Crux Sola

Dr. Beverly Gaventa recently gave the “Lund Lecture” at Northpark on the subject of Romans. The official title of her lecture was: “What Part of the Word ‘All’ Don’t We Understand?” (This is Lecture 1; there is a second lecture on grace and ethics in Romans).

This lecture was essentially an articulation of her apocalyptic reading of Romans with an emphasis on divine agency in salvation. Gaventa criticizes approaches to Romans that are “transactional” (God does this, we do that). While it is an excellent lecture, deeply insightful from perhaps the US’s leading Pauline expert, I found myself in disagreement with her reading. She underscores that Paul does not talk about “repentance” (or forgiveness), one piece of evidence that his concern is more with deliverance than human cooperation. While I was viewing this lecture, I couldn’t help but think (1) just because the word “repentance” isn’t used doesn’t mean the…

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