Strickland – The Law, the Gospel, and the Modern Christian

Wayne G. Strickland – The Law, the Gospel, and the Modern Christian
The rise of the fortunes of biblical theology within evangelicalism has served to help preserve the dialogue concerning the proper relationship of Law and Gospel as well as the utility of the Mosaic law for the contemporary Christian. There are a multitude of key ancillary issues that are generated by the Law/Gospel question, such as the purpose of the Mosaic law in the Old Testament and Paul's treatment of the law. Indeed, this important complex of concerns has been the subject of numerous books in recent years. This fact serves to confirm the importance of the issue for the Christian church and underscores the fact that there is no consensus of understanding of the relationship between Law and Gospel. Differing systems of theology often have radically different conceptions of the proper relationship between Law and Gospel. Since one's understanding of these issues has a direct impact on the application to the life of the believer in Christ, I believe it is imperative and helpful to decide the proper relationship of Mosaic law to the saint.
 
With that in mind, it is the purpose of this volume to facilitate an objective and, I hope, a well-argued presentation of major alternatives regarding the Mosaic Law, its relationship to the Gospel, and the role it plays in personal sanctification as well as in ethical systems. Unlike other treatments of the Law and Gospel issue, this approach features differing views presented in one volume, together with responses designed to highlight and bring into sharper focus the differences, some of which are systemic. This format also gives the reader the opportunity to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the views presented. The reader may then decide which view best harmonizes with the biblical and theological evidence. At the same time, it may perhaps also serve to foster a greater degree of rapprochement between the advocates of the various systems which, despite their differences, share an evangelical heritage.
 
This dialogue is not intended as an exhaustive treatment or analysis, but rather is designed to introduce the very complex issues and provide a framework for the resolution of the issue by the reader. Ample documentation is provided in the essays for more in-depth reflection on the issues by the reader. Ail of the contributors to this volume represent careful and articulate evangelical scholarship in biblical studies. Each contributor is committed to the primacy and authority of the Scriptures in framing the understanding of the Law/Gospel issue. Each advocate of a view has devoted extensive study to the issue and has written with great conviction. Yet each author has also written with an irenic spirit as befits Christ and Christian charity. I would like to acknowledge those who have helped in this project. My deep thanks to the other participants who have helped to make this treatise a reality. Each contributor has appreciated the benefit of such an enterprise. They have engaged in this project enthusiastically and have made the task of editing a joy. I also wish to thank Leonard G. Goss and Stanley N. Gundry for their invaluable assistance at several points in the process of composition. I have especially valued the enthusiastic support shown by Len Goss from the inception of the project. May this dialogue of brothers in Christ glorify God and encourage a life of holiness for his saints. Tu solus sanctus.
 

Wayne G. Strickland – The Law, the Gospel, and the Modern Christian

Zondervan Publishing House Grand Rapids, Michigan 
ISBN: 0-310-21271-5
 

Wayne G. Strickland – The Law, the Gospel, and the Modern Christian – Contens

1. The law is the perfection of righteousness in jesus christ: a reformed perspective
Willem a. Vangemeren
2. The theonomic reformed approach to law and gospel
Greg l. Bahnsen
3. The law as god's gracious guidance for the promotion of holiness
Walter c. Kaiser, jr.
4. The inauguration of the law of christ with the gospel of christ: a dispensational view
Wayne g. Strickland
5. The law of christ as the fulfillment of the law of moses: a modified lutheran view
Douglas moo
 

Wayne G. Strickland – The Law, the Gospel, and the Modern Christian – The theonomic reformed approach to law and gospel

 
According to Scripture, what role does the Mosaic law have in the life of the modern believer? We cannot arrive at a Godglorifying and theologically faithful answer to that question if we do not take into account the fullness and complexity of the New Testament witness and the diversity in its usage of the word "law." The New Testament does not yield an answer to our question easily and without problems. Nevertheless, we can discover the answer clearly and confidently with cautious study.
 
Some passages in the New Testament seem to advocate a positive attitude toward the Old Testament law. Paul affirms that "the law is holy, and the commandment holy, righteous and good" (Rom. 7:12); he cites the Old Testament law as authoritative warrant for his ethical judgments (e.g., 1 Cor. 9:9; Eph. 6:1-2). Paul candidly wrote, "In my inner being I delight in God's law" (Rom. 7:22). James teaches that his readers do well to fulfill "the royal law," and warns them against breaking any one point of it (James 2:8-10); according to him our place is to be doers, not judges, of the law (4:11-12). Peter calls believers to sanctified living based upon the demand of the law (1:15-16), and John identifies keeping the law with both knowing and loving God (1 John 2:3-4; 5:3; 2 John 6). In some important sense for Christian living, the Old Testament law is indisputably upheld by the writers of the New Testament.
 
 

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