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February 01, 2011

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Thanks for the book recommendation.

I recommend Greg's "The Bible: Fast Forward" to *everyone.* I ordered it on mp3 and listened to it last year--and plan to listen to it again later this year. It's an excellent course, giving the big picture perspective on the Bible and God's plan of salvation.

I enjoyed Schreiner's book very much, but I wasn't convinced by his arguments. Some of them seemed very well reasoned, and some of them bordered on being contradictory. He seemed intent on answering each question in a way that supported his central premise no matter what the biblical text said.

For me, the book's main problems were with Question 7, "Is perfect obedience to the law mandatory for salvation?" And Question 9, "Does Paul Teach That the Old Testament Law Is Now Abolished?" His answer to both questions is "yes." But this presents a problem. If perfect obedience to the law is mandatory for salvation, then how can the law be abolished? Of course I understand, and agree with Schreiner, that this perfect obedience is only possible through Jesus Christ; it is his obedience to the law that saves us. Still, the law cannot be both without authority and necessary for salvation. How can we be judged sinners for disobedience to an abolished law?

For me, this problem tainted the rest of the book. That, and Schreiner's apparent unwillingness to engage Matthew 5:17-20.

Lastly, this post says, "[The law] never did apply to Gentiles or Christians." Scripture doesn't support this idea. In Leviticus 24:22, it says, "'You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the LORD your God.'" And this is only one example of God applying the law to "sojourners." This term can be found throughout the law, often with respect to individual commands (including Sabbath and dietary laws).

As far as it applying to Christians, In Acts 21:20b-21 we see James and the elders telling Paul, "And they said to him, 'You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law, and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs.'" James then goes on to encourage Paul to take part in a vow so that the Jews making these accusations "'will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law.'"

Although these believers were Jews, they were also "Christians," and I don't see James or Paul condemning them for their zealotry for the law. They do not tell these believers that since they are saved the law is no longer "for" them.

Hi Melinda,
Greg mentioned that he would soon respond to Bill Hybels new book "The Power Of A Whisper". Do you know if he plans to blog on this?

I would like to recommend the book "A Reformed Baptist Manifesto" by Sam Waldron:
http://www.solid-ground-books.com/detail_285.asp


He does a great job of addressing what laws the new covenant follows.

Basically, its the law written by the finger of God on stone tablets in the old, and on our hearts in the new - the 10 commandments. So it's not a question of what God wrote, but of where He wrote it. Think about it, is stoning disobedient children (Old Covenant)something that is written on your heart? Should we keep this law, and others like it(stoning adulterers)?

Walrdon's book is short and not an extensive examination of the subject. However, it is clear and enough substance to convey the message.

Following up on Anthony's post.
Sam Waldron's colleague, Richard Barcellos has begun a response to Dr Schreiner's book.
http://www.mctsowensboro.org/2010/10/response-to-schreiner-on-the-sabbath-1/

Melinda,
I found the answer for my question on Greg's F.B.

Greg Koukl
is working on a new Solid Ground series, "Does God Whisper?"
January 25 at 2:23pm · Like ·

The reason I'm interested is because I teach a Bible Study at Willow Creek and have been confronted with Pastor Hybels teaching on this. I have explained the Decision Making and the Will of God seires as best as I can. I'm hoping that Greg's response will be helpful.

The Law is a double edged sword that not only condemns sinners, but also elevates the definition of sin to a level no one escapes.

For the unregenerate it forbids sinful action, while for the regenerate in condemns sinful inaction. That is, all of Christian ethics, from the Sermon on the Mount onward are the positive enactments of the things the Law condemns.

For instants, thou shalt not kill transposes into the Christian ethic that promotes life and well being of even our enemies.

Thou shalt not bear false witness transposes into speaking truthfully and even well of our enemies.

In a further note, I would add that stealing now occurs when we do not share our wealth with our neighbor, since we are to love them as our equal.

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