Archive for the ‘Covenant Theology/Philosophy’ Category.

On being a Reformed, Pauline and Narrative Theologian.

Related Post: Short Comment on N.T. Wright’s Narrative Model

Two false dichotomies:
1) “Pauline” versus “Reformed”
It has been convenient for some New Perspective on Paul (NPP) scholars to pose a false dichotomy between being “Pauline” and being “Reformed”. This dichotomy is misleading because it refuses to acknowledge that Reformed theologians, as children of Martin Luther and John Calvin, are imbue with a profound desire is to think Paul’s thoughts after him when they insist that justification by faith alone and union with Christ is the central and teaching of Pauline soteriology (regardless of whether their critics agree with their theological insight). Likewise, the Reformed critique of NPP arises from a deep concern to uphold the integrity and coherence of Pauline soteriology.

2) “Narrative reading of Scripture” versus “Doctrinal, thematic reading of Scripture.”
N.T. Wright criticizes conservative scholars for formulating doctrines without grounding them on the “biblical story” of God’s advancing kingdom that results in human liberation and final completion of creation because of Christus Victor. Continue reading ‘On being a Reformed, Pauline and Narrative Theologian.’ »

D.A. Carson’s Lectures on the New Perspective on Paul

It is no longer chic to be a scholar who advocates the New Perspective on Paul (NPP).  Its advocates have backtracked somewhat from its audacious claims that the Reformation has misread Paul. Furthermore, the New Testament guild has since moved on to new fashions like studies on social identity, and the gospel and empire. Indeed, the latest flavor in town is on the ‘Apocalyptic Paul’.

On the other hand, that the NPP is no longer chic does not mean that it is no longer interesting or relevant. After all, the NPP touches on crucial methodological issues like early Judaism and historical hermeneutics, and central elements of salvation concerning covenant and justification. Continue reading ‘D.A. Carson’s Lectures on the New Perspective on Paul’ »

Quest for Covenant Community & Pluralist Democracy in an Islamic Context

RELIGIOUS DIALOG AND DEMOCRATIC DELIBERATION

 Dialog does not take place in a vacuum. Recognition of contextual pressures and normative ideals

Excerpt:

J. C Murray once noted that what distinguishes civil society from a mass or a herd is its ability to engage in ongoing rational deliberative dialogue. Taking a quote from Thomas Gilby he wrote, “Civilization is formed by men locked together in argument.” Conversely, without dialog, civility – and with it civil society – dies. The reason is that without a public consensus that is forged through public deliberation, there is no bond of solidarity to command allegiance to common values that hold civil society together.

Continue reading ‘Quest for Covenant Community & Pluralist Democracy in an Islamic Context’ »

Image of God and Human Personhood

Image of God and Human Personhood

The Majesty of Man
Humans stand out among living creatures with special characteristics that include the use of complex language and symbolic thought, the production of culture and technological innovations and fostering community based on moral values. It is most significant that only humans display religious longings and sing hymns. In this regard, Christian theology is right in seeing the uniqueness of man lies in his relationship with God: Only man is an ordered being, an addressed being, a responsible being. Only man is called to prayer.

The Psalmist (Psalm 8) exclaims a sense of wonderment, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Humans may be made lower than heavenly beings, but he is entrusted with dominion over the creatures. Humans are under God but over creation. Continue reading ‘Image of God and Human Personhood’ »

Covenant and Democratic Consensus in Pluralistic Society

Covenant and Democratic Consensus in Pluralistic Society
Supplement to earlier paper Covenant Community in a Divided World
by Dr. Ng Kam Weng

How can the covenant principle be extended to wider society that is pluralistic in nature? In this regard, a covenant way of life demands participation in building of democratic consensus in modern democratic societies. That is to say, the challenge of any covenant religious community is to nurture citizens who are able to transcend their religious and ethical framework and adopt what Hannah Arendt calls ‘enlarged mentality’ or ‘representative thinking’. Seyla Benhabib describes this as “the capacity to represent to oneself the multiplicity of viewpoints, the variety of perspectives, the layers of meaning which constitute a situation.” In other words, good and acceptable moral judgments arise from an exercise of reversibility of perspective either by actually listening to all involved or by representing to ourselves imaginatively the many perspectives of those involved. Continue reading ‘Covenant and Democratic Consensus in Pluralistic Society’ »