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Featured mainline churches and evangelicals

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by FireDragon76, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess I don't see the dichotomy between faith and the Kingdom. I think this is more an issue that effects Protestants outside the Lutheran tradition, who tend not to have a robust sacramental worldview.

    From the Lutheran perspective, as much as we might appreciate some aspects of Wright's work in other areas, the overall New Perspective on Paul (not just Wright, but also Dunn and Sanders) is not something we really find all that compelling. Timothy Wengert has giving a brief critique of Wright's views. Jordan Cooper has gone into a much deeper critique of the New Perspective, looking at the issue from the perspective of a church historian and theologian:



    Wright seems to be mostly using low-church British evangelicalism, with its almost Gnostic emphasis on individualistic and disembodied religion, as a foil for his ideas, and in that sense his critique might have some merit. Dunn and Sanders are trying to be sensitive to anti-Semitism and I believe it causes them to embrace an idealized image of Judaism, and regard Luther's doctrines in an ahistorical and incomplete manner, one influenced more by 20th century existentialism.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  2. PeaceByJesus

    PeaceByJesus Unworthy servant for the Worthy Lord + Savior

    Which is consistent with his charge by Christ as an evangelist discipler and minister of the new testament. Paul is a post-resurrection preacher commissioned by the risen Christ to teach what this means:
    • To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18)
    • For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. (1 Corinthians 9:17)
    • Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)
    Paul encountered the risen Christ and was chastened for persecuting Him by doing so to the church, and has a very personal love for and motive to please the Lord "who loved me and gave Himself for me," (Gal. 2:20) and to care for the church which he tells the elders God bought with His own blood. (Acts 20:28)

    And which purchase Paul (the Spirit of Christ within Him) wants to present to Christ as being Christ-like, which means in character, in heart and deed, in purity (which Christ Himself did teach, as shown), and in charity to others, and in doctrine.
    • Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
    • Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry...But now ye also put off all these....Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.. (Colossians 3:2-5,8,12)
    • Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
    New lives as defined by Christ, whom Paul mentions by the title alone 376 times in his letters, with the cross and what it represented being primary, and affecting the whole being,. from motive to the doing.
    • "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4)
    • For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
    • And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
    The two are inseparable. Paul sets forth Christ as the supreme example of morality, and all that can be called Godliness, and who thus provided the atonement for sin, and by calling souls to identify with the death of Christ He calls them to be as Christ, and walk as children of His kingdom.
    • "How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Romans 6:2)
    • Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:1-6)
    Actually it is a full correspondence, and being Christ-like means seeking to be as Christ in all aspects of character, which Paul yearned for personally, looking forward to the day when "this corruptible must put on incorruption," (1 Corinthians 15:53) "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself," (Philippians 3:21) while seeking to presently be as much as a resurrected believer as he could be, which is what I these expressing:
    Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)
    Actually, in John, Jesus only mentions the kingdom 3 times (and which pertains to the issue of "which Jesus" is going to be used as representative), and Paul mentions it 19 times from Acts (describing the message or his words) to 2 Timothy 4:18.

    And when Paul preaches to the Jews then he often preaches the kingdom of God by name, since the issue is Christ as the prophetic Messiah, thus, "And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God." (Acts 19:8) But after Acts 18:6 Paul has gone on to preach mainly to the Gentiles,

    Meanwhile, the church is only mentioned twice in all the gospels, and to be in the church is to be in the spiritual kingdom, and which is by faith, whereby, "God hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son," (Colossians 1:13) yet believers are awaiting the manifestation and realization of the kingdom of God.

    Thus regarding this the preaching of Paul to the church is on:
    • the nature of the kingdom, mainly its holiness excluding the impious: Roman 14:17; 1Corithians 4:20; 6:9,10; 15:50; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5)
    • the kingship of Christ subduing all enemies and handing the kingdom and Lordship over to the Father: 1Corithians 15:24
    • the membership in that kingdom: Col. 1:13
    • his fellow workers regarding that kingdom: Col. 4:11
    • which believers are called to: 1Thes, 2:12
    • which they await realization of and suffer for: 1Thes. 1:5
    • with Christ judging when it appears: 2Tim. 4:1
    • which Paul is confident Christ will preserve him to: 2Tim. 4:18
    Which Jesus are you going to go by? In John faith is clearly a primary term for Christ, and if you are only going to go by the synoptics, then why not go further and only go by Mark (at least its the shortest)?

    The folly here is imagining that the revelation of Jesus Christ is restricted to 3 or somehow 4 gospels, or at least these only are deterministic of what He taught and meant, which imagines that the Spirit of Christ who actually inspired the writing of the words of Christ in the gospels - which are sometimes expanded or rephrased from one to another while still being His words - was not also inspiring the writings of other writers to express what Christ told His Spirit to do.
    • I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (John 16:12-14)
    Whether playing Matthew Mark and Luke against John or all 4 against Paul, and or against Revelation, and or against Peter and or Hebrews or against each other, this is no more valid than that of hyper dispensationalists (Paul against Peter) even if not going so far as Islamic internecine warfare.

    In Matthew Christ affirmed "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," (Matthew 4:4) and unless the disfavored books are not of God, then believers will be held accountable for how they obeyed all the word of God. And only by considering all that the Spirit of Christ inspired can we properly,
    • "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)
    Care to example? I have not been impressed thus far.
    Well that's good to know, otherwise the Spirit of Christ was lying, or they must deny His inspiration. The devil would love that!
    Merely "important," but not essential to properly"grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?
    That sir is where you confirm you have jumped off the deep end, or are nigh unto it. Not only is this contrary to the plenary inspiration of the epistles (Pauline at least), but there is no real contradiction btwn the two, as instead they are complimentary, as they would be since the Spirit of Christ inspired both, these being from Christ. Nothing to the contrary has been shown thus far, considering the audience and mission, and which is needed to fulfill what the gospels require.

    I posit that the gospels are insufficient to provide the scope and depth of revelation of Christ and His teaching that God inspired, and for which Revelation is needed as well.
    Rather, the religion Christ "began" was likewise attacked as contrary to the OT, while liberals attack Paul as contrary to Christ, but the Lord is the author of all, and the further revelation complements and fulfills what was written before, with the gospels doing so to the OT, and Acts and the epistles further establishing this and complementing and fulfilling the gospels, to varying degrees (James being down on the list, but inspired). Without which the gospels have problems, with an abrupt end and no church and ecclesiology, no "other sheep," an unclear message and certain other issues, and no further revelation He promised.
    But already you seem to exclude faith-intensive John from constituting part of the evidence the things Jesus talked about, and since there are alleged discrepancies btwn accounts in the synoptics then why not be consistent and compile up with a gospel in which you find none?

    As you sure this is not the Jesus Seminar light? I believe that is what is typical of mainline churches, and once you impugn the authority of Scripture then its morality and the scope of it is made into a matter of debate.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  3. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

    Both of these seem to be attacks on the NP's portrait of Luther, not their exegesis of Paul. Dunn explicitly disavows an intent to comment on Luther, but rather on modern interpretations based on him. Wright does mention Luther a couple of times, but the NP is about Paul, not Luther. Despite one negative comment about Luther (which, to be honest, I'm unable to evaluate) his major ongoing discussion is with conservative Reformed such as Piper.

    I actually have some concerns about Wright myself. I think his understanding of Romans as speaking of God's covenant plan for Israel is right, but Romans also speaks of individual salvation. I think Wright incorrectly minimizes the latter. But as Reformed, I know modern Reformed writers a lot better than Lutherans. I think Wright's criticism of conservative Reformed exegesis is mostly successful. The criticism includes specifically the passages typically used by conservative Reformed in support of 5-point Calvinism.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  4. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There used to be a poster here, GratiaCorpusChristi, that was in the LCMS and had some favorable views of Wright's reading of Paul. I think its because we have more of an emphasis on our justification as a status imputed in baptism.

    I've seen Wright speak on other issues not directly related to the New Perspective and its fairly clear he has a higher view of the sacraments than many evangelicals. That is probably due to his CoE background, but it's also no doubt due to his own reading of Paul, especially his emphasis on baptism. And he writes in one of his books on justification, about how that is a potential consequence of where his reading of Paul might take someone (towards a more sacramental orientation).

    I've seen Dunn and Sanders discussed in Lutheran journals, but mostly its in trying to amplify our understanding of righteousness to include the relational aspects found in the Bible instead of focusing it on an abstraction.