I have been discussing various ways that Paul understands the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus for salvation, and have focused on the judicial and participationist models – mainly because these are the two that Paul most frequently appeals to (without calling them the judicial and participationist models!). I need to clarify a few points before moving on to speak of yet other models that Paul appears to use.
First, over the years when I’ve discussed these models in a public forum, people have asked me about my personal views of these models. Several have asked how I could possibly believe such a thing. And one has asked what right I have to talk about “sin” if I’m not a Christian and so do not believe in sin. So let me clear: I’m not affirming or denying anything Paul says in any of his writings. I’m simply describing what it is he says. Some people have trouble understanding the difference between description and prescription, but there’s a big difference.
I remember back when I was a conservative evangelical at Princeton Theological Seminary having exactly the same problem of not recognizing the difference. My church history professor, Karlfried Froehlich (who, by the way, for what it’s worth, was the most erudite scholar I have ever known) one time was describing
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