Challenging!

I stumbled upon a series of 3 books by Dr. Robbert A. Veen, assistant professor of theology and ethics at the Free University of Amsterdam. I’m in the middle of reading the second book titled, The End of the Law?, and thought I ought not to let such a vigorous and coherent polemic go by un-quoted. Plus, these books clearly need greater publicity.

“The apparent success of the Hellenistic mission with its emphasis on the law-free gospel is in itself not a sufficient argument to dispense with the Mosaic law in Christian ethics, if the latter can be shown to be a consistent position, held by a substantial minority in the early Church and in continuity with the earliest traditions around Jesus. Nor can the argument be construed in opposite direction. What we need is a reason that makes sense in a modern systematic theology, to dispense with Matthew’s claim to the validity of the Mosaic law for the Church like has been done in the past. And if we cannot find one, we should be prepared to adopt Matthew’s affirmation of the Mosaic law into the inner circle of foundational notions in Christian ethics. In general, we need to find the biblical and systematic argument if any can be found, for such a direct contradiction to the gospel of Matthew. It is the Church that stands convicted for its past ignorance of Mosaic law if no such argument can be found.”

(from pg 14-15 of The End of the Law? by Robbert A. Veen)

You can purchase these titles at http://www.lulu.com/raveen. Be advised some of his books are in Dutch, but look for the three English titles (Fulfillment of the Law, The End of the Law?, and Justification and the Law). Also, it’s somewhat unfortunate that Dr. Veen didn’t enlist the services of an editor, but the content of the books far outweigh the sometime awkward phrasing, or occasional typo.

Among other things, in Justification & the Law, Veen references a thesis by theologian John A. Toews of Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary that needs further commentary, so you can expect that I will be interacting further with these books and with whatever I can find by Dr. Toews, whose works are proving difficult to find…barring a trip to Canada.

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