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It took several chunks of time over 3 days or so reading and rereading parts of it to understand the writers analysis and how the terms were being used by each of the people he cited and how he was using them himself. I think if Minich hadnt boiled it down well and analyzed it fairly, it would have taken longer to get through it. I found myself refining what I understood of each viewpoint's terms of "salvation", "justification", "process" etc as I went along having to go back and read a sentence over with that understanding - which supports what you said that a lot of the problem is in the vocabulary and the perspective each person is framing their thoughts from.

I had read and thought some about covenant vs. dispensational theology but did some building onto and refining the starting point I had from that. I think you mentioned once that you think "top down" a lot, abstractly analysing principles and then applying them to the details and actually when reading this essay thats one of the approaches I took; understanding the particulars of viewpoints on the covenant theme by having an idea of the principle of a covenant concept and waving it as a magnet over the details of the controversy and what I knew of the Bible to get the form of its substance more clear.

Reading something like this helps define the boundaries of concepts like this and the particularities of the variety of takes people can have on it.

Ya, he did contrast and compare Systematic and Biblical theology paths pretty well. They are both human endeavors to understand Gods revelation which will have their own pitfalls and strengths and in some degree will run into the "puzzle" you mentioned in your "Room for God" post. Yup, they both offer their angles on it, like a microscope and a telescope, hopefully both looking at the same world just from different mechanisms.

I like how Minich helped bring people together on the terms trying to get past hurdles of "not being in the Reformed perspective" or "heresy" tendencies. Its good to be on guard for heresy, but conclusions probably should be reached cautiously.

I wonder how Minichs suggestion on the tendencies of the covenant theme will be recieved in the Reformed perspective (if I understand his point right). I think its a good insight, that I know I do myself sometimes, which is to take a prominent aspect of Gods relationship with us and overapply it: sacrifice for example, its in sacrifice God accepts us and sacrifice is what he desires from us but sacrifice isnt the concept that is applicable to every event or principle in the Bible.

Minichs analysis of the New Perspective on Paul seems to be on. Fear of reactions to the "real motivations" for accepting a distinction between the works of the law Paul is talking about and any type of work isnt a good motivation and lens to determine its legitimacy and extent.

What did you already believe about Paul's theology in regards to Galations?

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