My Biblical interpretation class (required for all ACC students!) is working through Romans as sort of a "practice run" for Biblical interpretation in the real world. The first step (of like five thousand [Thanks, Mr. Huxford :P ]) is to read the book three times in three different translations. Each reading we're supposed to look for different facets of the book, and theoretically, it will help us understand Romans better.
Well. I generally have a solid trust in my teachers (Mr. Huxford more so than most, because he's brilliant), but yesterday afternoon, on my second read-through, I had some major doubts. I was plodding through chapter 8. None of it made any sense. None of it was sinking in, and completing the written work was torture akin to waterboarding.
So this afternoon, when a friend called and asked if we could work on the project together, it was all I could do to make myself say yes. We sat down together and began to talk it out.
I was amazed! It was like Paul was sitting across the table from us talking about faith, and how we're not justified by our works. Israel thought they were and they were right for a while, God had given them the covenant, but he took it away from them just like he can take it away from us. We've got to be careful to be worthy of the grace we've been given--it's a gift.
My friend said, "I never knew how it all fit together like this. I mean, it just fits!" It was a moment of beauty.
So basically, Mr. Huxford, my apologies for doubting you. You were right: Romans is a letter, meant to be read in its entirety, and not dissected. This isn't biology class.