40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law

By Ellens, J. Harold | Journal of Psychology and Christianity, Winter 2012 | Go to article overview

40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law


Ellens, J. Harold, Journal of Psychology and Christianity


40 QUESTIONS ABOUT CHRISTIANS AND BIBLICAL LAW. Thomas R. Schreiner, Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2010, Pp. 256, Pb. $17.99. Reviewed by J. Harold Ellens.

Thomas R. Schreiner teaches NT Studies at Southern Baptist Seminary, and has published a number of volumes including The Law and Its Fulfillment: A Pauline Theology of Law. This present volume in the Merkle, 40 Questions Series, from Kregel, is sturdily touted by such notables as Simon Gatherole of Cambridge and Michael J. Wilkins of Talbot, Biola. The 40 questions around which this volume is built are all the predictable ones suggested by the title. As in his previous volume he teases out many of the perplexing issues that arise from Christian encounters with and interpretations of the Tora h and the related corpus of biblical law.

Schreiner examines what the word, law, means in the Bible, i.e., the legal quality of the Mosaic covenant in the context of the grace covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12 and 17. He revisits the issue of James and Paul regarding salvation by works and grace. How do the righteousness of God, the imputed righteousness of divine grace to humans, the discipline of Christian life, Torah/Nomos in Luke-Acts, and the confusion in the logic of James' Epistle relate to one-another and to the imperatives of preaching the gospel?

The author acknowledges at the outset that Torah/Nomos in the Bible means instruction, but unfortunately never quite equates it with Logos so as to describe it as redemptive divine self-expression, the illumining connection to John 1:1-3, 14, and 17 (Law [instruction] from Moses, Logos [grace and truth] from Jesus Christ). …

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