Item description for Paul, the Law, and Justification by Colin G. Kruse...
Martin Luther drew a strong parallel between the religion of medieval Catholicism and the religion of first-century Judaism against which his hero, Paul, contended. Luther asserted that both taught that salvation was earned by works of merit.
E. P. Sanders challenged Luther's view of Judaism in his landmark work Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1977). Judaism was not in principle a religion in which salvation was earned through obeying the law: it was a religion based upon God's election and grace. The debate which Sanders initiated continues, issuing in a flood of articles and monographs.
Dr. Kruse insists, however, that the issues raised in the debate must not be allowed to set the agenda. Instead, he takes the longer route of inductive exegesis, allowing each of Paul's letters to speak for itself before attempting a synthesis of Paul's teaching on the law and justification. He faces squarely and honestly the problems which Paul's attitude to the law raises, and he proposes thoroughly researched and considered solutions. His book is an important contribution to the ongoing debate.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Paul, the Law, and Justification?
Excellent Book from a Traditional Protestant Perspective Apr 19, 2005
This book is a great place to start if one wants to know what traditional Protestants believe about the Law and Justification. In the first chapter, Kruse does an excellent job outlining the major views on Paul's view of the Law and Justification over the last Century. He states the views of scholars in the beginning of the Century (Montefoire, Moore, Schweitzer, Davies, Scheops, and Stendahl). He then goes onto explain the views of the "Developmentalist" school (Drane and Hubner). He also states the views of the "New Perspective" school (Sanders, Raisanen, and Dunn). Finally, he states the views from scholars of recent years (Gaston, Westerholm, Thielman, Martin, Tomson, Wright, and Schreiner). After the survey of the various views on the Law and Justification, Kruse gives us an indepth explanation and exegesis of Paul's view of the Law and Justification from (in the following order) Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Romans, and other Pauline epistles. His thesis is that Paul consistently approached the Law as not abiding on NT believers for justification AND sanctification. The OT Law was given to increase the transgressions of the people and make them know that they are sinners. It was also to be used as a moral restraint until Christ's first coming. After Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, the Law was no longer needed as a rule of life for believers because the new life in the Spirit has replaced the old life under the Law. Kruse does an excellent job throughout the book proving this thesis. Most Lutherans, New Covenant Theologians, and Dispensationalists will welcome this book with open arms. Many in the Reformed camp my cringe at some of the arguments presented by Kruse, but will generally be in agreement with the thesis of the book. However, those who hold to Romanism, Arminianism, synergism, and other man-made views on salvation (Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness soteriology, Adventism, and legalism) will find this book unwelcome. This is to be expected because Kruse's main purpose of the book is to show that the Gospel preached by Paul (and the rest of the Biblical writers) was against any form of legalism and synergism. In fact, the cancer clinging to the Church today is not antinomianism (like many professing Christians think) but legalism and nomism. Any form of works-salvation is to be seen as unBiblical and even heretical. This type of "Gospel" cannot bring redemption but will make people fall away from God's grace (Gal. 5:1-4). This should be a stern warning against any so-called church that requires people to cooperate with God's grace to achieve salvation. Kruse has done a great service for the Christian Church through this book.