Review of Dr. Venema’s tract on the New Perspective

2012/05/18

Getting the Gospel Right: Assessing the Reformation and New Perspectives on PaulGetting the Gospel Right: Assessing the Reformation and New Perspectives on Paul by Cornelis P. Venema
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fine introduction to and mini critique of the New Perspectives on Paul. Right from the start, Cornelis Venema carefully distinguishes among New “Perspectives,” noting that proponents like E.P. Sanders, James Dunn, and N.T. Wright each make a distinctive contribution to a supposedly fresh view of Paul’s doctrine of justification. Venema’s approach moves by briefly stating the Reformation view, presenting the arguments of the scholars listed above, and concluding with a thoughtful engagement with the New Perspectives. Venema’s book stays clear and to-the-point throughout. The book also helpfully avoids lopsidedness, observing helpful insights in the New Perspectives. The footnotes provide enough relevant literature so that the reader will have a good springboard into deeper study. The strength of Venema’s critique lies in its Biblical basis. If you wonder what this controversy is about, start here.

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