My spring semester, consisting of a single class on Romans/Galatians, started last week, so let the busyness resume. I love taking classes and have directed, intentional study on God’s word, but it can be demanding at times. This class will be on Tuesday nights. All that to say that I might have as much time to be able to blog (is that weeping I hear in the background?).
The following books are the assigned texts for class:
- Michael J. Gorman, Cruciformity: Paul’s Narrative Spirituality of the Cross (Eerdmans, 2001).
- Richard B. Hays, The Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as Interpreter of Israel’s Scripture (Eerdmans, 2005).
- Scott McKnight, Galatians: The NIV Application Commentary (Zondervan,1995).
- N. T. Wright, “Romans,” in The New Intepreter’s Bible Vol. X (Abingdon, 2002).
Pauline studies have definitely been a topic of scholarly interest lately. One of the fundamental keystones of the Reformation, and thus, much of Protestantism, is the doctrine of justification by faith. Paul is said to have taught this doctrine most clearly in the polemical books of Romans and Galatians. Many have recently questioned whether this is the appropriate thesis for Paul’s work. This reworking of the Paul’s main thought is often called The New Perspective. Almost all of these authors would characterize Paul’s centralizing theme as “salvation in Christ” instead of “justification by faith.” Needless to say, these scholars have touched a nerve by challenging one of the fundamental components of the Reformation. More could be said, but maybe this will suffice for a 500 foot overview of the debate. I look forward to sifting through the arguments in this coming quarter.