Monday 29 August 2005

Michael Bird on the New Perspective

The latest issue of the revived Criswell Theological Review 2:2 (2005) is devoted to the New Perspective on Paul. It includes this article from our friend Mike Bird: “When the Dust Finally Settles: Coming to a Post-New Perspective Perspective.”

This essay offers a balanced and constructive evangelical proposal, and I’m sure many readers will find it helpful. As in all his work on the New Perspective, Mike is concerned to offer a mediating position which is at once appreciative and critical of the New Perspective. In this essay he affirms the significance of a Jewish merit theology as part of the background to Paul’s view of justification, but he also notes that Paul was primarily concerned not with legalism but with the problem of Gentile inclusion. Mike feels that we can accept the valuable insights offered by the New Perspective without rashly dismissing the traditional concept of “forensic” righteousness.

All Mike’s work on the New Perspective is excellent—I hope in the future he’ll gather some of these essays together in a book on Pauline theology. And if you haven’t yet seen Mike’s superb online New Perspective bibliography, then you should take a look.

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