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Justification And The New Perspectives On Paul: A Review And Response [Paperback]

By Guy Prentiss Waters (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   273
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.82"
Weight:   0.94 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 11, 2004
Publisher   P & R PUBLISHING #97
ISBN  0875526497  
EAN  9780875526492  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Have evangelicals misunderstood Paul? Was the Reformation doctrine of justification a mistake? The New Perspective on Paul has serious implications for that pivotal doctrine of the gospel. Guy Waters lays out the theological, historical, and cultural antecedents to the New Perspective and examines its leading proponents. He offers a trenchant critique of their work and warns us of problems that the New Perspective may pose within the Church.

Publishers Description
Traces the rise of the "new perspective" on Paul, beginning in the nineteenth century, offers a critique, and identifies what's at stake for Reformed Christianity.

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More About Guy Prentiss Waters

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Waters is assistant professor of biblical studies at Belhaven College. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., Greek and Latin), Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Duke University (Ph.D. in religion, with concentrations in New Testament, Old Testament, and ancient Judaism). He is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in America.

Guy Prentiss Waters was born in 1975.

Guy Prentiss Waters has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Basics of the Faith

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
First stop for understanding the New Pauline Perspective  Jan 3, 2007
Guy Waters is an exceptional scholar and theologian. His overview of the history of interpretation that has led to the new perspectives on Paul is clear as it is thorough. Guy Waters then goes on to present the New Pauline Perspectives as objectively and sensitively as possible. After three quarters of the book given to delineation of NPP, Dr. Waters gets to the critique of these perspectives/doctrines and their effect/affect upon the Protestant Evangelical church.

Dr. Waters writes with tremendous humility and balance. His presentation is very fair to the NPP scholars. Even when Guy Waters has devastating evidence against New Pauline scholarship he doesn't blow the trumpet, but relates it quietly so that the evidence speaks for itself. Dr. Waters also notes where NPP scholarship HAS been constructive and helpful. In my opinion, this is the first book one should read when embarking upon the journey to understand the NPP movement.

God bless,
Buyer beware  Mar 29, 2005
Readers might want to first read the following review before purchasing:

I would recommend Frank Thielman's _Paul & the Law_ for a good appraisal of the promise and perils of the so-called "new perspective."
Waters clears the air  Feb 7, 2005
Here is a very informative and thought-provoking book on the New Perspective on Paul (NPP) by an evangelical Presbyterian (PCA) biblical scholar. If there is one book to be had by Reformed Christians that makes a good comparison between the NPP and their own tradition this book is it. Though not as deep as Westerholm's book, it still does a good job outlining the issues and problems of the NPP.

There are nine chapters in total. And the first seven are devoted to the views of the various New Perspective scholars (from Schweitzer to Wright) on the issue of Judaism, law, and justification. Waters outlines the various New Perspective views more easily and concisely than Westerholm does. Out of the various New Perspective scholars, Waters focuses most of his attention on Sanders, Dunn, and Wright (the NPP trinity).

One will be impressed by the depth and amount of knowledge Waters possesses regarding this issue. The critiques he gives of the views of Sanders, Dunn, and Wright are quite impressive and penetrating. In fact, Waters does not hold back and tells it like it is. One of the things I liked about Waters' analysis of the NPP is that it is based on faulty foundations (liberal and modernist assumptions) and improper hermeneutics (using Second Temple sources as interpretive guides for Paul's letters). I also liked the way Waters highlights how NPP scholars failed to exegetically deal with the Pauline texts that deal with Christ's death (Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9). Waters rightly concludes that Christ's atonement is fundamentally soteriological than ecclesiastical (i.e., dealing more with personal sin than covenantal openness).

Most of all, I really liked Waters' critique of the NPP and his analysis of the NPP's relationship to Reformed Christianity. Though he only devotes two chapters (8 and 9) on this issue, I believe that he has pretty much decisively struck down the idea that the NPP is compatible with confessional Reformed (and Protestant) theology. The reader will come out of these chapters wondering how a Reformed pastor in his right mind can accept the conclusions of the NPP and still be considered Reformed (or even evangelical). I also liked his section on Norman Shepherd's view of justification and how it has more affinities with the NPP and Trent than the Reformed standards (pp. 204-211).

This book should be read by all theologians, pastors, and officers in the various conservative Presbyterian and Reformed seminaries and denominations. This book will make it clear that the NPP and Reformed Christianity are incompatible. Those NPP leaning "Reformed" teachers and ministers who still insist on serving at Presbyterian and Reformed schools and churches should realize that they are doing their students and congregants a disservice with their deception. In fact, they preach a false gospel that Paul would condemn if he were alive today (Galatians 1:8-9). If they had enough integrity they would openly confess that their views are incompatible with Reformed and Protestant orthodoxy and quietly leave their respective schools and congregations. Unfortunately, it seems, many of these "Reformed" ministers out there seem to care more about creating some theocratic state on earth and not losing their livelihood. May God use this book to further His truth.
A helpful introduction to the issues of the NPP et al.  Jan 18, 2005
Guy Waters has done an admirable job of fairly representing the views of the major advocates of the New Perspectives on Paul (NPP). An example of his fairness is seen in the title itself, which describes the views as "Perspectives" and not simply one monolithic viewpoint. While there are certainly connecting points between Stendhal (arguably the father of the NPP), Sanders, Dunn, and Wright, Waters points out the areas in which they do not agree. There's a good deal of nuance in this book, but not so much as to bog it down in semantical jargon and hairsplitting details. The initial section of the book is an historical overview of the develpoment of the NPP, laying the roots at the foot of the "higher critical" schools of the late 1900's and the early 20th century. This aspect of his thesis is probably the most arguable, since it involves guessing at the motivation of the writers involved. Less controversial, is his illustrating the reaction against the earlier anti-Jewish writings of the pre-war II theological writers. Waters graciously points out that the NPP advocates are reacting against the errant argument of a purely legalistic/Pelagian Second Temple Judaism that was presented by these pre-WWII writers. Stendhal up to Wright have appropriately pointed out that Second Temple Judaism was a synergistic religion and semi-Pelagian, contra the earlier writers, which (mis)represented Judaism as being nothing more than a crass works-righteousness religion. Modern NT scholarship and Second Temple Jewish scholarship has been improved by their work in this regard. Yet even with this said, the weakness exists in their research of making Second Temple Judaism essentially no different than NT teachings on justification/salvation. Overall, Waters does a decent job of advocating his viewpoint (the traditional Reformed/Lutheran perspective on Paul's teachings on justification), while representing the NPP views fairly, although he does occasionally give a dig during the historical overview. It's in the second half of the book that Waters provides the critique of the NPP. Since this part of the book is mainly concerned with an exegetical defense of the traditional Reformed/Lutheran view of Paul, it's necessarily a bit more technical. But it's well worth the effort to plow through it. It is by far the strongest part of the book. The one weakness the book has is in its occasional tendency to take a statement made by an antagonist and seeing it in its worst possible light. Thankfully, he's not often guilty of this, but it does detract from the overall tenor. Of course, the advocates of the NPP are also guilty of that tendency themselves, so there's plenty of blame to go around! (that behavior runs rampant in conservative Reformed circles!)The book ends with an analysis of Norman Shepherd's views and that of the AAPC, which are of particular interest to me, since I'm indirectly personally connected to Shepherd. So I was particularly concerned to see how Waters dealt with him. Essentially, Waters thesis is that these various writers are guilty (in slightly different, but essentially similar ways), whether unknowingly or intentionally, of conflating the doctrines of justification with sanctification, thus leading to a view that's essentially that of Rome. While the writers in question (esp. Wright) are admirably concerned with ecumenical concerns, and with interfaith dialogue (esp. with Judaism), this should not allow us to dismiss proper exegetical analysis of the Scriptures in a proper historical context. That's the main beef Waters has with them. And in that I agree.

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