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Surely one of the most peace-making contributors to the discussions about Paul’s theology is Michael Gorman who grabs what is good from the big bag of the past, ignores what is not so good (without polemical dismissals), and adds his own wisdom. He contributes by putting this all into a new package about the meaning of justification, which too often is narrowly seen as forensic and what some called a “legal fiction.” What about sanctification?
Gorman brings justification into participation with sanctification (there’s a pun there for those with eyes to see) in his new collection of essays, Participating in Christ: Explorations in Paul’s Theology and Spirituality (#ad).
Study - New - Creation
His 7th study is about “New Creation!” and it seeks to show… well, here’s how he states it:
1. Galatians 2:15-21 is a self-contained rhetorical unit, the subject of this unit is “justification,” and Paul is offering his own interpretation of justification.
Approaches - Means - Works - Law - Messiah
2. There are two mutually exclusive approaches to the means of justificationnamely, the (works of the) law and the Messiah’s death—but because Messiah Jesus’ faithful and loving death is the manifestation (or apocalypse) of God’s grace, it alone is the actual means, or objective basis, of justification.
3. Justification is a participatory reality described explicitly as entailing co-crucifixion with the Messiah, and this is what Paul means here by ith”; it is this type of faith—a death with the Messiah, and both to the law and to the self—that brings a person into the realm of the Messiah. This is the mode, or subjective basis, of justification.
Justification - Participation - Messiah - Death - Resurrection
4. Justification is participation not only in the Messiah’s death but also in his resurrection, which means...
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