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Interpreting Romans: The Apostolic Voice in the Postmodern World

Conley C. Wilmoth

Pages: 156
ISBN: 978-145752-581-0
List Price: 14.95
Available: March 2014
Edition: Perfectbound

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The effects of pluralism and diversity that are accepted within our culture are contributing to a changing attitude regarding any absolute and universal truth. Christians need to understand the culture we live in and be prepared to restore a spiritually adrift humanity into the spiritual reality created by God. “Interpreting Romans: The Apostolic Voice in the Postmodern World” provides an examination of Paul’s gospel with how Christians in the 21st century can respond to the significant challenge to the historic gospel. Readers learn: There is a place to stand with the certainty of God’s revelation in a postmodern and media-driven world. What is Pietism and what role does it play in today’s postmodern world? To identify the “classic” concept of the atonement underlying the idea visible in the letters of Paul and the Patristic Christian writers. How the stronghold of legalism is overthrown by the Divine love expressed in Christ. Scholarship grants the recognition of the historical certainty of Paul existence, being the apostle of Christ, who writes of his conversion from Judaism and of his ministry of proclaiming Jesus as Lord. Like Jesus, Paul preached the Kingdom of God. Looking at Paul’s ministry of the gospel as the kingdom in action, we are seeing the continuing action of Christ in the bitter struggle against the “strong man” that enslaves people in this present evil age. The Apostle pledges freedom from the law of sin and death, which are aspects of man’s estrangement from God. What God did to sin as a power to triumph over the human race is the same power of a jury to sentence a person to death. People were being confronted with the Spirit of God through the actions of Jesus and His kingdom was toppling the power existing behind such enemies Paul would later define as the flesh, sin, and death. Countless theologians have justified the important passage of Romans 3:24, 25 as the basis for the present day satisfaction or substitutionary theory of God propitiating sin. Instead of this widely accepted theory of atonement many have desired an option that would recognize God does not have a heart that would need to extract payment from humanity—even from the “Son of Man. ” Gustaf Aulén, a Professor of Systematic Theology wrote a history of interpretation of the atonement. He found the Biblical and historical portrayal points to Christ subjecting Himself to the life governed by the curse of law, yielding to its power of death and thereby ending its claim on men and women, because he permanently annulled the powers that were hostile to us. An offering of a “living and holy sacrifice” is only possible by the Divine “interrupting” (Barth) of the world’s disorder. Jesus taught the disciples to see the kingdom as a treasure worth making great sacrifice in order that they might obtain it. Unworthy and unfaithful as the twelve apostles were their association with one another and with Christ was what made them able to stand while Rome was going into decay.

Conley C. Wilmoth served as a minister for churches of Christ in rural communities in the Pacific Northwest for two decades, after he served a brief two years in the military. He later operated an independent financial consulting business. He has visited Jerusalem, Caesarea, Ephesus and other ancient cities of Paul’s time. He began his fifty plus years of religious studies at Pepperdine College (now University). His first venture into writing was a religious column for a small town weekly newspaper. Wilmoth’s approachable and patient temperament has enabled him to counsel and encourage a variety of youth and adults over his lifetime of serving. He is retired and lives in Yakima, Wa and enjoys his writing and the appreciation of art collecting. April 12, 1945 was the day FDR died. It was that same spring that Wilmoth’s family had planned to move from Arkansas to the state of Washington, but as a result of an ear infection he underwent treatment in a lengthy stay in the hospital. It was two more years till the move was completed. His family had survived the Great Depression supported by the land and hard work, the South having been hit especially hard. His growing up years was woven together with summertime outings with his broad extended family and his family’s regular church attendance, with characteristic Sunday potlucks. He likes to think he is quite a normal person, in the sense G. K. Chesterton describes; that of one who accepts the order of a Creator and the Creation. He too would consider “life and love as gifts permanently good, marriage and chivalry as laws rightly controlling them.” He has realized both successes and failures, as have most people. He has shared his life with many in the communities where he has lived and always found a reception at the early morning coffee spots. He became a writer, seeing the world was being confronted in the 21st century by historically new efforts to marginalize and trivialize the revealed message of the gospel. It was evident to him during the early part of our new century, preaching Christ was being seized by a philosophy attempting to release everyone from accepting the stewardship that God assigns to His messengers. For Christians coming to terms with God’s primary plan of reconciliation of his people has been a life-long pursuit for Wilmoth. The continuing views of legalism of the past century and the current version of eighteenth century pietism was understood by him to be resulting in the chaos that must be brought under the order shaped by the will of God.