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August 27, 2009

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The problems with this theology from what I've read and heard is that the Jewish context that the NP operates in, is only one of many contexts within Judaism. They over simplify the historical context when it really is much more nuanced than they claim. So then Paul is not necessarily operating in the context that NP claims. When Paul says in Romans 1:16 that the gospel is for "everyone who believes" he could very well be speaking of the individual (I think he is). The way that Paul speaks of the law in Romans it seems to me to be more of awakening to sin (or sin within us taking advantage of the law to bring us death) rather than it being salvistic in purpose (Romans 7). So the Gospel is the power of God to salvation because through Christ's death we are counted as dead to our sins (through His death) and alive to Christ (through his resurrection). All this is accomplished through faith in Christ. We are no longer condemned, but we have hope through faith that all will be restored (Romans 8). I do not think that the NP can offer an adequate explanation to this without limiting the meaning of the passage. I also think they have trouble explaining Paul's view of sin and faith in Romans 1-5. They could make an argument if the historical context is limited to what they say, but since it really is more complex than they claim, I think that they have a lot of trouble justifying their interpretation.

Doug Moo and D.A. Carson handle NP very well. I'd suggest reading Moo's article "Israel and the Law" and listening to Carson's mp3's

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