Thomas Schreiner and Wyatt Graham talk about Paul and the various Pauline theologies.
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Ben MacGown says
I really appreciated this thoughtful overview of the different perspectives on Paul. I’m not familiar with all of the names or ideas you brought up, but I have run into some of them, and I appreciate your careful approach.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 7 years or so studying Paul’s letters and I have considered some of the ideas you discussed and have incorporated them into my understanding. Particularly, I find defining “works of the law” narrowly as referring to the ceremonial requirements of the old covenant very important in Galatians 5:1-6 where interpreting “works of the law” broadly would put Paul in conflict with Matthew 7:24.
Related to that, I recently read The Call of Grace by Norman Shepherd. While I thought that some of his arguments were rather weak, on the whole I thought he was spot-on in his understanding of the relationship between the old and new covenants. The one issue I had with him was that he did not acknowledge the crucial role the Holy Spirit plays in the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). I think that the role of the Holy Spirit is central to Paul’s argument in Galatians (see 3:3, 3:14). While Romans 1-4 discusses how a person is saved, Galatians is mainly about how a Christian should live (Galatians 2:20), and the distinction between law-keeping and walking by the Spirit is key. In Galatians and Romans, Paul applies this principle in the context of the abolition of the old covenant (Romans 7:6), but the principle can be applied more broadly to man-made religion as Paul also does (Colossians 2:23).
I would love to hear your thoughts. I wholeheartedly agree with Thomas Schreiner’s comment that we should be very slow to depart from the rich theological tradition of the Reformation, so I want to be thorough in my analysis and bounce it off of other godly minds.