Thursday, November 13, 2008

My ETS Paper On-line: What if Martin Luther Had Read the Dead Sea Scrolls?

My paper scheduled for 21 Nov 2008 at the Evangelical Theological Society in Boston is available on-line and is entitled: What if Martin Luther Had Read the Dead Sea Scrolls? Historical Particularity and Theological Interpretation in Pauline Theology: Galatians as a Test Case. Let me say: (1) This is a draft and I hope to tinker with it a bit more before I submit it somewhere for publication; (2) It is placed on-line for the benefit of others but I'd prefer that it were not widely distributed in it's current form; (3) In a nutshell, the paper argues that a proper understanding of the historical particularity of Paul's letter to the Galatians has a very good pay off in terms of theological interpretation.


Angie Van De Merwe said...

I did not have time to read all of your paper, which, by the way, I enjoyed. I will finish it later. I left off at righteousness.

I used to wholeheartedly adhere to Reformed theology (except for hyper Calvinistic understandings of pre-destination). Then, I became exposed to Arminian thinking and it has taken and is still taking a transformation of understanding.

I think that the way to understand the "ditch" between the NPP and the old, is in developmental psychology. Developmental psychology affirms the individual understanding of theological's impact upon the person, but does not have to limit that understanding to a particular stage. Ideally, as in parenting, the individual comes to understand the complex issues that surround the "political" (communal) and their own personal responsibility before community. Believing in Christ, as a substitute (faith in Christ) is necessary for the childish need to be freed from guilt and judgment. But, there does come a time when the child learns that his own life must be a responsible one. He must take responsiblity for the choices he makes and own his own values. This is maturity and is the faith of Christ.

The faith of Christ does not necessarily demand a certain "work" or behavior, but is cognizant of the values and commitments to those values that are most important. There comes a shift of thinking from scapegoating a historical figure, that brings freedom psychologically, to a "cleansed conscience", where one can truely walk in the faith of Christ, with no fear of judgment, not because of a need to be "free of guilt", but because of a freedom of life, spirit and heart, that is understood and grounded within one's "self". The transcentdental realm has come upon earth when the individual develops to "own responsibility" for his own life, and however that plays out. All of life becomes God's, where the partition between the sacred and secular; the Jew and the Gentile; and self and other dissolve. These partitions of the spiritual, social and individual are the universalization of life itself before God. Life opens up and things are not seen in categories(religious identifications), but in priorities (ethics).

I hope that my limited reading did not undermine how I understood you, and that what I have said helps somewhat in how I have come to resolve the partition between the Reformed and the Arminian....

Valkyr said...

It would be interesting to ask the same question in regard to Martyr, Origen, Irenaeus et. al.

Kyle Fever said...


Type-o on page 4 in the middle of the NT Wright citation: "I have no changed this aim and method..."

Just so it does not throw you off when you read it.

Hope to see you in Boston,

Kyle Fever
(we talked a bit last year in San Diego about Paul and Diaspora Judaism and Thomas Tobin writing the Romans commentary for your new series...)