Ever since Krister Stendahl’s seminal essay, “The Apostle Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West,” one of the foundational arguments for the New Perspective(s) on Paul (NPP) has been that the traditional protestant/reformed view of justification is largely due to the cultural influence of “the West” and its emphasis on individualism and subjectivism.
Paul is not really concerned with individual sin, guilt and forgiveness (we are told). Reformed folks are simply reading that issue into the text due to their cultural situation. Indeed, according to Stendahl, the Reformed view of justification is largely due to Luther’s individual struggle with his own conscience.
Place - View - Justification - NPP - Advocates
In place of the reformed view of justification, NPP advocates have suggested that Paul is really working on a more corporate/community level. Paul’s struggle is not over how a sinner stands before a holy God, but his struggle is how to unify Jew and Gentile into one community.
Thus justification, it is argued, is really about overcoming ethnocentrism and nationalism.
NPP - Advocates - Correction - Readings - Paul
So convinced are the NPP advocates of their correction of reformed/protestant readings of Paul that they use the...
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