Saturday, March 01, 2008

Justification in the Pauline Corpus: Day 1

Peter T O'Brien is in town in KL and I had signed up for his lectures on Justification, not really realising that I have classes back to back - I just completed Interpreting the Old Testament last weekend and now I am up for classes again for the coming couple of weeks.

I had prepared to be befuddled and true enough, I was. Justification, these days cannot be discussed without addressing the New Perspective on Paul, a phrase coined by James Dunn and advocated by E.P Sanders back in 1977 and lately very strongly propagated by N.T. Wright and James Dunn himself.

I have yet to even settle many issues pertaining to the doctrine justification, salvation, redemption and sanctification, I am now being overwhelmed with too much to work out and think about. However, amidst the temptation to convert it from credit to audit, I think I will stick on with it and take the challenge. I wonder if I can say the prayer, "I believe, but help my ignorance."

There are a lot of things I am still intensely confounded over but one practical thing I learnt is when O'Brien did an exegesis of Romans 4:16-31. Based on v.22-23, all are equally sinful and equally in need of God's righteousness. This is similar to what I learnt from John Piper, and O'Brien is telling us that if God can bring us to him, how much much he wants to bring others to him. So don't give up and share the good news. I have mentioned before that this seem to be a recurrent theme for me for the last year. It was also the topic for bible study last night where we discussed at length about sharing the gospel and here again, a call to go and tell other about what Christ has done and about justification by faith, the central and the most fundamental truth of all times. I am encouraged, Lord give me courage.



  1. Sounds like you all have a good time with sad I was not able to listen to his lectures.

  2. We are commanded to tell in so many ways. I think our life must be the real "telling". Actions speak louder than words. But words are still needed, too!!!!

  3. Kar Yong,
    Good time? It is more like "HELP!!!!!!" haha ... anyway, there is this gentlement who is attending his first TEE module, poor thing lar - he told me he thoroughly blur dy!!