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Showing posts from September, 2010

A Perspective on Perspectives

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may know that I am somewhat sympathetic towards the New Perspective on Paul (or perhaps better put, in agreement with certain elements of certain strands). The point of this post isn't so much to ask about the quality of exegesis of specific passages of Scripture that a NPP approach yields, but to ask some pertinent questions that I think both sides of the Old/New perspective divides should consider, and I know that I'm probably not the first one to ask this set of questions, but I think that we need to do some wrestling with our presuppositions.

Arguably the most important thing that post modernity has bashed into our brains is that we need to constantly examine what presuppositions we bring to the text. What blind spots do we have because of our experiences and the various cultures that we inhabit? Fair enough, let me ask the question to myself. One of the elements of NPP exegesis that resonates with me is the emphasis on …

Barth on God as Our Father

This is what God is for us. But we must admit that we have no right to call him Father, to be his children, to address him in this manner. He is our Father and we are his children by virtue of the natural relationship existing between him and Jesus Christ, by virtue of this Fatherhood and this Sonship which were made real in the person of Jesus Christ; and for us they are made real in him. We are his children and he is our Father, by virtue of this new birth realized at Christmas, on Good Friday, at Easter, and fulfilled at the moment of our baptism. It is a new birth, that is to say a new existence, really new, a life quite different from the one that can be born of our human possibilities, of our own merits. "God our Father" means "our Father of mercy." We are and always shall be prodigal sons who can claim no other right than that which is given us in the person of Jesus Christ.

This does not weaken what has been said of the divine Fatherhood. The clarity and the…