Getting "Saved": The Whole Story of Salvation in the New Testament

Getting "Saved": The Whole Story of Salvation in the New Testament

Getting "Saved": The Whole Story of Salvation in the New Testament

Getting "Saved": The Whole Story of Salvation in the New Testament

Synopsis

Innovative excursion into New Testament teaching on the earthly life of faith

What does it mean to "get saved"? Is conversion a gift of God's grace but the post-conversion Christian life in our own hands? Is the covenant relationship sustained by a sense of personal gratitude for God's past gift of conversion -- or is post-conversion faithfulness itself an ongoing gift from God?

In this book Charles H. Talbert and Jason A. Whitlark, together with Andrew E. Arterbury, Clifford A. Barbarick, Scott J. Hafemann, and Michael W. Martin, address such questions about God's role in the Christian's life. Through careful, consistent exegesis of relevant New Testament texts, they show that "getting saved" involves both God's forgiveness and God's enablement to obey -- or "new covenant piety" -- from initial conversion to eschatological salvation.

Excerpt

This volume of essays is concerned with soteriology. How does one gain a covenant relationship with God and remain in that relationship so as to experience final salvation? These questions, at the heart of the study of soteriology, have received renewed impetus in current scholarly debates in Pauline and ancient Jewish studies. Considering the broad contours of this conversation will enable us to set out the unique focus of this volume on soteriology that deals with post-conversion faithfulness of the believer.

In 1977, E. P. Sanders published Paul and Palestinian Judaism, which would prove to be a major force in reshaping Pauline studies in particular and modern scholarly understanding of ancient Judaism more generally. Sanders set out to discern a pattern of religion in Palestinian Judaism from Jewish texts between 200 B.C.E. and 200 C.E. For Sanders, describing the pattern of religion involved understanding how a religion gains and retains its members. Thus Sanders’s two programmatic questions he put to every Jewish text he considered were “how getting and staying in are understood.” Sanders believed he could discern a unity in the pattern of religion for Palestinian Judaism that informed most of the Jewish texts he considered. He called this pattern covenantal nomism. Covenantal nomism as Sanders describes it is this:

1. E. P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism: a Comparison of Patterns of Religion (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977), 17, 424.

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