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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable but slightly shallow treatement of a vital subject., 16 Aug 2011
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Samuel J. Parkinson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law (40 Questions Series) (Paperback)
Most Christians have some pretty big questions on the place of law in the Christian life. This book is very unusual in its treatment of so many of them. That alone gives it a place on my bookshelf. It is good, simple, clear help on thinking through many of these issues: what's the place of the sabbath? what's the law for? How were people saved in the old testament? What does Paul teach about the law, and how does that fit with what James says? or Jesus?

Despite the shortness of these chunks, it does help you think through the big picture.

I do have one great frustration with the book, though: two or three pages is simply not enough to deal with many of these questions. This is worst in the section that deals with questions posed by the New Perspective on Paul, which takes up a lot of the book. Most people who think about these questions want something a bit longer, more academic, and more thorough - and the person in the pew ususally doesn't want anything at all. So these chapters don't seem to fill either need.

If you disagree with some of his views (as I do, for instance on the sabbath) you will also find his approach frustrating at times. He doesn't engage seriously with opposing arguments - there simply isn't space to do much more than dismiss them with a quick point or two. That frustrates.

Since this is addresses so many difficult issues, it is valuable. But because they are so diffcult, it is a little shallow. We can't have everything!

This is the table of contents:
Part 1: The Law in the Old Testament
1. What Does the Word Law Mean in the Scriptures?
2. Was the Mosaic Covenant Legalistic?
3. Does the Old Testament Teach That Salvation Is by Works?

Part 2: The Law in Paul
A. Questions Related to the New Perspective
4. What Is the New Perspective on Paul, and How Should It Be Assessed?
5. What Does the Expression "Works of Law" Mean in Paul?
6. Does Paul Condemn Legalism in His Letters?
7. Is Perfect Obedience to the Law Mandatory for Salvation?
8. How Should We Understand the Use of Leviticus 18:5 in the Scriptures?
B. Questions Related to the Role of the Law in the Christian Life
9. Does Paul Teach That the Old Testament Law Is Now Abolished?
10. What Does the Phrase "Under Law" Mean in Paul?
11. Are Gentiles Under the Law?
12. According to Paul, What Was the Purpose of the Law?
13. How Do Paul's Negative Comments About the Law Fit with the Positive Statements About the Law in Psalm 19 and Psalm 119?
14. Does Paul Distinguish Between the Moral, Ceremonial, and Civil Law?
15. Are Christians Under the Third Use of the Law?
16. What Is the "Law of Christ"?
17. Is the Law Fulfilled Through Love?

C. Questions Related to Justification
18. What Is the Old Testament Background for the Righteousness of God?
19. What Does the Word "Justify" Mean in Paul?
20. What Does Paul Mean by "the Righteousness of God"?
21. Does the Pauline Teaching on Justification Contradict Jesus' Message?
22. Should "Faith of Christ" (pistis Christou) Be Translated "Faithfulness of Christ" or "Faith in Christ"?
23. Does Justification by Faith Alone Lead to Moral Laxity?
24. Does Paul Teach That Christians Are Judged by Their Good Works on the Last Day?
25. Do James and Paul Contradict One Another on Justification by Works?

Part 3: The Law in the Gospels and Acts
26. What Is the Role of the Law in the Gospel of Mark?
27. How Should We Understand Matthew's View of the Law?
28. How Should We Understand the Antitheses in Matthew 5:21-48?
29. Why Do Some Scholars Think Luke-Acts Has a Remarkably Conservative View of the Law?
30. How Should We Understand the Role of the Law in Luke-Acts?
31. What Is the Apostolic Decree of Acts 15, and What Does It Contribute to Luke's Theology of Law?
32. Why Did Paul Circumcise Timothy When He Refused to Circumcise Titus?
33. How Should We Describe the Role of the Law in the Gospel of John?

Part 4: The Law in the General Epistles
34. What Does John Mean by Keeping God's Commands in 1 and 2 John?
35. What Does James Teach Us About Keeping God's Law?
36. What Does the Letter to the Hebrews Teach Us About the Law?

Part 5: The Law and Contemporary Issues
37. Is the Sabbath Still Required for Christians?
38. Should Christians Tithe?
39. What Is Theonomy, or Christian Reconstructionism, and How Should It Be Evaluated?
40. What Role Does the Law Have in Preaching?
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40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law (40 Questions Series)
40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law (40 Questions Series) by Thomas R. Schreiner (Paperback - 1 Jan 2010)
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