Saturday, October 09, 2010

Review of Campbell’s Deliverance PART 9

A summary review PART 9
of Campbell, Douglas A. The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2009

The Second Phase of Justification Theory: The Generous Contract

If the First Phase is faulty, then the solution offered by this Second Phase will likely also be faulty. It also will determine, given its dynamic, the nature of this Second Phase, which will now be understood in contractual and individualistic terms, even if that contract be generous.

This Phase involves two components. First, in response to the central axiom of God’s justice, there will be a central place for the satisfaction of that justice in the death of Christ (and often positively an imputation of Christ’s righteousness). This is crucial, as the demands of justice are central - this cannot be compromised. So ‘the model’s opening calculus ... remains essential’ (25). The demands of a certain understanding of justice (which he will later explain is forensic retributive) frame the nature of this model’s solution. 

Second, given that this model’s premises are contractual, a criterion will need to be fulfilled to appropriate the benefits of this satisfaction of justice. Given the claims of Phase One, this new criterion will need to be manageable, and at this point ‘faith’ makes sense (and ‘the claim that faith alone saves is cradled by the logic of the first phase’ [26]). Also to note is that this faith is understood in a voluntarist framework, as ‘if the saving criterion were coerced, then the preceding progress of the rational individual would be pointless ... If it were lacking, then we would not really be dealing with this model at all’ (26). 

Above I stated that this contract is 'generous'; I deliberately avoided calling it gracious. The reason for this is that while God’s saving activity in the death of Christ, in this Second Phase, is certainly generous, it is not unconditional (so DC must ask whether even the good news of JT is really gracious).

The next instalment finishes of our overview of DC's Justification Theory, before we turn to see how he reviews it.



At 2/16/2011 1:46 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I just began reading this series of posts, so I may well come across a discussion of this point a bit farther on, but I must say that the answer to your "conundrum" of generous vs. grace is the old calvinist concept of irresistible grace. If God not only provides the means (that is Christ as the saving vehicle), but also does the sovereign work on our heart and mind to bring us to that point of faith, then it is grace because we have ultimately been given the gift and the ability to take it through faith. I really am digging your blog. I just began blogging and I am not a scholar but hope to be so one day. I am at

At 2/16/2011 10:00 AM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Hi Michael, thanks for your kind comment. Doug, too, will later stress the agency of God, or otherwise put, God's sovereign action in conversion too. Liking your blog. Added it to my blog roll thingy.
All the best, Chris


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