I received this statement about the new perspective on Paul from Pastor Geof Thomas and thought it was so good and relevant and important that I decided to include it as a blog. It was part of a newsletter Geof sent out publicly.
The influence of the New Perspective on Paul …. Derek (Thomas) was asking a student how he defined the gospel. “Jesus Christ is Lord,” he said, which is Archbishop Tom Wright’s definition. What is gospel – good news – about that? If that same Lord declares that he is going to say to many in that Day, “Depart from me you cursed ones into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” where is there good news in the person of Christ? Surely you have to go to I Corinthians 15 and its opening verses for the gospel . . . Christ died for our sins and rose again. If you don’t fix your eyes on Christ’s work of salvation then his Lordship is terrifying. We men crucified him and we are facing his holy Father. Derek asked another student … , “Is the Christian obliged to keep the Moral Law?” The student paused for what seemed an interminable time before answering. Then guardedly said that the Christian was obliged, to BUT that salvation was all from Christ, and we could make no contribution to our salvation by our law keeping and there were dangers of a legalistic mentality taking over etc., etc. at length “Come on,” Derek was thinking, “this is not the question I asked you. Do you and I have an obligation to keep the moral law of God?”
The New Perspective on the apostle Paul is the biggest issue to have hit the evangelical church in America for years. It is beginning to divide associations and denominations and seminaries. The issue is central to the gospel. It denies the imputed righteousness of Christ in an act of justification. It stresses that children sprinkled with water in the name of the Trinity are to be considered as children of God. Many of its adherents champion these infants being given bread and wine in the communion. Its emphasis is on the congregation as the body of Christ and it loathes searching preaching and self-examination as destructive of the divine status of church members who receive the ordinances in the public means of grace. The new perspective claims and promises so much, just like Karl Barth’s neo-orthodoxy claimed to be the ‘theology of the word.’ Yet did it produce one single evangelist? Did one minister go to the slums and fill a building with future missionaries and godly people by preaching Barthianism? No one. The same judgment will be passed on the new perspective. They will take the already evangelised and taught Christians and muddle them up. (End quote)
Paul’s warnings about “another (heteros – of a different kind) Gospel” not really being “another (allos – of the same kind) Gospel are as relevant today as they were when he first wrote them the church at Galatia. And Jude’s exhortation to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” was never more relevant than it is today. There is nothing more precious than the true Gospel of God’s Word and there is nothing more devious and destructive than the perverted Gospel that some are proclaiming today. May our great God have mercy on us and guard people from the delusions of truth about the Gospel that are robbing our Saviour of the glory which is rightly His and robbing people of the freedom and forgiveness and power of the true Gospel (Romans 1:1 – 16: Galatians 1:3 – 9; Titus 2:8 – 14; Romans 3:24, 25; I Corinthians 15:1 – 4).