No Turning Back: R. Longenecker and Luther on the “End of Nomism” (Gupta)

No Turning Back: R. Longenecker and Luther on the “End of Nomism” (Gupta) March 23, 2015

I am doing a bit of research on Paul and the Law (just a small scholarly discussion, of course!), and I found Richard Longenecker’s discussion of the subject interesting (Paul, Apostle of Liberty). Longenecker argues that Paul pushes for the “end of nomism” for believers in Jesus. Christ has “brought to an end the possibility of a valid nomistic piety” (154). The work of Christ alone makes one righteous, so the Christian ought not to walk according to Torah. He ends his discussion with an appeal to Luther’s illustration of living by faith alone in Christ and not combining faith with law. Living by faith and works is as

the dog who runs along a stream with a piece of meat in his mouth, and, deceived by the reflection of the meat in the water, opens his mouth to snap at it, and so loses both the meat and the reflection (“Treatise on Christian Liberty”; adaptation of Aesop fable; see Longenecker, 155)

What do you think about this analogy of old and new covenant?

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