Saturday, March 25, 2006

What I'm Reading: Justification: What's at Stake in the Current Debates

If there's one doctrine I can't get enough of, it's the doctrine of Justification. I love reading about it, I love (in Bridges' words) employing it to "preach the gospel to myself" and I am especially interested in keeping up with the current debates regarding what Justification is and how it takes place. Therefore, for Soteriology last week, I decided to read some of the material in Husbands and Treier's work. In reading through Carson's excellent essay The Vindication of Imputation: On Fields of Discourse and Semantic Fields (A carsonesque title if ever there was one -- absolutely obfuscating to the uninitiated, but tipping his hand to the rest. Oh, and don't miss the play on words with "vindication" - remember the topic here is justification), I came across an excellent statement on the nature of sin I thought I'd pass on:

"First, Paul does not think of sin and evil primarily in legal terms. The origin of evil is bound up with rebellion, with idolatry, with the de-godding of God (cf. Rom 1:18-3:20). What draws down God's wrath, above all things, is the obscenity of competition--for there is no other God."

D.A. Carson in Justification: What's at Stake in the Current Debates
p. 71 (Italics his, bold mine).

Describing sin as the "obscenity of competition" is an excellent summary of Paul's thrust in the latter half of Romans 1 and is powerful language for challenging both the body and our pomo world today.

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