Thursday, June 09, 2005

D.A. Carson on the New Perspective(s)

I just finished listening to these three lectures by D. A. Carson on New Perspectivism. The reason the title includes "(s)" after "perspective" is because there is no unified view of just what New Perspectivism is. Sanders has one view; Dunn has another view; Wright holds still another view; not to mention the various views held by the minions who follow them.

What becomes clear in Carson's presentation is the exegetical ineptness of the core view itself. Those who see NPism as prominent in the biblical text usually do so by generalizing as "commonly accepted" the view of law and grace in second-temple Judaism (ignoring the various facets of that view), by misunderstanding the "exile" theme in Judaism, by "foregrounding" what ought to be left in the background, by "backgrounding" what ought to be brought to the fore, and by using NP as a sort of "hermeneutical grid" through which everything else is to be viewed.

While Carson acknowledges some helpful insights from NPism, he contends those insights are used to support a position whose theological bloatedness far exceeeds the weight they can bear. A must listen--especially for those most enthralled by N. T. Wright.

H.T. to David King