration, the truth of the Scripture will be understood and remembered. [Romans]… is highly commended to students of the Word.
—J. Dwight Pentecost, Bibliotheca Sacra
Excerpted from Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Biographical Entries).
Barnhouse, Donald Grey (1895-1960). Probably the best known and most widely followed American Bible teacher during the early middle decades of this century. Born in Watsonville, California, he gained his training in a broad variety of institutions including Biola, Princeton Seminary, Eastern Seminary, and the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1927 Barnhouse accepted the pulpit of Tenth Presbyterian Church in downtown Philadelphia, and it was from this church, where he continued the rest of his life, that he built his national and international empire. As early as 1928 and continuing through most of his career he spoke over radio networks of up to 455 stations, using the Bible expository method of teaching. The popularity of these broadcasts and later telecasts led to many invitations to conduct Bible conferences, and the increasing demand of these conferences led him, after 1940, to be absent from his pulpit six months a year. Also serving as an outlet for his sermons, Bible studies, essays, and editorials were the two magazines which he founded and edited, Revelation (1931–49) and Eternity, which continues to the present.
Barnhouse’s theology was an eclectic yet independent mix of dispensationalism, Calvinism, and fundamentalism. As a dispensationalist he developed elaborate eschatological schemes, yet he departed significantly from much dispensationalist teaching. His fearless and brusque attacks upon liberal Presbyterian clergymen led the Philadelphia Presbytery to censure him in 1932, yet he opposed the fundamentalist concept of separation, and in his later years gradually grew more mellow in his relations with the Presbyterian Church and the National Council of Churches.