A Response to “This Verse May Change What You Think ‘Gospel’ Means”

A quick response to “This Verse May Change What You Think ‘Gospel’ Means” article:

Yes, and
Totally understand what he’s saying here. The fulfillingness aspect of Jesus as the ultimate covenant representative for Israel, absolutely is essential to good biblical theology. Missing this is something that Medieval theology, and Lutheran overemphasis on the doctrine justification by grace through faith alone rather than works, which can anachronistically be inserted into 2nd Temple Judaism as this era’s dominant paradigm,  both miss. However, the storied aspect of the gospel, otherwise known as the historia salutis, which is also seen throughout Paul’s letters, notably the first 6 verses of Romans, is not the only aspect of the Bible’s communication and our undertanding of the gospel. The ordo salutis, or order of salvation, (now, cliched and reduced in things such as the Four Spiritual Laws, etc), is still a theological paradigm that seems to emerge from the Scriptures as well. And, it also appears throughout Paul’s same letter to the Romans and the Galatians. Much more to talk about here, but in summary— this guy, and McKnight and others— such as NT Wright, one of my favorite Biblical Theologians, while they do well in seeing and bringing out the historia salutis, history of salvation, they completely toss out the prevalence of justification by grace through faith as understood in the ordo salutis. This is a problem, and is an error of similar magnitude as some of the Medieval and Enlightenment theologians in neglecting the story of Redemption in favor of the system of theology it communicates. Further, as far as NT Wright goes (whose methodology has been a big emphasis of my past study), while one of his strong suits is indeed seeing the big picture, the story— he has great weakness in his exegesis, in the detail of the text. As a result, his interpretation of the big story suffers from a lack of attention to textual detail.
Some of this entire conversation could arise more from our own zeitgeist than anything else. With the vaccuum left behind from postmodernism— in there being no reliable metanarrative— it has been hot, popomo, to return ourselves to some overarching metanarrative and reject the Enlightenment-style strictures of formulas and systems (these just aren’t organic or storied enough). We see this especially among intellectual baby boomers and Gen-Xers both of whom lived and experienced that metanarrative vaccuum of the pomo era. This is not quite as prevalent among Millenials— who, while embracing the storied aspect of Christianity, and other various worldviews for that matter, have also experienced the doctrinal/systems vaccuum that has been created as a result of the rejection of systematic theology in favor of biblical theology alone. What we need as a harmonized approach to theology— systematic and biblical, all based on solid exegesis. Historia and Ordo, both coming under solid textual scholarship. Problem is, we’re impatient, we may be a literate culture, but we prefer non-literacy, and thus reductionistic theologies, to doing the hard work required to enter into the world of the text, and invite it to enter in to our worlds bringing transformation of the heart through the storied and systematic dynamics of the gospel applied by God’s Spirit.
I’m just sayin’.