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Resurrection and Redemption: A Study in Paul's Soteriology Paperback – December 1, 1987
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Christ is the one who has accomplished redemption in his death and resurrection. His accomplishments include justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification. These are applied to all who are "in Christ" - united to him by faith.
Here's one key conclusion:
"Not justification by faith but union with the resurrected Christ by faith (of which union, to be sure, the justifying aspect stands out perhaps most prominently) is the central motif of Paul's applied soteriology."
The benefit of this thoughtful book is its careful exegesis of a lot of Pauline texts. Gaffin makes lots of connections that I had not seen before. His conclusions retain the monergism of traditional Reformed theology, while reconfiguring some elements around the central motiffs of the resurrection of Christ and our union with him. I found it very insightful. Definitely worth reading.
Thesis: believers are united to Christ in his death; Christ's death took on our sin; therefore, believers have died to sin (45). Interestingly, he leaves out his previous comments on baptism as union into Christ.
The theme governing Paul's thought is the unity of the resurrection with Christ with the resurrection of the believers (59-60). In the resurrection of the believer there are two episodes: the already and the not-yet.
Gaffin affirms the Holy Spirit's instrumentality in the resurrection of Jesus (cf. Romans 8:11; p. 66). Gaffin rightly affirms that Paul's teaching on the resurrection has a Trinitarian character: The Father raises the Son through the instrumentality of the Spirit (74).
The contrast between Adam and Christ is the contrast between two different heads/representatives of two different world-orders, aeons, ages (85).
Resurrection as the Redemption of Christ
As long as Christ is dead, Satan and the powers remain triumphant. Following Romans 1:3, Gaffin maintains that Christ's exaltation in the realm of the Spirit, the new age, is his justification or vindication (121). Christ's resurrection is his justification as the Last Adam, of the firstfruits.
'God reveals Himself both in redemption and in revelation, in what He does as well as in what He says.' p 22
Concerning Pauline interpretation, Richard Gaffin Jr stimulates and adds to the independent testimonies of two of the 20th century's most able Pauline theologians, Geerhardus Vos and Herman Ridderbos. The discontinuity, as Gaffin envisages the primary dimension of revelation in redemption, lies in the nature of the divine office that Paul held, as an apostle, in that he was principally engaged in the function of authentication of that revelatory process, and in the divine scheme of things was granted to communicate the attendant special revelation. And although the NT revelation places the apostle alongside us in the grace offered through it, we are to draw from the divine receptacle of the Bible alone, as the age of immediate revelation remains irretrievable to us experientially. As an inexhaustible source of both the process and product of inspiration, Warfield amplified the notion that Paul was 'the most didactic of the NT writers.' Biblical Doctrines p 176 Paul served as interpreter extraordinaire to the Christ-event.
'The interpretation of Paul above all involves careful attention to underlying structure.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't know if this book is good or not. I began reading it and decided it was written to demonstrate how many big words the writer knew or how many little words he could sting... Read morePublished on September 21, 2012 by Joe
Like all the other deniers of salvation through faith alone, Gaffin(p.13) claims Vos and Ridderbos conclude "The center of Paul's teaching is not found in the doctrine of... Read morePublished on April 25, 2011 by J. Haden