Bird’s new book and a recent post
Michael Bird was kind enough to send me a copy of his exciting new book, The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification and the New Perspective. You can read the recommendations from James Dunn, Robert Gundry, I H Marshall and Scot McKnight here.
This is not the time for my official review, but I feel compelled to write a few words of praise, and I don't just say the following because he is a fellow blogger. Mike is a true example for many of us evangelicals not only because he puts so much hard work into his efforts, but also because of his balanced, gracious and skilful handling of the subject matter. That he works so hard is evident not only from this post (!), but also in his exegesis and in the quality of argumentation. This impressive book, from which I have learnt a good deal, is a delight to read and makes a bundle load of sense. Mike has done us all a service with this book. If you are at all interested in themes related to the NP or justification, this is definitely one for your book shelves.
Anyway, all of that was to point attention to his recent thought-provoking post titled 'The Pastoral Significance of Christian Origins and New Testament Theology'. In it, he writes:
"I find that many Christians operate with a default "myth of Christian origins" and skewed view of New Testament Theology. What is that myth and what is skewed?
1. Well, the myth goes something like this: In the beginning was "us" (i.e. me, since all the first Christians held the same beliefs that I did, they hated the same false teachings that I hate, my distinctives were their distincitives). Things went well for us until about 100 AD when it all turned to a schmozzle and we disappeared. But the good news is that "us" is back and we have brought with us a return to the pristine era of doctrinal purity. We are the gatekeepers of truth and righteousness and the boundary of the kingdom includes us and our friends. In the immediate sense, all before us and all apart from us are dogs and devils. (Note, this is a caricature and an exaggeration and I do not have any body or any group in mind)."
How true! Read the rest of it here.