Friday, October 07, 2005

New Perspective on Paul

Here's a write-up from Dave on the New Perspective on Paul

" there are crucial insights to be gleaned from the New Perspective. Sanders put us all in his debt by refuting a simplistic portrait of Judaism and Dunn brought to our attention much-neglected sociological aspects of Pauline theology. N.T. Wright’s ongoing project on the centrality of the Kingship of Christ in the gospel poses a much needed correction to the popular concept of Christianity as an individualistic, otherworldly religious experience. I have come away breathless and challenged by the clarity and incisive insights with which Wright unpacked Paul’s proclamation as a rhetoric against pagan worldviews and political oppression.

However, if we are to understand the Pauline doctrine of justification by faith, we would do well to heed Westerholm’s call to return and read exegetical masters like Luther once again. The great ecumenical article of faith that once held together orthodox, pre-schism traditions in the East and West needs to be rediscovered, not abandoned, if genuine unity in the gospel is to be achieved . [45] I expect to see the Church’s historic understanding of justification by faith would be significantly refined, but vindicated, in the process of the ongoing debate for the glory of God and the good of His people. The practical pay-off should therefore be nothing less than a renewed zeal and urgency to a missionary enterprise that truly transcends racial and cultural boundaries."

At NECF consultation, Dr Leong Tien Fock presented a balanced approach, highlighting how Christians can be 'countercultural' towards both modernism and postmodernism in The Battle For Truth

"... as postmodernisation follows modernisation and globalisation, what first emerges will be moderate postmodernism (a culture does not jump from a scientific to an anti-scientific mindset overnight). And since moderate postmodernism is, in a sense, a friend to Christianity, the battle for truth against modernity in places where postmodernism is not yet a stronghold favours the Church. But there must be sufficient Christians who overcome the corruptive power of modernity and postmodernism. By God's grace there will be. Will you and I be among them?

Give of your best to the Master ... join in the battle for truth!"

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