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The Gospel of Free Acceptance in Christ (Venema)

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"It is my hope that this study will contribute in some small way to a renewed appreciation for the gospel of God's free acceptance of his people in Christ, and an informed awareness of the threat to the evangelical church posed by the new perspectives on Paul." - From the Author's Preface

Recent decades have seen a renewal of interest in the central message of the Christian gospel among contemporary New Testament scholars. ‘New perspectives’ on Paul’s doctrine of justification have emerged and are being offered to the church.

This book has been written out of the conviction that Protestant churches need to reacquaint themselves with their rich doctrinal heritage, particularly their understanding of the gospel- the good news of free acceptance with God on the basis of Christ’s redeeming work. Before abandoning the ‘older perspective’ on Paul in favour of the new, evangelical Christians need to understand exactly what it is they are being asked to abandon.

Furthermore, evangelicals must take a careful look at the claims of those who propose a newer and ostensibly ‘better’ reading of the apostle’s letters. The newer perspective on Paul makes bold claims for itself, some of which may be rather appealing in an age that favors change and has grown weary with the battle lines of ancient and bitter debates. The newer perspective on Paul demands careful study and assessment, for at stake is nothing less than the gospel itself.

In this study the reader will find:

  • A summary of the older perspective of the Reformation (which understood justification to be the gospel’s declaration that sinners are acceptable to God by the grace of Christ alone)
  • A general introduction to what is known as the ‘new perspective’ on Paul
  • A critical assessment of new perspective claims from both a biblical and a theological standpoint.

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