Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Deliverance of God: Final Thoughts

I've been debating whether or not to blog through the rest of his work on Romans. The problem is that it's very difficult to blog through it at the 20,000 foot level and blogging through in detail will take me forever on my limited schedule. Perhaps at some future date I will decide to blog through Romans, at which point I'll wrestle with the book more. I do want to spend more time working through his way of reading Paul, so something will appear at some point.

I'll leave you with this major thought from the rest of the book. According to Campbell, what's at stake is the issue of agency in salvation. He's thoroughly Christological. Much of his time is spent arguing that the faith vs. works antithesis is not an antithesis of opposites. It's not opposing human faith vs. human works (as in no effort vs. effort), but Christ's faith vs. human works. If you were to ask Campbell how one is saved, he would say, 'by Jesus.' Only Jesus can liberate. Thus the justification debates appear to be, to me, largely about present and future ethical transformation. The Law cannot provide freedom from the realm of sin and death. Only Jesus can. Ethics and soteriology are integrated. That's the big payoff, and it's a payoff I've been searching for. I'm not sure that I'm fully on board with him at every point in his exegesis. Romans 9-11 is particularly tricky (if Wright's charge of de-Judaization could hold up anywhere it's here but I'm not certain). However, Campbell (and others like Michael Gorman) has given us an understanding of salvation that is strong everywhere that Justification theory was weak.

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