Civil powers

In a 2009 article responding to Richard Hays’s pacifist reading of the New Testament ( Studies in Christian Ethics ), Nigel Biggar argues that Hays’s Anabaptist reading of Romans 13 is “incoherent.” Hays argues that while the use of force in punishment is ordained of God, . . . . Continue Reading »

Baptismal meditation

Romans 10:9-10: If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. A baptismal liturgy is an appropriate place for . . . . Continue Reading »

Chiasm in Romans 10

Romans 10:9-10 has a neat chiastic structure: A. If you confess B. With your mouth the Lord Jesus C. And believe D. in your heart that God raised Him E. you will be saved D’. For with the heart C’. One believes unto righteousness B’. And with the mouth A’. Confession is . . . . Continue Reading »

Wretched Men

The church in Laodicea is wretched without knowing it (Revelation 3:17). The only other use of the word “wretched” in the New Testament is in Romans 7, where Paul laments after describing his divided existence under the law, that he is a “wretched” man longing for release. . . . . Continue Reading »

Shameless Paul

Paul is not ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16). We psychologize: Some might be embarrassed to preach a crucified Christ, but not Paul. He glories in the shame. That’s true enough, but Paul’s emphasis lies elsewhere, according to Neil Elliott ( The Arrogance of Nations: Reading Romans . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith of Jesus

Perriman offers a careful assessment of the “faith of Jesus” question. He notes the differences between the verb pisteuo and the noun pistis , notes as well the differences between Habakkuk’s use of the word and the use of the verb in Genesis 15, and concludes: “The verb . . . . Continue Reading »

Paul and Christendom

Perriman’s subtitle is “Reading Romans Before and After Western Christendom.” The before and after are important. If Paul’s gospel in Romans is an announcement about God’s wrath against the oikoumene and the vindication of those who trust Jesus, then it is fulfilled in . . . . Continue Reading »

The Future of the People of God

Andrew Perriman’s The Future of the People of God: Reading Romans Before and After Western Christendom offers a highly stimulating re-reading of Paul and of Romans in particular. Perriman argues that Romans, like the prophetic books of the Old Testament, is directed at a specific historical . . . . Continue Reading »

To See Themselves Sin

A student, Leta Sundet, wrote a quite brilliant paper on Romans 7. The entire paper is posted below. “I do not understand my own actions,” Paul says helplessly. “I do the things I hate. Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Christians have . . . . Continue Reading »

Condemned sin in flesh

When Jesus died as a sin offering, God “condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3), with the result that the righteous requirement of the law can be fulfilled in us (v. 4). James Dunn paraphrases: In the cross, God “passed effective judgment on sin.” In Christ’s death, . . . . Continue Reading »