I recently watched Kevin Vanhoozer’s presentation, “Wrighting the Wrongs of the Reformation? The State of the Union with Christ in St. Paul and in Protestant Soteriology,” given at the 19th Annual Wheaton Theology Conference last month (audio or video can be found at Wheaton’s website). Vanhoozer offers a humorous and helpful overview of the differences between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ perspectives on Paul. In the process he clarifies where both camps have misunderstood each other and offers ways forward in the discussion of justification, salvation, and the mission of God.
Below is embedded the audio and video of his talk.
There is no such thing as the good ole’ days. It is a myth constructed by people with amnesia who have forgotten or have chosen not to remember the problems and perils of earlier days.
This is a subject that I have thought about frequently.
The other day a sweet sister in Christ sincerely asked me how I could work with young adults. “They’re just so much worst than when I was young,” she said. Now I have no doubt that she was sincere in this observation, but I had to remind her that sin is not limited by generation. Technology and style has changed, manifesting sin in new and creative ways, but the human condition remains the same. In the twenty-first century Americans struggle with internet pornography and materialism, in the 19th century it was legalized segregation, in the 18th century slavery and oppression of Africans and Native Americans, and the list goes on and on. Materialism and greed is cross-generational and we still struggle with the early heresy of America as a Savior-nation.
As sinners we like to set ourselves up as the standard of “what is right.” We demonize the sins of others (e.g. homosexuality, abortion, etc.) and minimize our own (e.g., materialism, greed, etc.).
The gospel is for every generation. The human heart has always struggled with idolatry and self-justification.