Sunday, March 01, 2009

Key Elements of Pauline Theology

I know that Romans is often touted as a "template" for Pauline theology (see Sheila McGinn, Celebrating Romans: Template for Pauline Theology), but I am beginning to wonder if Galatians is a better example of Paul's raw and radical theology in many respects. Galatians contains a clear explication of Paul's apocalyptic framework (Gal.1.4), participation in Christ (Gal. 2.17, 20; 3.27-28), gospel and justification (2.15-21), Law-Faith antithesis (Gal. 3.1-9), Pauline hermeneutics (Gal. 3.10-14), redemptive-history (Gal. 3.15-5.1), life in the Spirit (Gal. 5.2-6.10), the church as the 'Israel of God' (Gal. 6.16 - see Beale and Kostenberger on that verse), and he gives us some of our best insights into the complexity of early Christianity (Gal. 1.6-2.14; 6.11-16).


Unknown said...

Hi Michael- What in particular do you think makes these better examples than those in Romans?

simon said...

I agree that Galatians is the better template because it's earlier and formed the framework for Paul working through a number of issues that possibly reached their fullest expression in Romans. Isn't that a definition of template?