What is the New Perspective on Paul (one more time)?

From Jens Schröter, in his newly translated book, From Jesus to the New Testament: Early Christian Theology and the Origin of the New Testament Canon (Baylor, 2013, p. 134): The following points can be named as its [NPP's] most important insights: (1) Paul’s thinking should not be understood as an answer to individual plights of conscience [Read More...]

Two Strong Book Recommendations

So many books cross my desk that it’s not even remotely possible to blog about them nor is it fair, most of the time, to provide a kind of “Books Received” list at the end of each week or month. Every book that crosses my desk … I give a good look to see if [Read More...]

The New Perspective Revised

In my life time the most significant book on Paul has been E.P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1977) because it both shifted interest in Judaism but completely shook up how scholars understood Paul. Since Sanders there have been major articulations of Pauline theology, including those of J.D.G. Dunn and N.T. Wright, but they build [Read More...]

God is a Verb that Acts like Jesus

One of my friends, David Fitch, routinely opines about megachurches, and I often (as one attached at the hip to Willow Creek) say that whatever can be done in a small church can be done in a megachurch. Small groups, check; friends, check; group formation, check; corporate worship, check; corporate instruction, check; community embodiment of [Read More...]

New/Old Perspective on Justification 7

The last major study in James Beilby and Paul Rhodes Eddy’s new book, Justification: Five Views, reveals why we need historians of theology, because Oliver Rafferty’s study of the history of justification that set the context for the Council of Trent, where the definitive rejection of the Lutheran view of justification was stated in bold [Read More...]

New/Old Perspective on Justification 5

The New Perspective argues that since Judaism was not a works religion, Paul was not opposing “works” righteousness. If everything in the old perspective flows out of the view that humans are merit-striving and if everything flows from a gospel that assaults human striving by replacing it with grace and faith, and if the new [Read More...]

New/Old Perspective on Justification 4

The New Perspective argues that since Judaism was not a works religion, Paul was not opposing “works” righteousness. If everything in the old perspective flows out of the view that humans are merit-striving and if everything flows from a gospel that assaults human striving by replacing it with grace and faith, and if the new [Read More...]

New/Old Perspective on Justification 2

So what is the “new perspective” on Paul, and thus also the “new perspective on justification”? If you listen to its critics, who (again) are mostly Reformed/Lutheran-leaning evangelicals, you would think it is Pelagianism or some kind of works-righteousness Christian progressivism. The single-most important factor in perceiving the polemics at work here is that the [Read More...]

New/Old Perspective on Justification 1

Nothing has rocked the theological world of evangelicals and the Reformed more than the “new perspective on Paul.” In contrast to the “new” perspective is the “old” perspective, but it ought to be observed here that this is mostly an evangelical intramural debate and not a widespread scholarly debate. Ed Sanders got this going way [Read More...]

Here’s Jimmy! 9

As if the change to the “new” perspective wasn’t enough for some, Tom Wright began to push into new territory and he knew it wasn’t just the old “new” perspective so Tom called what he was doing the “fresh” perspective, and I want to say one bit about this “fresh” perspective to form the introduction [Read More...]


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