By Guy Prentiss Waters

Have evangelicals misunderstood Paul? used to be the Reformation doctrine of justification a mistake? the hot viewpoint on Paul has critical implications for that pivotal doctrine of the gospel. man Waters lays out the theological, ancient, and cultural antecedents to the hot standpoint and examines its top proponents. He deals a trenchant critique in their paintings and warns us of difficulties that the recent Perspective Read more...

summary: Have evangelicals misunderstood Paul? was once the Reformation doctrine of justification a mistake? the recent point of view on Paul has severe implications for that pivotal doctrine of the gospel. man Waters lays out the theological, historic, and cultural antecedents to the hot viewpoint and examines its best proponents. He bargains a trenchant critique in their paintings and warns us of difficulties that the recent viewpoint may possibly pose in the Church

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What did they teach? Baur's thesis placed at the center of the critical study of Paul the apostle's conflicts with his opponents. This meant that the doctrines that occasioned this conflict-justification, faith, works, and the law-would continue to shape generations of discussions within historical-critical scholarship. (2) What was Paul's view of the law? How did it relate to his views of the gospel? How did he differ on this point from his opponents? Baur raised the question of the role of the Mosaic law in the teaching of both Paul and his opponents.

How Did We Get Here? We jump now from 1564, the year of Calvin's death, to 1826, the year that F. C. Baur began to teach at Tiihingen. In the interim, Lutheranism had declined in Germany. We may briefly note one pertinent cause of this decline here. European philosophy had now radically embraced doubt as its epistemological starting point. This skeptical posture extended to biblical authority and the church's understanding of biblical teaching, especially as that understanding came to expression in systematic theology.

Breckinridge and Edward Porter Humphrey at the Theological Seminary at Danville, Kentucky. Both Breckinridge and Humphrey were Old School Presbyterians of the first order. Hunter, having graduated from the seminary, was resident in Danville during the brief tenure of a fellow Irishman, Stuart Robinson, as the chair of church government and pastoral theology in Danville. I mention this background for two reasons. First, Hunter undoubtedly would have received from his teacher Breckinridge not only sound doctrine, but also the necessity and importance of defending it against the novel views of Scripture, of justification, and of regeneration and conversion that were being propagated by New School Presbyterians in the nineteenth century.

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