What is Romans?

What sort of communication from Paul is Romans?  It’s been quite common to assume that Romans is a systematic treatise on the Christian faith.  Many commentaries contain an outline of Romans structured according to systematic theological categories.  Paul deals with the doctrine of justification here, the doctrine of sanctification there, the doctrine of election over […]

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The Paul We Think We Know

My article on Paul in Christianity Today is now online.  I have heard evangelists talk about how Paul was the ultimate evangelist.  Today’s doctrinal watchdogs portray Paul as one willing to drop the gloves over doctrinal minutiae.  And popular preachers talk about Paul’s powerful proclamation.  He’s become all things to all people in ways he […]

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Holistic Morality

I don’t know anything about C. J. Mahaney or his ministry, but someone alerted me to the announcement of his leave of absence.  There’s much about this that is really refreshing. He is stepping aside from his ministry because of “various expressions of pride, unentreatability, deceit, sinful judgment and hypocrisy.”  This is so striking because it envisions […]

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Reflecting on the New Perspective Era

Mike Bird is considering what we’ve learned from the New Perspective on Paul (part 1 & part 2). Just briefly, in addition to what he mentions, one of the most helpful effects of newer readings of Paul is the emphasis on the occasional nature of Paul’s letters.  We’re reminded that we must read them not as timeless […]

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The Emerging Church, the New Perspective, & Evangelical Identity

Andrew Perriman wrote a few months ago about the convergence of the emerging church movement and the developments associated with the New Perspective on Paul.  He sees the effect of these as salutary for the future of evangelical identity.  I heartily agree. It seems to me, in fact, that these resonate strongly with the evangelical impulse.  The […]

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Observations on The Open Championship

  A great championship gave us a great champion.  Darren Clarke from Northern Ireland.  Much has been written about him and the twists and turns his life has taken.  Here’s the piece from the Belfast Telegraph.  He’s the third Ulsterman to win a major out of the last six, which is extraordinary. Phil Mickelson has […]

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Evangelicals & the New Perspective on Paul

The “new perspective” era in Pauline studies had its heyday through the final two decades of the 20th century, dying out in the later 1990’s.  After the publication of E. P. Sanders’s book, Paul and Palestinian Judaism in 1977, Pauline scholars around the world produced a flood of dissertations, monographs, and articles re-evaluating previous assumptions […]

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What The “New Perspective” Is & Isn’t

I mentioned the other day that the “new perspective” era in Pauline studies is in the past.  Confusion, however, abounds regarding what it is and what it isn’t.  What follows is an attempt at clarification. The “new perspective” is an interpretive angle of approach to Paul that does not assume that he is attacking Judaism […]

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N. T. Wright & Evangelical Theology

Alister McGrath on Wright: Wright’s project is like a gadfly to evangelical theology.  It is an irritant, a stimulus, that demands we reexamine our ways of thinking and interpreting Scripture, particularly Paul’s writings, to see whether we have fallen into settled and lazy ways of thinking that, in the end, fail to do justice to […]

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On Having One’s Cake & Eating It

My kids and I were joking the other day about this common saying.  A day later, someone used it with reference to something I had written. I find this idiomatic proverb so totally frustrating and backward.  In common usage, to have one’s cake and to want to eat it is regarded as a bad thing. […]

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