More from Douglas Moo’s second edition of Romans, this time on Rom 1:18-32.
Every person is ‘without excuse’ because every person – whether a first-century pagan or a twenty-first-century materialist – has been given a knowledge of God and has spurned that knowledge in favor of idolatry, in all its varied manifestation. All therefore stand under the awful reality of the wrath of God, and all are in desperate need of the justifying power of the gospel of Christ. We will never come to grips with the importance of the gospel, or be motivated as we should be to proclaim it, until this sad truth has been fully integrated in our worldview. (Moo, 110)The creation references might lead us to think that Paul is depicting the fall of humankind in Adam. However, we think it more likely that he is using language from both the fall of humankind and Israel’s ‘fall’ to describe the terrible proclivity of all people to corrupt the knowledge of God they possess by making gods of their own. This tragic process of human ‘god-making’ continues apace in our own day, and Paul’s words have as much relevance for people who have made money or sex or fame their gods as for those who carved idols out of wood and stone. Thus, as vv. 24-31 show, the whole dreadful panopoly of sins that plague humanity has its roots in the soil of this idolatry. (Moo, 120).