D A Carson on hilasterion

Forensic justification...

This has made for interesting listening today. Carson is passionate and entertaining and obviously a very gifted exegete and theologian. He is exploring the 'New Perspective on Paul', which I suspect I will be covering at college this term. Carson is often at polite loggerheads with NT Wright and so he rather presses upon my feelings of British pride. I have always rather admired Tom. Carson and Tom are contemporaries - whilst Tom was at Oxford, Don was at Cambridge.

Carson speaks ,in an earlier lecture, about how Tom was very reformed in his theology in the eighties but is not so much now. He goes on at the end of this lecture to declare a belief in the idea that unfortunately, Tom casts ecclesiology above soteriology.Of course, I now need to go and listen to some of Tom Wright's stuff, I guess.

For Carson, there is very much the propitiation of God's wrath in Romans 3. Propitiation and not expiation. C H Dodd's analysis is not rated.

Carson speaks admirably on justification through faith available to all. He also makes our status as sinners very clear. Sinners saved, moreover. He talks about the language of redemption and explains neatly the buying back of slaves in the Old Testement. He also shows how our evangelistic image, of the judge taking upon himself the punishment he has dished out to the perpetrator, is rather flawed.

He asks us all to be aware of debate and become Bereans in our own studies of the scriptures.

He is very funny at the end when he answers questions explaining Paul's change of methods. Carson the drinkless! You'll have to listen to know what I am talking about.

So I wonder if Tom Wright and DA Carson will metaphorically be at war in my classroom this term. Can anyone recommend any real beginner resources so that I might start on each side of the debate with a simple text? I already have a copy of a brochure called 'The Justification Debate', which should start me off.


Michael F. Bird said...

Rachel, as someone who (schizophrenically?) counts DAC and NTW as his biggest influences, I can recommend my own book "The Saving Righteousness of God" (Carlise: Paternoster, 2007) as my attempt to find a healthy middle ground in the debate.

Rachel Marszalek said...

Thank you Michael.

David Ould said...

One of the problems is that NT Wright, while being quite brilliant, is not the easiest read. He never quite states his position as clearly as would be most helpful.
I'm afraid you will have to plough through some of his stuff.

However, by far and away the clearest exposition of the New Perspective I have read is the following:
Cranford, Michael. ‘Abraham in Romans 4: The Father of all who believe’. NTS 41 (1995): pp71-88.

If you need a copy email me. I'm sure I have a pdf of it somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Grove Booklets have quite a short introduction to the NPP debate. There is also plenty of stuff to get into at www.thepaulpage.com, you could also read the books by John Piper and N.T Wright. Pipers is available for free via his desiring God store. The debate is fascinating (I did my M.A on it) but it is all getting extrememly nuanced. Micheal Bird seems liek a nice fellow so maybe his book is worth a look.

Rachel Marszalek said...

Thank you so much, Jonathan.

Rachel Marszalek said...

Thank you David - I'll have a look for Cranford, Michael. ‘Abraham in Romans 4: The Father of all who believe’. NTS 41 (1995): pp71-88. But i might come back to you for the PDF

Very kind


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A little background reading so we might mutually flourish when there are different opinions