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New Perspectives on Paul

New Perspectives on Paul

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What Is the New Perspective on Paul?

The New Perspective on Paul is a general term referring to multiple strains of thought that have been building in England and North America for about 30 years but have caught the attention of most PCA leaders within the last five years. In broadest terms the New Perspective emphasizes the corporate nature of our salvation in distinction from the typical way many North Americans think about their salvation primarily as “a personal relationship with Jesus.” The best forms of the New Perspective do not deny the personal aspects of our salvation but contend that a focus on individual blessings is more a product of Western culture than a reflection of the Apostle Paul’s design for the New Testament church. What we need to remember is that the Bible never divorces our corporate identity from our personal faith — we who believe are members of the body of Christ. Still, without personal faith and repentance we cannot truly unite with Christ no matter how much we participate in the Church’s corporate heritage or practices.
– Source: An Explanation of the New Perspective on Paul, Bryan Chapell. Posted May, 2005, at Ligonier Ministries



  • The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright John Piper

    “John Piper’s challenging yet courteous book takes issue with Tom Wright regarding Paul’s teaching on justification. This serious critique deserves to be read by all who want to understand more fully God’s righteousness in Christ and his justifying the ungodly.”
    — Peter T. O’Brien, Senior Research Fellow in New Testament, Moore Theological College, Australia

    “The so-called ‘New Perspective on Paul’ has stirred up enormous controversy. The issues are not secondary, and, pastor that he is, John Piper will not allow believers to put their trust in anyone or anything other than the crucified and resurrected Savior.”
    — D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

    “In this captivating book John Piper defends the truth that justification is the heart of the gospel. Wright’s views are presented with scrupulous fairness. I found this book to be not only doctrinally faithful but also spiritually strengthening.”
    — Thomas R. Schreiner, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

    “Piper’s look at justification does this with a superb tone and a careful presentation of his case. Piper has put us in a position to hear both sides of the debate and understand what is at stake. Be prepared to be sharpened by a careful dialogue about what justification is.”
    — Darrell L. Bock, Research Professor of NT Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary,
    – Source: reviews posted by Amazon.com

  • The Gospel of Free Acceptance in Christ [Contra] Cornelius P. Venema

    The church is being challenged with new perspectives on Paul’s doctrine of justification. This book examines both the older perspectives and the claims being made by those who propose a newer reading of the apostle’s letters. This will enable a careful study of a very timely issue: the defense of the gospel itself.
    – Source: Publisher’s description


  • Nine Points on the New Perspective, [Audio] Michael Horton provides nine points on the New Perspective in this first of three lectures. From an adult Sunday school class at Christ United Reformed Church in Santee, Calif., where Dr. Horton is a member. [Part 2] [Part 3]


  • The Paul Page “[W]ebsite dedicated to exploring recent trends in Pauline studies like ‘the new perspective on Paul’ and ‘Paul and Empire.'”

    The Paul Page was founded in 1999 by Mark M. Mattison. Originally designed as a personal web site “dedicated to the new perspective on Paul,” it quickly grew to include a wide variety of resources.

    The Paul Page was an early pioneer of topic-based internet resources on biblical theology, combining the functionality of a “gateway” (a site filled with off-site links) with original featured content (including articles and book reviews) and an electronic bookstore. The combination of these features made The Paul Page a comprehensive one-stop resource on the new perspective on Paul. The editorial decision to include material critical of the new perspective enhanced its usefulness.

    For ten years, Mattison struggled to keep pace with the changing technology and explosion of relevant on-line material, as well as the evolving landscape of Pauline studies. In 2009 he entered into a partnership with Logos Bible Software, which redesigned the site as part of the “family” of the newly-redesigned New Testament Gateway sites. With the facelift The Paul Page expanded its scope beyond the new perspective on Paul, thanks to the help of a new editorial team.
    – Source: About The Paul Page Last accessed, Feb. 18, 2010

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First published (or major update) on Thursday, February 18, 2010

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