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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Conformed to the Image of His Son: Reconsidering Paulís Theology of Glory in Romans
Jacob, Haley Goranson

Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2018 pp. xvi + 302. $32.00

Description: With its soaring affirmations and profound statements of salvation in Christ, Romans 8 is a high point in Pauline theology. But what does Paul mean when in 8:29 he speaks of being "conformed to the image of his Son"? Remarkably, there has been little scholarly attention awarded to this Pauline statement of the goal of salvation. And yet in Christian piety, preaching, and theology, this is a treasured phrase. Surprisingly, its meaning has been variously and ambiguously expressed. Is it a moral or spiritual or sanctifying conformity to Christ, or to his suffering, or does it point to an eschatological transformation into radiant glory? In Conformed to the Image of His Son, Haley Goranson Jacob probes and reopens a text perhaps too familiar and a meaning too often assumed. If conformity to the image of the Son is the goal of salvation, a proper understanding is paramount. Jacob points out that the key lies in the meaning of "glory" in Paul's biblical-theological perspective and in how he uses the language of glory in Romans. For this investigation of glory alone, her study would be valuable for the fresh understanding she brings to Paul's narrative of glory. But in introducing a new and compelling reading of Romans 8:29, this is a study that makes a strong bid to reorient our understanding of Paul's classic statement of the goal of salvation.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Romans, Literature, Methods, Theological Approaches, Theological Interpretation

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Review by J. J. Johnson Leese
Published 8/19/2020
Citation: J. J. Johnson Leese, review of Haley Goranson Jacob, Conformed to the Image of His Son: Reconsidering Paulís Theology of Glory in Romans, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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