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40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law (40 Questions & Answers Series) Paperback – October 8, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


“This book is an instant classic that deserves a wide readership.”
from the foreword by A. Andrew Das
Professor, Religious Studies, Elmhurst College
 
“Tom Schreiner condenses a career of scholarship into bite-sized chunks with clarity and care. Both the big picture and the detail come into sharp focus, making this an enormously valuable volume.”
Simon Gatherole
Lecturer in New Testament Studies, Cambridge University
 
“Thomas Schreiner’s balance of scholarship and pastoral heart shines through brightly in this superb book on Christians and biblical law. . . . In concise explanations of the most difficult passages and issues, Tom provides perhaps the most helpful guide available.”
Michael J. Wilkins
Distinguished Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
 
Some of the 40 questions about biblical law and Christianity addressed by Dr. Schreiner are:
• What Does the Word Law Mean in the Scriptures‌
• Does the Old Testament Teach That Salvation Is by Works‌
• Does Paul Teach That the Old Testament Law Is Now Abolished‌
• Is the Sabbath Still Required for Christians‌
• Should Christians Tithe‌
 
Thomas R. Schreiner (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of many books, including The Law and Its Fulfillment: A Pauline Theology of Law.
 
Benjamin L. Merkle (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of numerous journal articles and the book 40 Questions About Elders and Deacons.

About the Author

Thomas R. Schreiner (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) has been faculty at the Southern Seminary since 1997. He has taught at Bethel Theological Seminary, as well as Azusa Pacific University. Dr. Schreiner, a Pauline scholar, is the author or editor of several books including, Romans, in the Baker Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament; Interpreting the Pauline Epistles; The Law and Its Fulfillment: A Pauline Theology of Law; The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance; Still Sovereign: Contemporary Perspectives of Election, Foreknowledge, and Grace, co-edited with Bruce A. Ware; Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology, 1 and 2 Peter, Jude.

Benjamin L. Merkle (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Professor of New Testament Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the editor of the 40 Questions series and the author of 40 Questions about Elders and Deacons.
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Product Details

  • Series: 40 Questions & Answers Series
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic & Professional (October 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825438918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825438912
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Going into this book, I already knew what the "yes or no" answer to most of these questions was going to be. The normative evangelical view of the law is that it is completely done away with and has no direct influence on the Christian life. What I was interested in was the arguments Thomas Schreiner used to answer these questions, and as I expected, too many of the questions are answered with forgone conclusions rather than on a close study of the text.

But before I get to the book's negatives, I want to mention the positives. There are a handful of chapters where Schreiner gives an honest and consistent answer that challenges commonly held assumptions. Two chapters that come to mind are questions #28, about the antitheses in Matthew 5, and #38, about tithing. I was pleased to see that Schreiner supported the reading that in Matthew, Jesus is not teaching against or changing the law, but correcting misunderstandings and corruptions of the law. Regarding tithing, it was refreshing to see someone be honest and admit that a mandatory 10% tithe cannot be supported from the New Testament, and lacks any grounding now that the Levitical priesthood is not functional.

Another surprising conclusion (which I agreed with) is Schreiner's argument that perfect obedience to the law is necessary for salvation (#7). However, this point leads us into the first of several logical contradictions in the book. In answering question # 9, Does Paul Teach That the Old Testament Law Is Now Abolished?, Schreiner concludes that this is in fact Paul's teaching, and throughout the rest of the book the author repeats the claim that the law is abolished. The answer to question #9 then answers almost every other question in the book. But what's more problematic is the contradiction this presents.
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Format: Paperback
This is another book in the excellent 40 Question Series edited by Benjamin Merkle and published by Kregel Academic & Professional. This time round, the subject is biblical law--a tricky subject, if you ask me.

According to Tom Schreiner, it's also an important one, because the way we put the whole Bible together depends on our understanding of the law. What's more,those who study the law can better evaluate the theological systems. In addition, the law relates to justification, so how we understand the law affects how we understand salvation. And last, those who want to please God need to understand how the law relates to them as believers.

To work through these issues Schreiner answers questions about:

--The Law in the Old Testament
--The Law in Paul (This section makes up over half the book, because "Paul's theology of the law is the most crucial in determining one's view of the law canonically....")
--The Law in the Gospels and Acts
--The Law in the General Epistles
--The Law and Contemporary Issues

Schreiner is not a typical Covenant Theologian when it comes to his view of the law. He argues that while the categories of civil, ceremonial and moral law may be useful in some ways, the scripture doesn't divide the law this way, and sometimes exact distinctions are difficult to make. He disagrees with the common view that the ceremonial and civil law have been done away with in Christ while the moral law remains binding, teaching instead that the whole Mosaic law is no longer in force since the coming of Christ. Some will probably disagree with Schreiner on this point, but you'll still want to read his careful scriptural reasoning and consider it. He's spent a long time building a theology of the law and it shows.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Schreiner has done a good job of asking the right questions and providing helpful answers.

The 40 questions are broken into sections. One of the most helpful was "Questions Related to the New Perspective." Schreiner provided some great background information and a good analysis of the issues. Another section worth mention was "The Law in the Gospels and Acts," where he shows how each author viewed the relationship between the old/new covenants.

This book is great if you want to figure out the role of the Old Covenant in the Christian life. He has a nice concluding application section, as well.

It will be most beneficial to read this book with an open Bible, as Schreiner often just provides references rather than quoting the text.
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This book handles a question that many have wrestled with for year, "Do the OT and NT contradict?" Schreiner, who has spent his life working on this topic answers the question in an easy to understand, yet fulfilling way. Whether you have knowledge of the original languages, or are starting to study the bible for the first time; this book will work for you.
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Beyond the expected translation issues (one Hebrew word can mean law, instructions, word - the context tells the translator which English word to use - often over shadowed by his cultural perspective), there are the interpretive issues. The phrase, the Law, does not have a singular definition, but is defined by its context; sometimes meaning the Decalogue, sometimes the 5 books of Moses, sometimes a law that is not defined.

This book approaches the second of these issues, the interpretive issues, and organizes questions and answers into an easy to use and very valuable format. This book would serve any Christian well as a tool to have on hand when questions about the Law in the Word of God come up.
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