The New Perspective on Paul: Calvin and N.T. Wright

What exactly is the nature of the New Perspectives on Paul? So asks Dr. J.V. Fesko, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary, California. He presents a lengthy – but very worthwhile – survey of N.T. Wright’s New Perspective on Paul, contrasting it with the Reformation understanding of justification and works of the law as expressed by Calvin. He concludes:

What makes the new perspective most harmful to the church is its use of terminology. Advocates of the new perspective use terms such as Scripture, sin, justification, works, faith, and gospel, but have given them entirely different meanings.

The advocates of the new perspective on Paul give us no reason to abandon the old perspective. Their case lacks evidence from primary sources and has fundamental presuppositions that conflict with Scripture itself. Those who drink at the fountain of the new perspective must drink with great discernment because hiding behind orthodox nomenclature lies liberalism, and the heart of liberalism is unbelief. In the end, it looks like Qohelet was right after all—there is nothing new under the sun.

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2 thoughts on “The New Perspective on Paul: Calvin and N.T. Wright

  1. The New Perspective on Paul is an extremely convoluted “strange” interpretation of “What Paul really meant”. It is almost impossible to define because its premise insists that NO ONE has understood what Paul was taking about UNTIL Mr. Wright figured it out. So, all the Christian theologians throughout the last 2000 years have some how misunderstood what exactly Paul was talking about.
    Here are two helpful articles:

    http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/new_p.html

    http://www.svchapel.org/resources/articles/23-doctrine/559-the-new-perspective-on-paul-part-1

    In Christ alone, charisse

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