Tuesday, December 23, 2008

D. Argument (55 questions)

3 [D. Paul begins the argument exploring his own deepest questions, beginning with his own 'family', the people of God]

What does Paul assume as the ground for his questions? Much of his own background - Jew versus Gentile; an advantage yet no advantage to the Jew; a universal moral code though unwritten that has some measure against Torah; God as Judge... - but first God as mercy.

Though he begins with wrath, he ends with mercy and he could not have begun with wrath if he were not going to end with mercy. The letter is after all - his Gospel - good, not bad news. So the sequence of questions - or whatever we find is its shape, is first predicated on Gospel. How then do we perceive the good in this news? For Paul has a struggle with the good in Gospel and he seems to recognize the same struggle in both the people (laos) of God, Israel, and in all the nations.

Having stated the thesis - the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; and having implicated all in failure without yet saying so in so many words, he begins his torment with the question related to the covenant with Abraham - note how he returns to this in chapter 9 (though he never focuses for long on Jew only, always careful to call to the Gentile even from his own position of 'advantage' as a Jew).

Paul presents the case for the defense of God, the creator. This work explicating the sacrifice of the Son of God as human, justifies God and God's faithfulness to all. I will look at the series of questions to explore both their presuppositions and their linkages to each other.

This series on Romans begins here

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