Item description for Christ, Our Righteousness: Paul's Theology of Justification (New Studies in Biblical Theology) by Mark A. Seifrid...
Overview New Studies in Biblical Theology. Paul's theology of justification. In this new study, Mark Seifrid offers a comprehensive analysis of Paul's understanding of justification, in the light of important themes including the righteousness of God, the Old Testament Law, Faith, and the destiny of Israel. A detailed examination of justification in the letter to the Romans is followed by the survey of the entire Pauline corpus.
Publishers Description Since the time of the Reformation, considerable attention has been given to the theme of justification in the thought of the apostle Paul. The ground-breaking work of E. P. Sanders in Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1977) introduced the "new perspective on Paul," provoking an ongoing debate which is now dominated by major protagonists. Foundational theological issues are at stake. In this new study, Mark Seifrid offers a comprehensive analysis of Paul's understanding of justification, in the light of important themes including the righteousness of God, the Old Testament law, faith, and the destiny of Israel. A detailed examination of justification in the letter to the Romans is followed by a survey of the entire Pauline corpus. Seifrid's analysis incorporates a critical assessment of the "new perspective," challenging its most basic assumptions; an evaluation of the contribution of recent German scholarship; and a reaffirmation of the "Christ-centered" theology of the Reformers. In this wide-ranging exposition of the biblical message of justification, Seifrid provides a fresh, balanced reworking of Pauline theology.
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Studio: IVP Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.66" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.67" Weight: 0.64 lbs.
Release Date Apr 26, 2001
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
Series New Studies in Biblical Theology
Series Number 9
ISBN 0830826092 ISBN13 9780830826094
Availability 0 units.
More About Mark A. Seifrid
Seifrid is professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and he received his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Reviews - What do customers think about Christ, Our Righteousness: Paul's Theology of Justification (New Studies in Biblical Theology)?
From the cover: Sep 14, 2005
From the back of the book: In this new study, the author offers a comprehensive analysis of Paul's understanding of justification, in the light of important themes including the righteousness of God, the Old Testament law, faith, and the destiny of Israel. A detailed examination of justification in the letter to the Romans is followed by a survey of the entire Pauline corpus. The analysis incorporates a critical assessment of the "new perspective," challenging its most basic assumptions; an evaluation of the contribution of recent German scholarship; and a reaffirmation of the "Christ-centered" theology of the Reformers. In this wide-ranging exposition of the biblical message of justification, the author provides a fresh, balanced reworking of Pauline theology.
Both Good and Bad Apr 19, 2005
This book is an interesting look at the theme of justification, the law, and salvation in the New Testament. Seifrid combines both traditional Protestantism and the New Reformation perspective together in this complex subject. In chapter 1, Seifrid deals with Paul's life, before and after conversion. How and why Paul persecuted the Church and his subsequent conversion to Christianity. Seifrid denies the newer understanding of Paul's opposition and solution to the Jewish problem by arguing that Paul did not see the Jewish problem due to its continuing exile or because of its nationalism through the symbolic elements of the Law. Paul opposed the Jewish "gospel" because it demanded that people do works of the law to gain salvation. Chapter 2 is a short commentary on Romans 1-8. However, I do take exception to Seifrid's contention that Romans 2:13 refers to justification by works at the Final Judgment FOR believers. Chapters 3 and 4 are about Paul's understanding of justification and the Law. I do object to his view that justification is a "renewal/transformation" of creation. However, he does an excellent job proving that the Law is a whole unit, not a tripartite entity. In chapter 5, Seifrid does a good job explaining what "obedience of faith" means. Contrary to some scholars (e.g., Garlington and Schreiner), the phrase does not mean "doing works" but putting faith in the risen Christ for salvation. However, he still believes that final justification for believers will be based on their works (but not as a reflection of saving faith). Chapter 6 is the best chapter of the book. Seifrid goes over the history and fall of physical Israel and why God ordained them to fall. The author's contention is that God ordained the fall of Israel so that He can display His gracious soteric acts from the condemnation of the masses. God's glory and grace can only be manifested in darkness. Justification can only come when there is condemnation. Though there are only a "remnant" of Israelites being saved throughout history, the author makes an excellent case for the full conversion of physical Israel at the Second Coming (pp. 158-168). Chapter 7 is the only chapter I have a problem with. Seifrid's position on justification is more along the views of Schlatter, Kasemann, and Stuhlmacher, and proposes for the "recreational" view of justification rather than the purely forensic (traditional Protestantism). He even criticizes Protestants for making too much of forensic justification and imputation of Christ's righteousness. Therefore, he significantly departs from traditional Protestant soteriology. On page 181, he even states that justification is by works alone (his understanding of James 2:14-26)! Many evangelical Protestants will have a hard time agreeing with Seifrid's view on justification. The first 6 chapters are good; the final chapter is bad. Overall, an interesting look at the Law and Justification.
More than just a Pauline theology of justification! Oct 8, 2004
With all the talk of `righteousness' and `justification' in Protestant circles, some have noted that definitions traditionally given to these terms don't seem to fit biblical evidence well. Apart from much lexico-semantic or textlinguistic study, it's claimed and deemed self-evident that `justify' means `declare righteous,' and `righteousness' is a quality or status. It's no surprise that debate over these issues and a `New Perspective on Paul' have arisen. In this debate, Seifrid has generally countered several claims of `New Perspective' proponents, while also recommending some corrections to Protestant beliefs.
Here Seifrid adds a somewhat distinct and refreshing claim to this debate: `Righteousness' and `justification' are more sensibly related than previously thought. The former, in relation to kings and to God, is judging and ruling *activity* by which right order is restored or preserved in society or creation. The latter is a rewarding `act of righteousness' (`righteous judgment') and/or the resulting benefit it confers upon, or accomplishes for, the `righteous' party or rightful `victim' in a dispute. So to `justify' can be to `deliver' or `save' the humble, poor, and oppressed from the arrogant, wicked oppressor - often by executing retributive justice on the oppressor. Yet `justify' can also mean to `vindicate' the `righteous' by acting to reward him. If righteousness is judging activity that enforces the rule of law to maintain right order in society, then it involves `justifying the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness,' and `condemning' the `wicked' by `returning' his wickedness `on his own head' (1 Ki 8.31-32; 2 Chr 6.22-23; Ps 82.1-3; cp. 72.1-4).
Seifrid builds on this in showing that Paul's `righteousness of God' reflects the OT conception quite well. For Paul, the defining act of righteousness from God in this era is the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, which justifies the ungodly *believer* by granting him the rewards of forgiveness and the indwelling Spirit. And as Seifrid links God's righteousness and justification with God's `new creation,' he draws from Paul's understanding and its OT antecedents, not current trends (cp. 2 Cor 5.14-17; Gal 6.14-15; Ps 51.10, 14!). Christ's cross and resurrection together restore right order in creation by ending sin's reign in all who believe, and initiating in them the new creation by granting them the life of the age to come (cp. Rom 5.12-6.14 with 8.19-23).
While his explanations of `righteousness' and `justify' are probably the most striking features of this book, still Seifrid skillfully presents a holistic picture of Paul's understanding of creation, man, God, history, and things to come. Especially important is his recognition and exploration of the `contention' (legal dispute/conflict) that the OT establishes between God and humanity from creation onward. This biblical theme forms a crucial background and framework for both the OT and Pauline understandings of God's righteousness - judging activity that makes sense only against the backdrop of a creation gone awry, which is restored and renewed solely by the Creator's work (Ps 9.3-8, 15-20; 51.1-14; 75.2-8; 89.9-16; Isa 59.9-19). Related to this theme, Seifrid also highlights the OT concept of `the remnant,' which isn't merely those who `return from exile,' but rather includes all who are saved *through* (or *by*) God's judgment on the wicked. Seifrid examines how God's work to create a people for Himself by judging the rest of humankind - another OT dimension of His righteousness - informs and illumines Paul's claim in Rom 9-11 that the profoundly mysterious `hardening' work of God actually *helps* achieve His saving purposes in creation. The `word of God' has not `failed,' but has rather succeeded in creating by its promise the `sons of God' - partly through `hardening' the rest of humanity, who have been `prepared for destruction.'
As a result of these explorations of key biblical terms and themes, Seifrid is able to move into relatively uncharted waters on several very practical issues that continue to hamper and distract discussions of `salvation.' First, he paves the way toward a more biblical and holistic view of `faith,' where `faith' is a disposition of the *entire* self that affirms God alone is true while `self' is a mere liar. `Faith' proactively agrees and joins with God in His claims against oneself, indicting the self as the guilty idolater and vindicating God as the Righteous Creator. Second, he explores how the cross must not be treated as simply a tool for subjectively *feeling* `free of guilt' and `assured' of `going to heaven.' It further must be understood as an act of God which *accomplishes* not only forgiveness for the believer, but also a *permanent*, radical change in his heart (the `circumcision of the heart' anticipated by the OT). The faith which indicts the self and affirms God in Christ, embraces the cross which condemns and crucifies the self so that the risen Christ may come to life in the believer. Third, Seifrid consequently clarifies why repentance is an inevitable consequence of faith: One cannot embrace the cross where the power of God is located, in the gospel through which His power is distributed, and remain unchanged. The `new creation' means the end of the old, fallen creation. Justification arises only out of condemnation, life out of death. Finally, this yields his agreement with others in understanding `justification by works' as vindication for believers at God's final judgment, granted to them on the basis of what God has accomplished in and through them by His Spirit (Jas 2.8-26; cp. Rom 2.6-13, 25-29; 13.8-10) - which I'm convinced follows NT textual evidence better than traditional Protestant explanations.
Seifrid's discussions resonate with biblical lines of thought. His ideas are informed by conceptual relationships that are easily found all throughout Scripture. Accordingly, he makes vivid sense of issues sometimes clouded by *traditional* reasoning that, in my opinion, complicates *Scriptural* reasoning by adding unneeded `logical' categories to Pauline `justification' - thus going to unwarranted extremes in avoiding `legalism' and preserving `assurance.' Avoiding this, Seifrid contributes a clear vision of Paul to those who will hear. Highly recommended!