Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 06:3 (Fall 2002)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ. By Thomas R. Schreiner. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001, 504 pp., $30.00.

In his previous works on the exegesis of Paul’s letters, the Paul and the Law debate, and his recent commentary on Romans, Tom Schreiner has distinguished himself as one of the foremost evangelical scholars in the field of Pauline studies. His text on Pauline theology synthesizes the results of his careful exegesis of Paul’s letters and offers this synthesis to students, pastors, and scholars in a single volume.

The most distinctive feature of Schreiner’s text is his recognition of “the glory of God in Christ” as the center of Pauline theology. Against interpreters who view God’s salvific work or some aspect of it as the center of Pauline theology, Schreiner offers the logical criticism that this exalts the gift above the Giver. He then traces the theme of God’s glory in Christ throughout Paul’s epistles, demonstrating convincingly both the prominence and preeminence of this theme. Schreiner highlights the relationship of this central theme to every category of Paul’s theology from hamartiology to eschatology.

Schreiner’s text is preferable to older evangelical works due to his critical evaluation of current trends in Pauline studies. His text includes a seven-page excursus on universalism in which Schreiner erects a strong biblical defense for Christian exclusivism. Schreiner also rejects Hays’ view that “faith of Christ” means Christ’s faithfulness rather than the believer’s faith in Jesus. Schreiner dismisses Wright’s hypothesis that “righteousness of God” refers to God’s covenant faithfulness. He discards Wright’s interpretation of 2 Corinthians 5:21 as “strange and completely implausible.” In contrast to Dunn, Schreiner formulated his view of Pauline theology with the conviction that all thirteen epistles in the traditional Pauline corpus are authentic writings of the Apostle himself. Schreiner’s interpretation of Pauline Christology also challenges Dunn’s at two crucial points. Contrary to Dunn, Schreiner affirms both the preexistence and deity of Jesus Christ. As one reads Schreiner’s thoughtful interaction with the evidence of the Pauline writings, it becomes clear that his rejection of these positions is not prompted by a blind allegiance to the older evangelical tradition but issues from his fidelity to the Apostle himself.

Schreiner argues that while some truth exists in the “New Perspective” and Paul did address ethnocentrism in his epistles, Sanders and Dunn have gone too far in their dismissal of the existence of Jewish legalism in the first century. The author of this book demonstrates that ...

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