I always like to know a little something about an author before I sit down to open their book. Today I interview my dear friend and colleague, Courtney Doctor, about her new Bible study, In View of the Mercies of God: The Gift of the Gospel in Romans.
The Epistle to the Romans offers a beautiful and complete presentation of the gospel. It is rich in theological insights as it highlights God’s holiness and mercy in response to our sin. Courtney walks us through this sometimes daunting Bible book in a way that makes it accessible to someone who is new to Scripture, insightful to the seasoned Bible reader, and transformational to all. You can buy his new study today.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am Craig’s wife, mother of four grown children, mother-in-law to two amazing women, and my favorite “CC” to five precious grandchildren.
Craig and I had the unique privilege of attending Covenant Seminar together in St. Louis. We graduated with our Masters of Divinity in 2013. Since then I have written four Bible studies: From Garden to Glory: A Bible History Bible Study, Steadfast: A Devotional Bible Study on the Book of James, Remember Your Joy; Salvation Stories in the Old Testament (co-written with you, Melissa!) and, the latest, In view of the mercies of God: The gift of the Gospel in Romans.
I am currently the Women’s Initiatives Coordinator for The Gospel Coalition. I love Jesus, the Word of God and his people. I also love (to a lesser extent) my goofy dog, Walter, pizza, store-bought birthday cake, and sitting on my porch with good friends.
When did you first start teaching the Bible? What do you like?
I didn’t become a Christian until my early twenties, but early in my faith, God gave me a thirst for His Word. I was eager to share everything I learned with others. In my late twenties, a pastor asked me to co-teach a Wednesday night class with him. I was terrified, but he did three thingswere so helpful: he met with me to make sure I understood the lesson; he gave me the opportunity to teach; and he gave me constructive feedback. To this day, I seek to do the same for young teachers.
After that, I started teaching Bible study to women in my local church and speaking at retreats. One of the beautiful things about teaching is all that I learn and grow in the process. Some of my favorite moments are watching the excitement of the women as the light bulbs come on, just like they did for me.
Is writing sometimes difficult for you? What is important to keep in mind when writing a Bible study?
Writing is always difficult for me! Even if I am an author (only by God thanks!) I really don’t consider myself a writer. I don’t process my thoughts through journaling and I’m not a skilled writer. When I sit in front of a blank page, my stomach hurts. I wonder how I will ever have enough words to fill this page in a way that is useful to others. But God took those blank pages and those stomachaches and turned them into something that I hope brings us back to Him.
The first piece of advice I would give to someone wanting to write a Bible study would be this: let your readers see the results of your work, not all the sweat it took to get there. This means that we can discover so many fascinating details along the way, and the temptation is to share each one of them. But we to serve our readers are best when we prayerfully discern what is most helpful.
My second advice is to ask good friends to read your work and give you a good contribution. the path. My dear friend Bunny reads everything I write and offers constructive feedback before sending it anywhere.
What led you to write In View of the Mercies of God: The Gift of the Gospel in Romans?
The book of Romans is considered by many to be the most important of all of Paul’s letters. Many scholars would go so far as to say that it is one of the most important books in the New Testament and perhaps in all of Scripture! And I have long loved the Romans. So when Lifeway offered me the opportunity to write a Bible study on it, I jumped on it.
I hope this study will prove to be an accessible tool that will help us all dive into this remarkable book. Because of the richness and depth of what Paul wrote in Romans, it is an extremely important part of Scripture for every believer to study – and it would be my joy and privilege to be a part of how you engage with this beautiful book!
What is the central message you hope readers will take away from this study?
God’s glorious gospel of grace not only changes your eternal future; it changes your current reality. This means that God’s salvation is not just for the age to come. God save you now—today. Today you have hope. Today you have peace. Today you are loved. Today the Spirit and the Son are praying for you. Today God is working all things for your good and His glory. We look forward to that glorious day when we will see him face to face, but he has also drawn near to us through his Son today.
God’s glorious gospel of grace not only changes your eternal future; it changes your current reality.
How has writing this book affected your own life?
His salvation is deeper, wider, higher, stronger, and better than we can ever comprehend.
Studying Romans made me marvel even more at the gospel message. Or perhaps more accurately, I marveled more at the God who gives us the gospel message. His salvation is deeper, wider, higher, stronger, and better than we can ever comprehend. It is wonderful and mysterious, and it caused Paul to burst into praise saying, “Oh, the depth of the riches, wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable are his judgments and how impenetrable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? “Or who gave him a gift to get him paid back?” For it is from him, by him and for him that all things come. To him be the glory forever. Amen” (Rom 11:33-36). May it have the same effect on all of us.
For an overview, here are some quotes:
If you had an afternoon to do whatever you want, where would we find you?
We have a new swing set to be delivered within the next few weeks. It’s the size of a real twin bed, with a mattress and pillows. We’re going to hang it on a covered porch, so rain or shine, hot or cold, I hope that’s exactly where you can find me pretty much any day of the week. week.
For more on this new study, be sure to watch this video of Courtney talking about her heart behind In view of the mercies of God:
Courtney Doctor is an author, Bible teacher, frequent speaker at conferences and retreats, and periodic blogger. She received an MDiv from Alliance Theological Seminary in 2013 and is the author of From the Garden to Glory: A Bible Study in Bible History (2016); Steadfast: A Devotional Bible Study on the Book of James (2019); and In View of the Mercies of God: The Gift of the Gospel in Romans (2022). She is currently the Women’s Initiatives Coordinator for The Gospel Coalition. His greatest desire in all of this is to faithfully study, apply, and teach the word of God and to help others do the same.
God has blessed Courtney and her husband, Craig, with four wonderful children, two amazing daughters-in-law, five adorable grandchildren, and their beloved clumsy dog, Walter.