Book Review—Solving the Romans Debate

Solving the Romans Debate by A. Andrew Das. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007. 324 pages. $24.00/Paperback.

Das_Solving Romans.jpgPurchase: Augsburg/Fortress, CBD, Amazon

Special Features: Bibliography, Author Index, Subject Index, Primary Source Index.

ISBNs: 9780800638603 / 080063803

LCCN: BS2665.6.J4D37

DCN: 227’.106—dc22

Subject(s): Audience of Romans, Purpose of Romans

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The Use of Scripture in Theology

In The Nick of TimeAll good theology is based upon exegesis. It grows out of the careful handling of Scripture. Doctrinal propositions are merely human opinions until they are grounded firmly in the text of the Bible.

Most Christian theologians recognize the importance of Scripture for theology, and most aim to be biblical. Yet they disagree with each other frequently, sometimes about important questions. If all agree that good theology grows from the Scriptures, then how can they disagree so conspicuously?

One explanation is human finiteness. Each theologian approaches the text of Scripture with certain prejudices already in place. Given the smallness of human understanding (not to mention the influence of human depravity), each has a tendency to read the Scriptures so as to justify these preconceptions.

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Paul and Logic, Part One: Logic and What Is Written

Lately, SharperIron members have been discussing the question of applying the tool (or tools) of logic to Scripture. Are logical conclusions based on the Word as authoritative as the Word itself? Are they authoritative? If logic is required just to read and understand the messages of the Bible, then we must accept logic. So, how can we then question logic applied to Bible truths? Is the gathering of biblical data subject to the exact same noetic defects as making calculations based on that data? What logical system should we employ? Should laws like non-contradiction be treated as “God’s laws”? Did He create them or did we think them up and impose them on the Word without permission?

I do not believe that we will be able to effectively make an apologetic for some of these problems. Questioning everything can get tedious. Descartes, doubting everything, first had to conclude that he existed because he could think (“cogito, ergo sum”). There is a place in which faith must be exercised. Faith, after all, is “substance” when there is nothing firm to grasp and “evidence” of things outside our observation. So if I have scrubbed myself into a cognitive corner, it will be faith that gets me out the door playing with the other boys. I am simply going to make a couple statements that I believe about logic and the Word. If you agree with me, then come along beside me and let’s play some volleyball; this floor might be clean enough.

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