Tag Archives | Paul

Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul | Guy Prentiss Waters

Justification and the New Perspectives on PaulGuy Prentiss Waters. Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul: A Review and Response. P&R, 2004. 273 pp.

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I just recently came across Perrin’s evaluation of Waters’s Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul (WTSBooks).

“Whatever the merits of Justification and the New Perspectives as a primer on twentieth-century Pauline scholarship, the author has been less than successful in his interaction with the NPP. Indeed, assuming that Waters’s primary goal is to construct a convincing argument against the NPP (and N. T. Wright in particular), the book must be judged to have failed at a fundamental level.”1

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  1. Nicholas Perrin, “A Reformed Perspective on the New Perspective,” WTJ 67:2 (Fall 2005): 381-89.

Titus 2:11 in Context

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people (Ἐπεφάνη γὰρ ἡ χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ σωτήριος πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις)” (Tit 2:11). This text is a favorite of Arminians and pseudo-Reformed men like Donald G. Bloesch, who asserts, “The Calvinist position, especially as transmitted through Reformed orthodoxy, stands in palpable conflict with the New Testament witness.1 Titus 2:11 assures us that ‘the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men.’”2

I don’t think a contextually sensitive reading of this passage will support such a naïve statement. While the context may not decisively rule out the interpretation Bloesch takes, several factors point in the direction of the following interpretation and demonstrate the gross misrepresentation of Bloesch’s statement.

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  1. In this discussion we need to bear in mind that Calvin’s position and that of later Calvinism are not identical. See Clifford, Atonement and Justification, pp. 69–110.
  2. Donald G. Bloesch, Jesus Christ: Savior & Lord (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1997), 168.

Westerholm on Righteousness and Covenant

Perspectives Old and New on PaulI love this selection from Westerholm’s Perspectives Old and New on Paul.

To this point I have discussed Paul’s usage of the dikaio– terminology with scarcely a reference to “the covenant.” So astonishing an omission can only be accounted for by a narrow preoccupation with the Pauline texts, which never link the vocabulary of “righteousness” with mention of “the” (or even a) covenant, and a consequent neglect of recent Pauline scholarship, which connects the two constantly. The oversight must now be redressed (286–87).

It’s no wonder that Barclay, Thielman, Gathercole, and Schreiner all comment on Westerholm’s “shafts of humor,” “winsome sense of humor,” “sparkling humor,” and “wit.”

A Pauline Response to Voice

Greg Linscott of SharperIron asks, “What’s Wrong with This Picture?” in response to Curtis Allen’s presence at John Piper’s Bethlehem Baptist Church. You can view the video on YouTube. It’s also embedded below.

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