Thursday, April 23, 2009
I thought the New Perspective on Paul was not so hip after 30+ years. Let's face it, calling anything over thirty "new" is a misnomer. I assumed that anti-imperial readings would soon be the topic de jour in Pauline studies. Well, I wasn't entirely correct. Two significant books dealing with the New Perspective have already come out this year, with one more on the way. Given this proliferation of new perspectives on the New Perspective, I thought it was high time for a justification roundup.
1. Douglas Campbell's, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul (Eerdmans, 2009), won't be out until June 15. It's an absolute monster, tallying in at 1,376 pages. Michael Bird did a three-part interview with Campbell (here, here, and here) that provides a helpful summary of the tome's central tenets. I confess to wanting this book simply so I can place it in a conspicuous spot on my shelf and thereby astound my friends. However, the prospect of reading it gives me night terrors.
2. Michael Gorman's book, Inhabiting the Cruciform God: Kenosis, Justification, and Theosis in Paul's Narrative Soteriology (Eerdmans, 2009), will certainly win the award for coolest title of 2009. I imagine that Christian hipsters are already conjuring up ways to incorporate this title into the hipster vernacular. For example, "so and so's reading of the Christ-hymn was intriguing, though it did not impel me to inhabit God's Cruciformity." Gorman has summarized the book on his blog (see this, this and this).
3. Finally, we have the Good Bishop of Durham responding to his dissidents (viz. John Piper) in Justification: God's Plan and Paul's Vision (IVP, 2009). This one has received the most press on the web. The blogosphere is already inundated with information/reviews/reviews of reviews and so forth. The UK edition came out in February, but I'm waiting for the US edition (which comes out May 30th). In the meantime, I'm trying to avoid the growing compendium of info out on this book.
If all of this sounds like gobbledygook, I'd encourage you to read this or this.