Pistis Christou Contest Winner (see what he said!)

Pistis Christou Contest Winner (see what he said!) December 14, 2009

The winner of the Pistis Christou book giveaway contest is: James Gregory.  I will get the book out to you in the next few days, James!  Congrats!

While many of the entries were helpful and interesting, I could only pick one winner.  Nevertheless, I have been told that, if you want a good price on the book, check out Eisenbrauns who is offering it for a mere $13.37 – the best price I have found on the web (better than Amazon!).

Here is what James Gregory  had to say about the debate:

For reasons concerning the roles of the humanity of Jesus and human faith, the pistis Christou debate is rather important. Is our faith in Christ what effects salvation? Was it Christ’s faithfulness to God’s will that brings about salvation? This issue is more involved and interesting than merely a syntactical one. Rather, it is one marked with important theological implications. Would Paul and the New Testament writers even have thought about an individual’s faith in Christ, or would they have considered the corporate faith of the children of God? It is precisely because a theology of justification both at the individual and ecumenical levels is directly informed and influenced by pistis Christou that the issue matters at all, that not a few scholars have addressed the issue, and that it needs to be dealt with accordingly for understanding faith for the human Christ or the human believer. Ultimately, we are faced with a decision whenever we see the construction, pistis Christou, whether it is describing Christ’s faithfulness or our faith in Christ. If it is the latter, which many take it this way, it emphasizes the human believer’s role in justification. But if it is the former, it highlights Christ’s role of obedience and faithfulness unto death on our behalf. Because the discussion revolves around this distinction between the human Christ and the human believer, this debate is important for Pauline studies, for it is part of the foundation for justification by faith. The question becomes, “Is it Christ’s faith or is it our faith that brings about justification?” The distinction concerns whether or not humans have any role or responsibility in justification. The former view argues that humans do not, while the latter view argues that they do. The works of Paul function as the bedrock for a theology of justification. Since these works are important for this subject, it follows that the pistis Christou debate is essential for discussing and shaping the foundation for justification theology in Pauline studies.

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  • Angela

    Thanks, Nijay for the debate contest! James’ work proved helpful to me.

    Thanks James!

    Congratulations on winning!

    Your well-structured writing carried me instantly into a time of reflection. Well done!

  • Oh, fantastic! I look forward to the book!

    And thank you, Angela!

  • Nijay,

    Great seeing you at SBL and thanks for the plug. You might want to change the URL to: http://www.eisenbrauns.com/item/BIRFAITHO. The one you are using is a temporary one that expires after about 8 hours.

    Thanks,
    James

  • Douglas Campbell

    “The question becomes, “Is it Christ’s faith or is it our faith that brings about justification?” The distinction concerns whether or not humans have any role or responsibility in justification. The former view argues that humans do not, while the latter view argues that they do.”

    Surely this isn’t quite right. I don’t know any “subjectivists” that think that humans have no role in salvation. (Whether that is best referred to as “justification” is of course another matter… ) That the appropriation would not SOLELY be human would be a fair claim on behalf of a lot of subjectivists. But then a lot of objectivists would presumably agree with that. Isn’t it more the case then that an emphasis on Jesus’s fidelity opens up new ways of understanding human faith? Do we have faith simply in and of ourselves? Or do we have faith (somehow) within Christ?

  • Thank you for the critique. I’d like to say two things in reply:

    1. The focus of my short essay was on a matter of emphasis: subjective view emphasizes Christ’s faithfulness; objective view emphasizes believer’s faith. Yet, the question I raised in the end is what I have observed to be the byproduct of the debate in personal conversations, not in academic print. Since it is what I have come across, and, honestly, it’s all I have recalled to memory, and without being truly submersed in the academic discussion, I put forth that question.

    2. I see now, after having begun to read the book, that such a question grossly misrepresents what is at stake.

    Thanks again for the critique. I think you are right and were right to point it out.

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