Sunday, March 23, 2008

Notes on Romans--Part Eighteen

One of the points of contention I failed to mention is between classical Protestant Reformers and the proponents of the New Perspective on Paul. In Romans 2:6 Paul states that God will "render to each one according to his works (ESV)". This is not the only place the thought is stated in the New Testament, for example see Matt. 25:31-46, 2 Cor. 5:10 and Rev. 2:23 just for starters.

How does these verses comport with the Reformation assertion that Christians do not need to worry about judgment because Jesus imputes His righteousness to us? (see Rom. 4:6; 1 Cor. 1:30 and 2 Cor. 5:21)

Bishop N.T. Wright, Prof. James D.G. Dunn, Rob Bell and others deny that Christ imparts His righteousness (or right standing) before God and that we are judged by the totality of the life lived. Reformers argue that Paul explicitly states that nothing we can do can save us and that only through Christ's obedience and the gift of faith are saved. Who has the better argument? More later. In the meantime, work it out yourselves with fear and trembling.