Review of Campbell’s Deliverance PART 5
A summary review PART 5
of Campbell, Douglas A. The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2009
I must now expand on the point made in the previous post, as it seems to be a common misunderstanding of DC’s position. Watson, in his review, writes:
Mark Seifrid makes a similar argument:
I would suggest, however, that these assertions entirely fail to hit the target. DC’s argument is simply this: that conventional readings of Romans 1-4 (including those which maintain crucial texts in these chapters are representative of Paul’s own theology and not ‘speech-in-character’ – which we will explain later) involve certain theoretical or theological corollaries, and, if Paul is not to be dismissed as hopelessly confused and contradictory at a basic level, then this is the system that follows. DC is well aware that scholars have ways around these theological implications, by reading parts of Romans 2, for example, in light of Romans 5 etc., and he will discuss these strategies later - under titles such as 're-framing' - and offer reasons why they fail. This is not his present point. But a detailed description of the theological commitments involved in a conventional reading of Romans 1-4 is necessary so that clarity may be gained in the task of understanding how Paul’s theology fits together as a whole. Further, arguments against DC, to the effect that the JT ‘construct’ is not found in Luther, Calvin etc. does not refute DC’s thesis at all, but ironically actually proves his point! If Luther and Calvin move away from JT at points, which DC will actively show that they indeed do (!), then all this demonstrates is that they have lost the exegetical witness of Romans 1-4, which, as we shall see, affirms one of DC’s main theses!
‘Rather than engaging the traditions in depth, Campbell constructs a straw man with whom he then holds his debate. His relatively brief discussion of Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, and Augustine (pp. 247–83) does not deflect him from his critique of the model of Protestant thought that he himself has constructed. This abstract and artificial theological “debate” fatally weakens his work’ (Mark A. Seifrid, “Book Review: Douglas Atchison Campbell. The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul,” Themelios 35.2 [July 2010]: 308)
In the next post, I will mop up some of these points with reference to Karl Barth's exegesis of Romans.
Labels: Review of Deliverance of God