Tuesday, May 30, 2006
"A Key Error in the New Perspective on Paul"
Today, From the Front Lines blog (the blog of the Apologetics Resource Center) posted a helpful and brief critique on the New Perspective on Paul as well as those who follow the "Federal Vision." It is by Brandon Robbins: "A Key Error in the New Perspective on Paul." Here is his conclusion:
At the end of the day we have an error in interpreting the concept of covenant. What NPP, Federal Vision, Theonomist and others of the same ilk fail to appreciate and consider is the other kind of covenantal structure we find in scripture. And they attempt to force a conditional structure upon the whole biblical narrative. Paul tells us of the limited nature of the law of Moses: “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian” (Gal. 3:23-25). The law as a guardian was to lead us to knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20) and also guide us back to the earlier promise given to Abraham (Gal. 3; Rom. 4). It can be said that by their obedience Israel could have remained in the land and received blessing, but not eternal salvation. Our security in our own personal salvation rests not in our continuing obedience (salvation has never been obtain in that way), but the obedience of our Savior. Christ walked in the midst of the pieces on behalf of those who put their faith and trust in Him. Christ fulfilled the eternal promises given to Abraham and put no condition on them! “It is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift from God” (Eph. 2:8).
The author of Hebrews sums it up well: “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises” (Heb. 8:6).