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The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul [Hardcover]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   1218
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.3" Width: 6.2" Height: 2.5"
Weight:   3.74 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2009
Publisher   Eerdmans Pub Co
ISBN  0802831265  
EAN  9780802831262  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This book breaks a significant impasse in much Pauline interpretation, pushing beyond both "Lutheran" and "New" perspectives on Paul to a non-contractual, "apocalyptic" reading of many of the apostle's most famous, and most troublesome, texts. His strongly antithetical vision identifies "participation in Christ" as the sole core of Pauline theology and produces the most radical rereading of Romans 1-4 for more than a generation. Even those who disagree will be forced to clarify their views as never before.

Publishers Description
This book breaks a significant impasse in much Pauline interpretation today, pushing beyond both "Lutheran" and "New" perspectives on Paul to a noncontractual, "apocalyptic" reading of many of the apostle's most famous -- and most troublesome -- texts.In "The Deliverance of God" Douglas Campbell holds that the intrusion of an alien, essentially modern, and theologically unhealthy theoretical construct into the interpretation of Paul has produced an individualistic and contractual construct that shares more with modern political traditions than with either orthodox theology or Paul's first-century world. In order to counteract that influence, Campbell argues that it needs to be isolated and brought to the foreground before the interpretation of Paul's texts begins. When that is done, readings free from this intrusive paradigm become possible and surprising new interpretations unfold.

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More About Douglas A. Campbell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Douglas A. Campbell spent three decades in daily journalism, twenty-five of those years as a staff writer at The Philadelphia Inquirer", where two of his stories were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Campbell has sailed his own boats since 1979 and has twice competed in the biannual Bermuda One-Two race.

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Back on track for unconditional grace  Nov 12, 2009
Christians (especially Protestants) believe that Paul's message of Justification by Faith is a message of unconditional grace. So why does that message so often lapse back into one of conditional grace: 'believe this if you desire salvation'? Could it be that believers have gotten Paul's basic message wrong all these years?

Douglas Campbell's new book could initiate and influence the biggest change in the Church's theology since the Reformation. He argues that interpreters of Paul are off-center with the heart of Paul's message of unconditional grace. They've gotten off track because they've both wrongly made Romans 1-4, with its dominant language of Justification, the center of Paul's message, and because they seriously have misread Romans 1-4. He proposes Romans 5-8, which is about God's unconditional deliverance of Creation from the powers of sin and death, as the true center for Paul's message. Paul's readers should be understanding Romans 1-4 through the lens of Romans 5-8, and not vice versa.

And so the misreading of Romans 1-4 has been huge. He suggests that Paul in Romans 1:18-3:20 has included a diatribe in the Greco-Roman style of the times against an opposing Teacher in Rome. The conventional reading of Romans 1-4 has thus represented what is actually two contradictory views of the Gospel, Paul's and his opponent's, as Paul's view alone -- thereby importing false views of faith and God into the Church's theology (e.g., conditional grace). Campbell skillfully sorts out the opponent's views in his radical rereading of Romans 1-4 such that Paul's Gospel is more clearly the message of a gracious, unconditional deliverance from sin and death in order that believers might live life in the Spirit.

So how could so many interpreters have missed that Paul is including and arguing against the views of an opposing Teacher in Romans 1:18-3:20? Where do we see clues of this in the text?

Campbell argues this thesis about an opposing Teacher on a number of different levels, at least partially because the clues in the text are much easier to see when we understand the thesis from levels other than just the text of Romans 1:18-3:30 itself:

* On the level of the text as an oral performance: Paul would have written all of his letters to be read out loud in the community, especially for the sake of the many members who couldn't read. Often they would have been read by the letter bearer herself. (Is Rom. 16:1 an indication that Phoebe was the letter bearer in this instance?) Diatribe was a common text (orally performed) in the Greco-Roman world when one was addressing opposing views (works of Epictetus and Cicero are often cited as examples). Diatribe usually included a certain amount of what was called prosopopoiia in Greek, "speech-in-character," so that the opponent's views are presented. If Romans 1:18-3:20 is in diatribe style, including the voice of Paul's opponent, the main cues for that would have been oral, not written, since the letter was to be an oral performance. Romans 1:18-3:20, in this case, would be like the script of a two-character play, minus the names of the characters, with Paul training the letter bearer to keep the parts straight when making the oral performance.

* On the level of the text of Romans 1:18-3:20 itself: once one has this thesis in mind, there are plenty of clues in the written text. For example: it's long been recognized that the writing style in Rom. 1:18-32 bears several marks (without enumerating them here) of Paul deliberately writing with a different style. Campbell suggests that this is because it's an example of "speech-in-character." It's Paul presenting the view of his opposing Teacher with a style meant to mimic his opponent's style. A smaller example of a textual clue would be "my gospel" in Rom. 2:16. Why label portion of the text as "my" gospel unless the text also included portions with another version of the gospel? Campbell brings out many such clues from the text itself.

* On the level of the whole letter and Paul's writings as a whole: There are ideas and concepts in Rom. 1:18-3:20 contradictory to Paul's views elsewhere, particularly in Romans 5-8. Chapter 3 in Campbell's book, "Systematic Difficulties," details ten such difficulties. For example, epistemology. In Rom. 1:19-20 the view expressed is that everything human beings need to know about God is available to everyone through the creation; elsewhere in Paul knowledge of God has been a complete mystery to humankind until, and then only through, the revelation of God in Jesus Christ.

* On the level of theology as a whole: Today's typical Justification theology based on Romans 1-4 has alien elements within it, such as conditional grace. Justification language isn't even the right language to center our theology from Paul in the first place. It was language Paul used only when in debate with certain opposing Teachers, such as in Galatians, Romans 1-4, and Philippians 3. For a theology of truly unconditional grace, we need to center our theology from Paul on Romans 5-8 and a language of Deliverance. God in Jesus Christ is graciously rescuing the Creation from the powers of sin and death. If Christians truly seek a gospel of unconditional grace, then it is time to leave our Protestant Justification theory behind and preach the Good News of God's Deliverance. Campbell's book is an indispensable guide to that end.
The Other Perspective  Aug 31, 2009

When Sanders wrote "Paul and Palestinian Judaism" it defined the trajectory of Pauline Scholarship for 30 years. Campbell's "The Deliverance of God" will be the piece that defines the next 30.

With bold approach Campbell sets out to deconstruct and demythologize the theory of Justification. Section one is a simple, but methodological, assault on the claims of Justification both particularly and empirically. From the outset he brazenly tips his hand offering another perspective that is held in constant parallel during his critique of the old and new perspectives in Pauline scholarship. Section two is a succinct but efficient definition of hermeneutics and a generous plea for honest scholarship. The remainder of the book is a systematic approach to Paul's soteriology that functions as an apology for Justification (in the negative) and an apology for his own perspective (in the positive).

Whether you agree or disagree with what Campbell has to offer there is little doubt that it will burden the paradigm of popular theologies with a need for hard evidence if it wants to continue.

On a practical level Campbell's perspective offers hope to those, whether inside or outside the church, who have been held captive by, were repulsed by, or critical of, the fearmongering that has dominated in the church for too long.
Tour de Force  Aug 31, 2009
Douglas Campbell's THE DELIVERANCE OF GOD is a tour de force for the proponents of the New Perspective on Paul (NPP), even as he challenges these same proponents to realize the full eschatological and apocalyptic dimensions of the grand narrative inspiring St. Paul. It will be interesting to see what mental gymnastics and convoluted exegesis conservative evangelicals resort to in order to delay the inevitable: facing the inconvenient truth that sola fide versions of Christianity are founded on a mistake, whether in their liberal or conservative variegated forms. Worse, evangelicals who buy into Justification Theory as traditionally construed must also face the latent anti-Semitism that keeps them in denial about the nature and experience of Jews who love the Torah, as well as in denial about their own Gnostic (cognitive, individualist, voluntaristic) approach to the issues involved, hoping against hope that the cheap grace of their once-saved-always-saved mentality is more substantial than the chimera both Paul and Campbell have shown it to be.

THE DELIVERANCE OF GOD, I suspect, will shape the debate for decades to come, so thorough and adept is Campbell at laying bare the assumptions, contradictions, aporias, and anticipated objections of those who oppose NPP, while also showing with skill and erudition the eschatological anemia of even the more brilliant NPP supporters. Campbell's is a book to thrill to, unless, of course, you are a sola fide believer. The sweep of his ambition is superbly matched by his meticulous method. He never allows us to lose sight of the forest for the trees; yet, he has marked every single tree in the thicket of NPP research, stopping just long enough to tell us succinctly why this or that tree will survive his ground-clearing work.

If I were an evangelical Christian open to the full force of Campbell's analysis, I would feel betrayed by my tradition and at sea for my identity in Christ. Failing a participationist model of life "in Christ" that includes ecclesiological and sacramental dimensions as profoundly ritualistic and ethically demanding as those of Paul, both as a Jew and a Christian, the evangelical faith that supposedly overcomes the legalism of Judaism is in truth an anti-Semitic, Gnostic (cognitive) form of works righteousness. This is the graced irony evangelicals are compelled to face if they have the courage to accept THE DELIVERANCE OF GOD.
A MUST READ!  Aug 15, 2009
This book is a MUST READ! I cannot stress that strongly enough. Douglas Campbell gives new eyes to the reading of Scripture through the lens of GRACE. I promise this book will revolutionize your faith and your reading of Scripture.

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