Perspectives on Our Struggle with Sin: 3 Views of Romans 7
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- Stephen Chester
- Grant Osborne
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“For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” —Romans 7:15, HCSB
Perspectives on Our Struggle with Sin presents in point-counterpoint form three differing views of a Christian’s relationship with the law, flesh, and spirit as illustrated through Paul’s often-debated words in Romans 7.
Stephen Chester (North Park Theological Seminary) writes “The Retrospective View of Romans 7: Paul’s Past in Present Perspective,” suggesting the apostle’s description of his struggle speaks more to his pre-Christian self.
Grant Osborne (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) offers “The Flesh Without the Spirit: Romans 7 and Christian Experience,” perceiving Romans 7 as an accurate representation of what believers go through even after their conversion.
Mark Seifrid (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), in “The Voice of the Law, the Cry of Lament, and the Shout of Thanksgiving,” asserts that Paul is not speaking of his past or his present Christian experience in Romans 7, but more fundamentally and simply about “the human being confronted with the Law.”
Chad Owen Brand (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) writes a conclusion on the theological and pastoral implications of Romans 7.
Acclaim for Perspectives on Our Struggle with Sin:
"One difficult and disputed text, three fine scholars, and three views of the passage. How is one to read Romans 7? This book takes you through all the options and rationale with detail, charity, and clarity. This is how to have a discussion over a disputed text. Read and learn about Romans 7. Decide who is right and why. And, above all, learn about how to discuss a difficult text."
Darrell L. Bock
Research professor of New Testament Studies
Dallas Theological Seminary
"The meaning of Romans 7 continues to bedevil and puzzle readers. This volume does not simply rehearse arguments and positions from the past. The authors approach the text from fresh and illuminating perspectives, and hence this work represents a significant contribution to scholarship."
Thomas R. Schreiner
James Buchanan Harrison professor of New Testament Interpretation
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Christians have long debated how Paul’s moving depiction of a struggle with sin in “Romans 7 should influence our theology and practice of the Christian life. Now, in one book, Christians are given a wonderful opportunity to engage the different views, see how they differ, and come to their own conclusions. Chester, Osborne, and Seifrid clearly and capably defend their positions; and they do so with enough of a difference in method that the reader is given a good sense of the scope of the issues and their significance.”
Douglas J. Moo
Kenneth T. Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies
Jimmy ReaganWest Union, OHAge: 35-44Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Great ResourceOctober 23, 2014Jimmy ReaganWest Union, OHAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Have you ever wrestled with Romans 7? Are you aware of the battleground that exists upon the soil of its meaning? Would you like a little help? This volume edited by Terry Wilder, and published by B & H Publishing, clearly defines the battle lines and gives us enough detail to form our own opinion. I can hardly think of a better approach than bringing 3 writers who each strongly hold to one of the main positions, and letting them write and engage with passion while maintaining Christian respect for each other.
Grant Osborne writes in favor of 7:14-25 representing Christian experience after salvation. Stephen Chester tackles the idea that those verses are Pauls description of wrestling with sin prior to conversion. Mark Seifrid argues that it is not really autobiographical at all, but simply one standing before the Law. Finally, Chad Brand concludes the discussion by addressing how we might use this passage pastorally.
The value of this book is that instead of shouting out rhetoric, or worse, invectives, they dig into the text itself. That approach made them, in my opinion, worth listening to. They each shot a hole or two in the others arguments, and they were never careless.
I came into this book already adhering to Mr. Osbornes position. I left it the same. While it might be disingenuous to say that I am only stronger in my position now, I was enriched by all three and had to interact on all the issues around the edges. In short, I feel much better about my position now and owe a debt to these authors for it. Mr. Brands conclusion was masterful too. I loved it.
I love this style of book as well as this approach to studying issues that are often debated. I highly recommend this volume.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
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