Here are the three things I appreciated most about the book:
1. Practical Lessons
At times, I was worried that he would draw shallow moralizations from these bleak and dark stories. He does indeed bring out principles to learn and apply, but does so in a gospel-centered way. He never points at the characters and says, "Be like ....." (maybe because there are so few decent examples in this book). He reminds us that we, like the people from Judges, need grace more than anything.
2. Side Notes
There are a number of places where he takes a step away from the immediate context to talk about a specific part of the verse and issues, controversies, and problems we may have today. He talks about women in leadership form Deborah. He talks about who the Angel of the Lord may be. These instances were helpful and really added to the book.
This kind of goes along with the fact that he didn't paint anyone from Judges as a hero to be followed, but Keller constantly takes us back to Jesus. When Samson comes from disgrace to defeat his enemies, he reminds us of Jesus who did so far more perfectly. When Deborah judges with wisdom and strength, he reminds us of how Jesus will one day rule and judge righteously. He takes a typological approach quite often, which really deepens the way that Judges is read. He makes it clear that God is the hero of the book and Christ is the culmination of every redeeming quality we read about in the book.
I highly recommend the book. While at times a bit choppy in style, Keller continues to remind us of the gospel. He proves Israel's need for a Savior then and our need for one now. This book would be invaluable to pastors who take it upon themselves to preach from the hidden gem of Judges. The discussion questions made it a great resource for small groups as well. I walked away thanking God for His mercy to me and with a deeper longing to see Jesus reigning with love, justice, and grace.