Item description for Walking Between the Times by J. Paul Sampley...
Overview Two times govern Paul's thought world: the death and resurrection of Jesus, marking the origin of the believer's life; and Christ's return or parousia, culminating God's purposes with this world. Between these two times Paul is concerned about how believers behave--how they walk. J. Paul Sampley provides a guidebook for all who want to understand Paul's thought world, his moral reasoning, and the resources for deliberation that Paul considers available to believers. Topics discussed include community, faith, judgment, love, testing, and discipline, among others. Serious, but not technical, reading. Scripture index.
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Studio: Fortress Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.51" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.44" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Jan 5, 1991
Publisher Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN 0800624793 ISBN13 9780800624798
Availability 0 units.
More About J. Paul Sampley
J. Paul Sampley is Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Christian Origins, Boston University, and is the author of Pauline Parallels and "1 Corinthians" and "2 Corinthians" in the New Interpreter's Bible.
Peter Lampe is Professor and Chair of New Testament at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Reviews - What do customers think about Walking Between the Times?
Did Paul really believe this? Dec 21, 2005
Having a keen interest in Paul's soteriology, I decided to read this book to get a more indepth understanding of Paul's soteriology from a non-Reformed perspective. Unfortunately, Sampley's work is a work that merely exposits what the author thinks about Paul's "moral reasoning" rather than an investigative and exegetical work.
Sampley does organize his work well so that the readers will get into the flow of things. He first discusses Paul's frame of reference, then discusses his moral reasoning, and finally gives reasons why Paul believed that believers can live the life that God has called them to. For those who are doing a research paper on Paul's ethics in light of his theological framework this book is a good source to use. In fact, one will find some insights in the book that will not be found in other books of this kind.
Unfortunately, there are some problems with this work. Sampley is decidedly anti-Reformed (and even anti-Protestant) in how he understands Paul. He advocates an optimistic anthropology that would have put him at odds with the apostle (cf. Rom 1-2). In fact, he explicitly denies an imputative and genetic understanding of the relationship between Adam's sin and humanity's sinfulness. Instead of Adam's sin affecting his progeny (totaly depravity), all "people become like Adam precisely by sinning" (p. 12). Thus, advocating a Pelagianistic view of sinful humanity. He also states that believers can "control whether they will remain faithful or be led into subservience to one of these lesser powers" (p. 27). In other words, believers can will to stay in God's grace or be out of it (Arminianism).
Another problem with his work is the interrelationships between faith, works, and salvation. He insists that faith is not enough for entrance into the eternal kingdom (p. 70). Faith is necessary in the sense that it provides believers with the ability to do good works which are the ultimate determiners of whether they will enter the kingdom or not (p. 72). Thus, it is not faith in Christ that saves but the works that believers do out of faith that ultimately saves them at the eschatological judgment.
Finally, another serious problem is Sampley's understanding of Christ's death (the atonement). He rejects the penal-substitutionary view of the atonement and opts for a participatory understanding of Christ's relationship to believers (i.e., E. P. Sanders). He writes: "Except for rare, uncharacteristic remarks, Paul does not speak of Christ's death primarily as a sacrifice (Rom. 3:24). Neither does he think of Christ's death as a substitution made in place of the death that people might be said to deserve. Instead, Paul most frequently expresses believers' relationship to Christ as being 'in Christ'" (p. 12). One can see why Sampley believes that the Christian's works will determine whether he will enter the kingdom of God or not.
Overall, I was disappointed with this work. Not only is the position given unorthodox, but it was shallow at many points and the author did not interact with various scholars who disagreed with his position (in fact, one will find absolutely no citations throughout the work of any kind). It seemed that the author merely stated his opinions on what he thought Paul said about the Christian life rather than giving us a comprehensive analysis about Paul's ethical reasonings.
Invaluable book for accessing St. Paul's moral reasoning Dec 31, 1998
Very accessible book geared to helping the reader learn about St. Paul's thought process and how he made moral decisions. Author draws on extensive knowledge of all the undisputed letters of St. Paul. One of the best books on Paul I know of.