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The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul Hardcover – August 7, 2009
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—University of St. Andrews
"This immensely insightful and, indeed, courageous volume is the result of two decades of ressearch by a New Testament scholar with unique theological insight. A work of profound significance for the theological world as much as for the world of Pauline scholarship."
Michael J. Gorman
—Ecumenical Institute of Theology, St. Mary's Seminary and University
"Douglas Campbell's continuation of the quest for Paul's gospel is a bold exercise in deconstruction and reconstruction. One may disagree with parts of his analysis, or take a somewhat different route to the same destination, but his overal thesis is persuasive; for Paul, justification is liberative, participatory, transformative, Trinitarian, and communal. This is a truly theological and ecumenical work with which all serious students of Paul must now come to terms."
N. T. Wright
—Bishop of Durham
"Campbell's massive book picks up the big ideas that dominate the study of Paul, spins them around, spreads them out in a novel way, and insists that we see them in an unusual and disturbing light. Even those of us who remain unconvinced by his bold and provocative proposals will have our breath take away by the scale, the scope and, above all, the sheer surprise of this historical, exegetical, and theological tour de force."
John M. G. Barclay
"Campbell's massive new work is startlingly original, sometimes brilliant in its insights, and always boldly provocative. His strongly antithetical vision identifies 'participation in Christ' as the sole core of Pauline theology and produces the most radical rereading of Romans 1-4 for more than a generation. Even those who disagree will be forced to clarify their views as never before, and this theologically passionate attempt to rethink Paul at a fundamental level will make a considerable impact on Pauline scholarship for years to come."
—The King's University College
"Will the thick, high walls of traditional Justification theory, erected on the foundations of centuries of conventional readings of Romans and buttressed by modern political and economic theory, finally 'come a tumblin' down'? Will Paul's revolutionary apocalyptic message be delivered from imprisonment in that mighty fortress?
"Arming himself with an immense array of theoretical, historical, exegetical, philosophical, and theological weapons, Douglas Campbell launches a massive attack on the bastions of Justification theory to ruins. Only then, he believes, will Paul's gospel, thus freed from captivity, burst forth again in its original truth and power. The consequences for Christian life are not only theological but also intrinsically social, political, economic.
"The battle over Paul's gospel is engaged in this book with an intensity, passion, and breadth of learning rarely seen since the days of Luther. Will Justification theorists be able to defend the walls? Will Campbell triumph? Or does the outcome still hang in the balance? Any scholar with a stake in Paul, the gospel, and Christian truth will have to read this book to find out."
About the Author
Douglas A. Campbell teaches New Testament at Duke Divinity School (2003-), having previously taught New Testament at Kings College London in the United Kingdom (1996-2003), and western religions at the University of Otago in New Zealand (1989-1996). He has also previously written two books on Paul: The Rhetoric of Righteousness in Romans 3:21-26 (1992) and The Quest for Pauls Gospel: A Suggested Strategy (2005).
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Top Customer Reviews
Campbell takes Richard Hay's position that Paul speaks of the faithfulness of Christ rather than our faith in Christ and gives a very strong argument for that position. For Campbell, we do not receive God's righteousness by believing but our faith and belief in Christ comes through the act of God's spirit. In other words, salvation is based totally on God's grace through the death of Jesus Christ.
Campbell also has some penetrating insights into the origins of Christ's death through the Maccabees and the sacrifice of Isaac.
This book is well worth the time and labor you put into it.
THE DELIVERANCE OF GOD, I suspect, will shape the debate for decades to come, so thorough and adept is Campbell at laying bare the assumptions, contradictions, aporias, and anticipated objections of those who oppose NPP, while at the same time showing with skill and erudition the eschatological anemia of even the more brilliant NPP supporters. Campbell's is a book to thrill to read, unless, of course, you are a sola fide believer. The sweep of his ambition is superbly matched by the meticulousness of his method. He never allows us to lose sight of the forest for the trees; yet, he has marked every single tree in the thicket of NPP research, stopping just long enough to tell us succinctly why this or that tree will, or will not, survive his ground-clearing work.
If I were an evangelical Christian open to the full force of Campbell's analysis, I would feel betrayed by my tradition and somewhat at sea for my identity in Christ. Failing a participationist model of life "in Christ" that includes ecclesiological and sacramental dimensions as profoundly ritualistic and ethically demanding as those of Paul - both as a Jew and a Christian - the evangelical faith that supposedly overcomes the legalism of Judaism reveals itself to be essentially an anti-Semitic and Gnostic (cognitive) form of works righteousness. This is the graced irony evangelicals are compelled to face, I believe, if they have the courage to accept THE DELIVERANCE OF GOD.
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