Things to Click

Chris Tilling’s Ph.D thesis is now published by Mohr Siebeck as Paul’s Divine Christology. The blurb reads:

Chris Tilling makes a fresh contribution to the debate about whether or not Paul’s Christology is divine. To this end he analyses the Pauline data that details the relation between the risen Lord and Christians. With reference to contemporary debates regarding ‘Jewish monotheism’, he argues that the Pauline Christ-relation corresponds – as a pattern – solely to language concerning YHWH’s relation to Israel in Second Temple Judaism. This is the case, Tilling maintains, even in texts such as Sirach 44-50, the Life of Adam and Eve and the Similitudes of Enoch. In dialogue both with concerns that one cannot properly speak of a Pauline “Christology”, and recent studies in Paul’s epistemology, Chris Tilling presents Paul’s Christology as fully divine, but in a particular way: the Christ-relation is Paul’s divine-Christology expressed as relationship. In light of this, he not only reengages arguments deployed by those disputing a Pauline divine-Christology, but also draws additional conclusions relating to the interface between biblical and systematic theological concerns.

A PCA Minister writes a farewell letter to his presbytery and denomination. He gives one such reason:

Regarding Sola Fide, I have become convinced that the teaching that sinners are justified by a once-for-all declaration of acquittal on God’s part, based upon the imputation of Christ’s righteousness received by faith alone, is not reflective of the teaching of the New Testament as a whole. I have come to believe that a much more biblical paradigm for understanding the gospel—and one that has much greater explanatory value for understanding Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John—is one that sets forth the New Covenant work of the Spirit, procured through the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ, as internally inscribing God’s law and enabling believers to exhibit love of God and neighbor, thereby fulfilling the law in order to gain their eternal inheritance (Rom. 8:1-4). While this is all accomplished entirely by God’s grace through the merits of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, it is at the same time not something that occurs through the imputation of an external and alien righteousness received through faith alone. Rather, as Paul says, God’s people are justified by a faith that works through love—itself the fruit of the Spirit—and with God’s law inscribed on our hearts and minds we sow to the Spirit and reap everlasting life (Gal. 5:4-6, 14, 16, 22; 6:8).

At The Baptist Times Timothy Paul Jones (sounds like one of the Beetles if you ask  me) writes on How were the books of the NT Chosen? He writes:

So, from the first century onward, Christians viewed testimony that could be connected to eyewitnesses of Jesus as uniquely authoritative. The logic of this standard was simple: The people most likely to know the truth about Jesus were either eyewitnesses who had encountered Jesus personally or close associates of these witnesses. So, although Christians wrangled for some time about the authority of certain writings, it was something far greater than political machinations that drove these decisions. Their goal was to determine which books could be clearly connected to eyewitnesses of Jesus.

At First Things, Elmer Thiessen writes about The Offensiveness of Evangelism, beginning with this story:

The topic of evangelism made national headlines in Canada recently. It all started with a twelfth grade student in Nova Scotia wearing a T-shirt boldly emblazoned with the words, “Life is wasted without Jesus.” William Swinimer continued to wear his yellow T-shirt even after the vice-principal at his school asked him not to do so, after some students had complained that they found the message offensive. Swinimer’s refusal to obey led to a series of in-school suspensions, and finally a five-day at-home suspension. The normally shy 19-year-old refused to comply even though it might have meant permanent suspension and the loss of his chance of graduating. “I believe this is worth standing up for,” he said, “it’s not just standing up for religious rights, it’s standing up for my rights as a Canadian citizen; for freedom of speech, freedom of religion.”

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  • Would the PCA pastor’s view be considered the new, new Perspective on Paul? Hadn’t really heard it framed this way before.

    • Patrick


      I’d call the PCA preacher’s view “another gospel” cause it puts the cart before the horse, IMO.

      • Gabriel Hauber

        Patrick: How is it “another gospel” that what God promised Abraham, and what Moses and the prophets talked about was fulfilled in Jesus? Sounds like pretty good news to me.

  • Gabriel Hauber

    I haven’t yet checked out the entire farewell letter itself, but I would have to say a hearty “Amen!” to the bit you excerpted. I think he’s hit the nail squarely on the head. Such a view does full justice to the trajectory launched by such passages as Deuteronomy 30:6, 11-14, picked up by the prophets (e.g. Jeremiah 31:31-34 and others), with Jesus himself identifying himself as the fulfilment (e.g. John 3:5, 13) and expounded upon by e.g. Paul (e.g. Romans 8:1-4, 10:6-13).