Debating Justification with N.T. Wright and New Perspective on Paul. Part 1

For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous (Romans 5:19) Definition: Justification may be defined as that legal act of God by which he declares the sinner righteous on the basis of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. Related … Continue reading “Debating Justification with N.T. Wright and New Perspective on Paul. Part 1”

For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous (Romans 5:19)

Definition: Justification may be defined as that legal act of God by which he declares the sinner righteous on the basis of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Related Post: Debating Justification with N.T. Wright and New Perspective on Paul. Part 2

Second Thoughts on New Perspective on Paul. Part 1
Second Thoughts on New Perspective on Paul. Part 2

I. Righting What is Wrong in Wright’s Teaching of Justification

Someone emailed to KrisisPraxis a question:
“Do you have a view of N.T. Wright’s view? My own take is that it is also not correct to limit our view of Paul’s writings to only through the eyes of Luther or Reformation theology – why should we be filtered or limited or “Lutherised” in our view of the Gospel and only understand Paul the way Luther and the reformers understood Paul? As much as I respect these great spiritual giants, they need not and should not have the last say.  We should be allowed and encouraged to go back and find new jewels from Paul’s own words and discover new truths that can give us even more answers for today’s questions.

First, let me stress that I do not critique the New Perspective on Paul (NPP) because I slavishly follow the Reformers. In actuality, my understanding of Paul is based on careful exegesis of Scripture /1/ which takes into account the shifting positions of N.T. Wright and James Dunn in the course of the debate on NPP. I shall presently focus on the Wright’s controversial view of justification. Continue reading “Debating Justification with N.T. Wright and New Perspective on Paul. Part 1”

The “New Perspective on Paul” Misconstrues Paul: Richard N. Longenecker’s New Greek Commentary on Romans

NPP Reading No.2 Related posts: Debating Justification with N.T. Wright and New Perspective on Paul. Part 1/2 Second Thoughts on the “New Perspective on Paul”. Part 1/2 Richard N. Longenecker’s just published The Epistle to the Romans: A Commentary on the Greek Text in the New International Greek Testament Commentary Series (NIGTC) is the crowning … Continue reading “The “New Perspective on Paul” Misconstrues Paul: Richard N. Longenecker’s New Greek Commentary on Romans”

NPP Reading No.2

Related posts:

Debating Justification with N.T. Wright and New Perspective on Paul. Part 1/2
Second Thoughts on the “New Perspective on Paul”. Part 1/2

Richard N. Longenecker’s just published The Epistle to the Romans: A Commentary on the Greek Text in the New International Greek Testament Commentary Series (NIGTC) is the crowning achievement of the lifelong scholarship of an expert in Paul and Early Judaism. It is presently THE new standard Greek Commentary on Romans. Longenecker’s evaluation of the controversial New Perspective on Paul (NPP) demands careful consideration.
Summary. We must, therefore, conclude that “the new perspective on Paul” – despite its laudatory motivations, some very significant observations, and a fairly wide acceptance of that view today – actually misconstrues Paul’s use of the phrase “works of the law” and somewhat distorts his attitudes toward compatriot Jews and first-century Palestinian Judaism. For in its endeavors to highlight certain positive features within the “nomism” of ancient Judaism, it is somewhat blind to the “legalism” that was also present (as it is, sadly, in every religion, both ancient and modern). And in its attempt to restrict the definition of “works of the law” only to matters regarding prideful nationalism and cultural prejudice and thereby to minimize any connotation of “legalism,” it has run a bit roughshod over Paul’s argument in Rom 2:17-3:20. Continue reading “The “New Perspective on Paul” Misconstrues Paul: Richard N. Longenecker’s New Greek Commentary on Romans”

The Bible Does not Teach Uncritical Submission and Blind Obedience to the State

Related Article: Between Romans 13 and Revelation 13 LINK I. Understanding Romans 13:1-7 in Context. There has been a controversy in the media sparked off by a comment made by the leader of the Christians for Peace and Harmony Malaysia (CPHM) who urged Christians “to submit to and obey the government and those God had … Continue reading “The Bible Does not Teach Uncritical Submission and Blind Obedience to the State”

Related Article: Between Romans 13 and Revelation 13 LINK

I. Understanding Romans 13:1-7 in Context.
There has been a controversy in the media sparked off by a comment made by the leader of the Christians for Peace and Harmony Malaysia (CPHM) who urged Christians “to submit to and obey the government and those God had put in authority.” The leader added, “So don’t look at the person, as long as he is in position, the Scripture teaches us to honour and respect authority.”

Detractors protest that the comment is inappropriate as it takes a scriptural text out of context, to be used as a pretext for what is politically partisan. Indeed, many totalitarian states have caused much grief to the church when they sought to exploit this passage to justify their demand for unconditional submission from any Christian citizen who resists abusive authorities. We need therefore to emphasize that Paul’s call for submission is circumscribed by certain presuppositions. Continue reading “The Bible Does not Teach Uncritical Submission and Blind Obedience to the State”

Second Thoughts on the “New Perspective on Paul”. Part 2/2

To read: Second Thoughts on the “New Perspective on Paul” Part 1/2 LINK NPP Reading No.1 Was Paul a Covenantal Nomist? An Evaluation of Sanders’s “Covenantal Nomism” by Peter O’Brien Sanders found a common pattern in his treatment of Palestinian Judaism which he labeled “covenantal nomism.” He summarized it as follows: The “pattern” or structure” … Continue reading “Second Thoughts on the “New Perspective on Paul”. Part 2/2″

To read: Second Thoughts on the “New Perspective on Paul” Part 1/2 LINK

NPP Reading No.1

Was Paul a Covenantal Nomist?

An Evaluation of Sanders’s “Covenantal Nomism” by Peter O’Brien

Sanders found a common pattern in his treatment of Palestinian Judaism which he labeled “covenantal nomism.” He summarized it as follows:

The “pattern” or structure” of covenantal nomism is this: (1) God has chosen Israel and (2) given the  law. The law implies both (3) God’s promise to maintain the election and (4) the requirement to obey. (5) God rewards obedience and punishes transgression. (6) The law provides for means of atonement, and atonement results in (7) maintenance or re-establishment of the covenantal relationship. (8) All those who are maintained in the covenant by obedience, atonement and God’s mercy belong to the group which will be saved. An important interpretation of the first and last points is that election and ultimately salvation are considered to be by God’s mercy rather than human achievement.

Continue reading “Second Thoughts on the “New Perspective on Paul”. Part 2/2″

Second Thoughts on the “New Perspective on Paul”. Part 1/2

It is arguable that the most significant, but controversial development in New Testament studies in the last 30 years is the “New Perspective on Paul (NPP)” that is forcefully promoted by articulate scholars like E.P. Sanders, James Dunn and N.T. Wright.   The NPP represents a paradigm shift from the traditional view on the Apostle … Continue reading “Second Thoughts on the “New Perspective on Paul”. Part 1/2″

It is arguable that the most significant, but controversial development in New Testament studies in the last 30 years is the “New Perspective on Paul (NPP)” that is forcefully promoted by articulate scholars like E.P. Sanders, James Dunn and N.T. Wright.

 

The NPP represents a paradigm shift from the traditional view on the Apostle Paul inherited from Reformers like Luther and Calvin, who understood Paul’s epistles to be polemics against the legalism or work-righteousness oriented religion of Judaism of his times (variously described as 2nd Temple, Palestinian or NT Judaism). E.P. Sanders’ landmark book, Paul and Palestinian Judaism (Fortress Press 1977), asserts that in reality Paul was in substantial agreement with Palestinian Judaism on the close relation between grace and work for salvation: “On the point at which many have found the decisive contrast between Paul and Judaism – grace and works – Paul is in agreement with Palestinian Judaism… Salvation is by grace but judgment is according to works’…God saves by grace, but… within the framework established by grace he rewards good deeds and punishes transgression” (p. 543). That is to say, Paul was not disputing with Palestinian Judaism which should more accurately be described as “covenantal nomism” – “the view that one’s place in God’s plan is established on the basis of the covenant and that the covenant requires as the proper response of man his obedience to its commandments, while providing means of atonement for transgression” (75). Continue reading “Second Thoughts on the “New Perspective on Paul”. Part 1/2″

The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament Part 2/2

II. Paul’s Teaching on Prophecy in 1 Corinthians New Pdf format embedded on 24 Nov 2017 1. Context While Paul has made many references to the gift of prophecy elsewhere, it was in 1 Cor. 12-14 that he addressed the issue more clearly and exhaustively. The church at Corinth offered Paul the unique opportunity to … Continue reading “The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament Part 2/2”

II. Paul’s Teaching on Prophecy in 1 Corinthians pdf

Gift of Prophecy NT 2014

New Pdf format embedded on 24 Nov 2017

1. Context
While Paul has made many references to the gift of prophecy elsewhere, it was in 1 Cor. 12-14 that he addressed the issue more clearly and exhaustively. The church at Corinth offered Paul the unique opportunity to address the gift of prophecy as a practical and pastoral issue. Being located in a cosmopolitan city where permissiveness and sexual liberty was rife, it was only too easy for the decadence of the world to creep into the church. Hence, the church was plague with party strife, theological disputes and immorality. In the one-up-manship atmosphere, it comes as no surprise that the congregation was giving a greater value to the more overt and sensational gifts of the Spirit. This was in fact due to a distorted view of true spirituality. “They imagines that the more the influence of the Divine Spirit deprived a man of his self-consciousness and threw him into an ecstasy, the more powerful was that influence and the more sublime the state to which it raised the man; whereas the more the inspired person retained his self-possession, the less did his inspiration partake of a Divine character.”/50/  It is clear then that despite its great endowment of spiritual gifts, the church was without love and unity. Continue reading “The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament Part 2/2”

The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (With 4 Supplementary Scientific Articles)

Related Post – If Evolution, No Adam, No Fall, No Salvation, No Savior The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (Collated With Scientific Articles) Contemporary Denial of Historicity of Adam Many critics declare that the church’s teaching of the historicity Adam has been discredited by recent advancements in science. It is purportedly impossible to … Continue reading “The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (With 4 Supplementary Scientific Articles)”

Related Post – If Evolution, No Adam, No Fall, No Salvation, No Savior

The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (Collated With Scientific Articles)

Contemporary Denial of Historicity of Adam
Many critics declare that the church’s teaching of the historicity Adam has been discredited by recent advancements in science. It is purportedly impossible to reconcile the doctrine of Adam as a recent historical individual with fossils remains of ancient hominids pointing to a long process of evolution of humans who share a common ancestry with apes. Furthermore, recent studies of population genetics conclude that a historical pair (Adam and Eve) is insufficient to account for the genetic variations in DNA sequences found in the present human race.

A corollary of denial of the historicity of Adam is denial of the doctrine of original sin. Without a historical Adam there would be no historical Fall in which Adam suffered a fractured relationship and lost his power of communion with God, with the consequence of sin and death spreading to all humanity. Continue reading “The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (With 4 Supplementary Scientific Articles)”