BOOK REVIEWS · Discipleship

A SHEPHERD LOOKS AT PSALM 23 – Phillip Keller (1970)

It is generally good advice to get help from an expert.  Phillip Keller provides expert advice in his book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.  Keller owned sheep for a number of years and is uniquely qualified to address issues that pertain to the issues that arise in Psalm 23.

Keller’s work is a basic exposition of Psalm 23.  It is a refreshing look from the perspective of a real-life shepherd.  Line by line, Keller examines not only the role of the shepherd but gives readers an inside look at the characteristics and habits of sheep.

One criticism is worth noting.  Keller evidently buys into the so-called “carnal Christian theory.”  In his description of sheep who grow discontent with the shepherd, he writes, “These are carnal Christians – one might call them ‘fence crawlers’ or ‘half Christians’ who want the best of both worlds.”  He continues, “There are many willful, wayward, indifferent, self-interested Christians who cannot really be classified as followers of Christ.  There are relatively few diligent disciples who forsake all to follow the Master.”

Keller’s description of these wayward sheep is a legitimate description.  But those who do not follow Christ are not disciples at all.  They are not Christians.

Apart from this critique, Keller’s work is worth reading.  His experience as a real-life shepherd is very insightful and opens up new “pastures” for readers to enjoy.  In the final analysis, Keller points readers to the Shepherd, the Overseer of our souls, the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 stars

2 thoughts on “A SHEPHERD LOOKS AT PSALM 23 – Phillip Keller (1970)

  1. When I went to Prairie Bible Institute (late ’60s) Philip Keller was a frequent speaker, and did it well with simplicity and humor. We all looked forward to hearing from him.

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