Friday, March 07, 2008

Doug Moo: Fresh Thoughts on Justifcation in Paul and James

A couple weeks ago, Doug Moo gave a lecture at Denver Seminary on justification entitled "Fresh Thoughts on Justification in Paul and James" by which he tries to deal with the tension between justification by faith and final judgment according to works.

I found it interesting to hear Moo's changing view of justification, having an "already and not yet" aspect by which the "not yet" includes a direct judgment based on our faith. This moves Moo away from the traditional reformed-view (i.e. John Piper) by which our works or faith are only evidences that we are truly in Christ rather then having any direct connection in God's judgment. On the other hand, Moo's changing view moves him closer to people like Mark Seifrid or Simon Gathercole, who see a direct relationship to human subjectivity (faith or good works) and God's judgment with the differences being that Moo doesn't believe that we are evaluated based on our works but only through our faith.

I also found it interesting to hear a seasoned Pauline scholar say that he is still refining his thoughts justification.


Blake White said...

Thanks for this link. I hope to finish it tomorrow. This debate just keeps getting messier.

Anonymous said...

What should have been realized all throughout this debate between Wright and Piper is the following: Both men are looking at things from a different angle emphasizing different things and explaining things a bit differently. Whenever we formulate doctrine or summarize the Bible theologically, things get missed. What was carefully, though not necessarily thoroughly explained in Scripture gets over-simplified when defined. Has anyone recognized that we need Piper, Wright, Calvin, Luther, Hooker, and even Wesley to attain a fairer, more balanced perspective? Initially, reductionism is very alluring but with time it must yield to the broader, deeper, and more nuanced outlook that represents reality itself. In short, we must grow up and leave behind our childish thinking.

Anonymous said...

Also, critical to an understanding of the debate (and probably to much denominational separation) is the failure to assess scripture properly. What I mean is that readers have to discern what is simple and what is complicated; where something is simple it should not be complicated, and where something is complicated it should not be made to sound simple. If people accomplish this, they'll be on their way toward conveying the Gospel more accurately and more clearly too.