Concerning the New Perspective on Paul: FBFI Resolution 06-02

FBFI 2006 Annual ConferenceNOTE: The following standing resolution was presented at the 86th Annual Fellowship of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International on June 13, 2006, at Hamilton Square Baptist Church in San Francisco, California.

The New Perspective on Paul (NPP), fathered by E. P. Sanders, developed by James D. G. Dunn, and popularized by N. T. Wright, is not only erroneous exegetically, but more importantly is heretical theologically as a nonevangelical understanding of the apostle Paul and the soteriological teachings of the New Testament.

  1. NPP reverses the Reformation’s proper understanding of Jewish legalism and its close analogy to the works-righteousness semi-Pelagianism of the Roman Catholic Church.
  2. NPP misinterprets Paul’s transformation on the Damascus road as a calling instead of a conversion from Judaism to Christianity.
  3. NPP sees justification as a secondary and sociological doctrine in Paul with no concept of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer resulting in a once-for-all acceptable standing before God.
  4. NPP declares that “Justification is not how someone becomes a Christian” (Wright, What Saint Paul Really Said, p. 125) and that the gospel is not about how one gets saved, rather, it is “an announcement about Jesus” (Ibid., p. 60).
  5. NPP proclaims that “Justification, at the last, will be based on performance, not possession” (Wright, “Romans,” p. 440). The FBFI affirms its doctrinal position that Paul rejected the Law as a means of salvation, not primarily because it was a barrier between Gentiles and Jews, as NPP argues, but because of our inability to keep it (Gal. 3:10). Therefore, all who rely on the “works of the Law” to be saved are cursed (Gal. 3:10a; Rom. 3:20).
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