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The Anthropology of Romans Four: Paul as New Creation (Series Intro)

July 22nd, 2007 | 2 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

Though I have not spent much time here at Mere O blogging about Pauline theology, it has been an interest of mine for some time. I first fell in love with Paul my sophomore year of university and rekindled that love my senior year.

In the series to follow, I will address Romans 4 and the notion of "new creation." As the series is my senior thesis, it will also be replete with the pretentiousness of a college senior who is hoping to write an academically excellent paper. It is also an extremely ambitious project, which overwhelmed me and made it hard to organize. Regardless, at one time, I thought it may have been journal-worthy. I leave such valuations to you, the reader.

It bears mentioning, however, that while my tone is overtly academic, my motivation and goals are entirely spiritual (so as to reject any dichotomy between the two). For instance, I open with what some consider an academic faux paus: I convey my personal journey through the issues as a way of locating the discussion as relevant to our personal and relational lives. My goal is to demonstrate that the life of faith depends entirely upon the creative power of God (new creation!). But along the way, I want to demonstrate how the creative power of God undergirds at least the first eight chapters of Romans, and so help readers wrestle more deeply with Scripture.

What's more, this is my attempt at a rapprochement between those who would read Scripture as primarily communal and those who focus on reading it through an individualist lens. And along the way, I even explain how Joseph and Asenath is lurking in the background of Romans 4.

The more we confront the Word of God--and are confronted by the Word of God--the more it will shape our hearts and minds. While I post on diverse issues here at Mere O, it is fostering this sort of deep knowledge of Him that is closest to my heart. For that reason, it is with hope, joy, and humility that I present "The Anthropology of Romans Four: Paul as New Creation."

(I am on a mild vacation this week, as I am working for Wheatstone Academy and will consequently have limited internet access. I am also taking a break from the discussion leading series until after Wheatstone, as I want to try out a few things that I'm writing about and then return to it afterward).

Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.