A Syllogism for Saturday

Jason Micheli —  July 21, 2018 — 2 Comments

”There ought to be a streak of antinomianism in every Pauline soul.” 

– Gerhard Forde

For those of you scratching your heads at the stained glass lingo:

an·ti·no·mi·an
ˌan(t)ēˈnōmēən

adjective

relating to the view that Christians are released by grace from the obligation of observing the moral law.

Now that you’ve got the defintion under your belt, Forde’s point about the stress in Paul about the radical and absolute nature of grace (“If righteousness can be attained through the Law then Christ died for nothing.”) led me to a syllogism of sorts.

Premise:

Authentic New Testament Christian Faith is close to antinomianism- it’s why, for example, Paul must repeatedly deny and demonstrate how he’s not nullifying the Law entirely.

Premise:

Most contemporary Christianity is not in any way close to antinomianism.

Conclusion:

Much contemporary Christianity is not authentic New Testament Christianity.

Sometimes, as Flannery O’ Connor wrote, you’ve got to exaggerate the point to point out the problem.

Jason Micheli

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2 responses to A Syllogism for Saturday

  1. This is where you run up against the different seeming “voices” in the NT. While Paul borders on antinomianism, James and well….Jesus…don’t. If anything the Jesus in the gospels is out there giving new laws, harder laws. Thoughts?

  2. .
    Jason, thanks for sharing! Agreed (w/one, crucial caveat).

    Biblical text claims that Jesus saw (and railed against) the shadows of Blue [DQ], mythic-membership, rule-of-law values, that is, legalism and literalism–cf. Matthew 5, 7, 23, et al.. At the same time, Jesus clearly recognized the necessity of the positive dimensions of DQ values–cf. Matthew 5.18; Luke 16.17.

    The lesson i take is not to reduce the problem of human nature to either law or grace. Rather, a practical, balanced, integrated, both/and approach is more in the right direction.

    In present life conditions, if we can avoid conflation in all our expressions, then whatever we may say will be well differentiated from at least 90% of the clamor.

    Sadly, not conflating issues holds little interest for a click-bait hungry audience that seeks only confirmation for whatever bias it already prefers. *sigh* ~ return2decency.blog

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