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Switch to Forum Live View The grace-vs-works dichotomy: old school?
9 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2009 - 11:15AM #1
Posts: 4,367

I was reading one of the "new Christianity" blogs on Beliefnet, and a discussion is underway about the eisegenic way in which Luther and Calvin read their own religious conflicts with the legalisms of medieval Roman Catholicism back into the writings of Paul, creating an incorrect characterization of Judaism  as a "works-righteousness" based faith that doesn't do justice to the message of grace found in the Old Testament and that creates numerous other theological problems.

What do the rest of you think? Do we Lutherans need to change, if not our paradigm, then the manner in which we've tended to argue it from Scripture?

I'll just add my own observation that, when I took my little Torah/Tanakh class facilitated with a rabbi, it blew away many of my presuppositions about how Jews engage with Scripture and their tradition, and made me feel that I'd been "had," in a way, by my own early religious training and its prejudices against Judaism.

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9 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2009 - 9:36PM #2
Posts: 85

I think probably the Law/Gospel preaching set up has something to do with it.  It's frequently, maybe even usually, possible to get both within one reading, or have the Law in the NT and the Gospel in the OT, but far to often it ends up : Here's the Old Testament reading with the Law; here's the New Testament with the Gospel.


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9 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2009 - 11:03PM #3
Posts: 511

I think we see some of the same misconceptions about various other groups as well.  It seems to be part of the 'us vs. them' tendency to characterize whichever 'them' is being referred to in simplistic terms that may well be valid to a certain extent, yet don't take into account the sincere faith of many in the 'them' category who do 'get it' on much the same terms as we do.

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