A Review Article -- By: Charles P. Huckaby
RAR 8:1 (Winter 1999) p. 217
A Review Article
A Modern Evangelical Dialogue With Martin Luther: Interaction With The German Reformer In Daniel P. Fuller’s The Unity Of The Bible1 , Charles P. Huckaby
Daniel Fuller is perhaps best known for his work Gospel and Law: Contrast or Continuum? The Hermeneutics of Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology.2 In many ways Gospel and Law takes a negative view to Calvin’s exegesis of key “law” passages such as Galatians 3:10–12, 15–24 and Romans 10:5–8. Fuller claims that Calvin’s exegesis of key Pauline passages has set the law and gospel at odds. Calvin has positioned law and gospel as a contrast when in reality they are a continuum.3 Paul’s use of the concept of ergon nomou, or “the works of the law,” in the Galatians passage relates not to the law as given by God, but is a technical term for the perverted Judaizing interpretation of God’s law which Christ in His earthly ministry constantly attacked.4 This is a humorously unexpected accusation in some ways because when moderns consider Calvin and Luther, it is Calvin who is normally said to stress the continuity between the Old and New Testaments to the point where he is said to make the Bible a “flat book”!5 Usually it is Luther who is portrayed as separating law and gospel.
One might expect to see Fuller likewise discount the German Reformer in the development of his theology for the same reasons.6 Yet as Fuller describes the genesis of The
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Unity of the Bible, he reviews the impact various theologians have had on the development of this thought and declares:
In the process I discovered that only Luther, especially in his “Freedom of the Christian Man” and “Preface to Romans,” had any inkling that the law was a “law of faith” (Rom. 9:32), calling for an “obedience that comes from faith” (1:5), and yielding a “work produced by faith” (1 Thess. 1:3).7
The balance of this short study will accordingly ...
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