He who hears the shema drinks the shekar!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Romans 7 Redux

One text that you're not likely to encounter on the 'Romans Road' presentation of the Gospel is Romans 7. That's because (for those who aren't aware) Romans 7 is one of those 'difficult' Pauline texts that scholars are divided on.

Consequently, it's difficult to talk about a 'standard' view of Romans 7, but the 'Paul as believer' view of Romans 7 seems to be predominant view in our conservative, Presbyterian (and Reformed) circles.

However, my friend Todd Bordow (OPC pastor in Ft. Worth, TX) summarizes some of the difficulties with that position, and why many scholars today see Romans 7 as not describing the 'normal' Christian life:

1. When did the Law come to Paul as an individual and he died? Paul grew up with the Law.

2. The Paul as a Christian view doesn't really answer the question overriding the chapter - is the (Mosaic) Law sin?

3. Paul already stated in chapter 6 that believers are not under the bondage of sin.

4. The dynamic in 7:17-23 is not a struggle with sin, but one under the bondage of sin; a slave to sin, which is not the case with the believer.

5. The passage's answer to this crying out under bondage is not the return of Christ, as would be the case with the believer view, but the gospel (past tense) 7:25 and 8:1-4.

Comments? Thoughts? Replies?