Scot McNight on the New Perspective on Paul

Now, for something along a more serious and theological note, Scot McNight over at Jesus Creed has posted a 5-part series on what has been called the New Perspective on Paul (NP or NPP for short). Most of you, if you are aware of the NPP at all, will be aware of it from reading NT Wright.

The NP is not so much a rethinking of Paul, but a different viewpoint on the Jewish religion of the 1st Century, which of course impacts our understanding of what Paul has to say. I have found that Wright’s perspective simply makes a lot of sense, and works well to integrate the teachings of Jesus with the theology of Paul. I recently concluded teaching a 2-year Sunday School class on the Gospel of John, and this new way of thinking about Israel – essentially that Judaism was not necessarily about a rule-based salvation scheme as we’ve adopted from Augustine, et al., but was more about how to bring about the Kingdom of God – made loads of sense and greatly added to my understanding of John.

If you have the stomach for something a bit theological, I strongly suggest you read through the posts and comments. Some of the discussion drifts into Reformed church issues which I was not that interested in (I’ve never had much patience with those hung up on being Reformed), but overall the discussion was educational as it drifts into issues like total depravity and justification. I’ve never been into “hard-core” theology, as some of the commenters seemed to be, so I didn’t feel qualified to jump into the discussion (plus, I didn’t really have time), but this was one of the few series of posts where I actually read through 56 comments, and became slightly more informed (especially concerning Reformed thinking) as a result.

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