Outside Reading: New Perspective On Paul

I realized that my use of the term “New Perspective on Paul” may be confusing to some people who read this, so I decided to go do some research on what that precisely means, and why people are so up in arms about it.

The NPoP is essentially a shift in how scholars, particularly Protestant ones, interpret and understand the writings of the apostle Paul, whose writings make up a large portion of the New Testament. The central argument is that, as a sort of side effect of the Protestant Reformation, Luther’s interpretations of Paul, as well as those of other reformers such as John Calvin, placed Paul’s writings antithetical to the views of sixteenth-century Roman Catholicism and first century Judaism. Therefore, members of the NPoP have sought to bring interpretations of Paul’s writings more into the proper first-century Judaic thinking that inspired them.  For more information on this thinking, here’s the Wiki article.

Now, why are people so up in arms, particularly John Piper, DA Carson, and others?  Well, challenging traditional modes of thinking doesn’t come without some sort of backlash, and men of the Reformed camp aren’t too keen on having their doctrine challenged to begin with, though their apprehension isn’t without some good reason.  Again, in the interest of time (I have to leave in about 5 minutes), here’s a good article on why Reformed thinkers aren’t happy with the NPoP.

I had intended for this to be a lot, lot longer, and would have preferred it that way so I could perhaps elaborate in a less confusing way.  Guess I need to work on my time management.  Anyway, you guys have a good one, and I’ll be seeing you tomorrow.

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