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Five Views on Law and Gospel (Counterpoints)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  142 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
This book explores five major approaches to the relationship between the law and the Gospel, each author presenting his particular perspective on the issue and responding to the other four.
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Published September 21st 2010 by Zondervan (first published April 1st 1987)
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Adam T Calvert
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
While I was not greatly impressed with a previous "Counterpoint Series" book I read (Five Views on Apologetics), this book was a great surprise and a welcomed read.

While there are "five" views, there are basically two main viewpoints: (1) continuity between OT and NT unless otherwise stated (first three articles); or (2) discontinuity between OT and NT unless otherwise repeated (last two articles).

The presentations were laid out as follows:

Non-Theonomic Reformed View - William A. VanGemeren
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 estrelas pela participação do Bahnsen e do Kaiser. Não somente o artigo de ambos, mas as réplicas deles às outras posições são muito superiores aos demais. Os artigos de Douglas J. Moo, Wayne G. Strickland e mesmo do reformado Willem A. VanGemeren são terrivelmente ruins.
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book strikes at the heart of the continuity/discontinuity debate that still surges throughout evangelicalism today, because ones' decision on this issue is the key to the entire issue in the mind of this reviewer. Overall, I found the book a much needed book as non-evangelical positions in regard to the Law and Gospel are being formed and propounded heavily now. The occasion seems proper now for an understanding of the evangelical positions on the issue.

In the book, five overarching views a
Jonathan Washburn
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: master-s-degree
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Kessia Reyne
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
This book gave me a lot to think about, although I found no single system completely sound. I favor Walter Kaiser and his deep love for the Hebrew Bible, but I was stretched by all five essays and their accompanying responses.

What is missing?
1) An appreciation for the ways (in the text itself!) that the Decalogue is set apart as different from (ie., more foundational) than other laws in the Book of the Covenant or the entire Pentateuch;
2) the place of so-called Mosaic law in salvation history
Danny Bennett
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology-bible
Another great addition to the counterpoints series. The controversy centers around the question of continuity verses discontinuity between the law and gospel, the old covenant and the new covenant. The best writers were Kaiser and Strickland; although being the best writer or articulator doesn't necessarly make you right and I was able to track with Strickland a lot easier I think because I went to a dispensational school. I usually read counterpoint books when I have uncertainity about a biblic ...more
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this looking for help answering the question, "How does the OT law apply to New Covenant Christians today?" That's always been a tricky question. Which laws apply still? Which laws no longer apply? Why do we follow some OT laws but not others? I take Doug Moo's position (the 5th and final view presented in the book) and I also think he does an exceptional job explaining it. His essay alone is worth the price of the book. I think it's clear, biblical, and makes the most sense. There's bits a ...more
Chuck Bonadies
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great book on the relationship of Gospel versus Law. Like most of the books in the Counterpoint series, the strength of this work is the interaction that takes place between the authors.

Some consider the book to be dated since it was published before the so-called "Sanders Revolution" (New Perspective on Paul) really got off the ground. Therefore, although a few of the authors acknowledge "works of the law" as boundary markers, most don't even consider this a viable option. I, however, found it
Jacob O'connor
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is the place of the Old Testament law in the life of the believer?

I was steeped in good-ol' Baptist dispensationalism.  Truth be told, I've lived out most of my Christianity bordering on antinomianism.  Calvin's Institutes challenged my position, but  I'm still most sympathetic to the non-theonomic perspectives on the law  (a highfalutin way of saying that the Old Testament Law doesn't apply to Christians.).

Law and Gospel is 5 essays from various authors, all whom I respect and know from ot
G Walker
Not bad... not great... one of the few in this series worth hanging on to. Bahnsen and Kaiser are especially helpful. Again... short simple snapshots like the rest of the series... but still not bad. As with earlier books in this series, it deals with too narrow a spectrum of American Christianity - but still, the "general equity" of their arguments carries over into various contexts and the core drive behind their arguments is "universal"... so for that reason, I think this is still a good soli ...more
I really like the setup of this book where one author presents a position and then another author responds. It's much "easier" to see what differences they themselves see with their terminology, etc. This is a difficult subject for me, though, and this was not an easy read. I think I have it narrowed down to what I don't believe but then it gets a little fuzzy with the rest. I will definitely revisit this with a little more careful study when I have some time.
Chris Armer
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The issue of continuity or discontinuity between law and gospel is filled with great scholars on both sides. This book does a good job at presenting the reader with at least five of the major views and how they agree and disagree with one another. But I don't think the book alone will settle the issue for you. It is more of a springboard for further study.
Mike Grober
nothing easy about this read. however, the different views of the relationship between law and gospel helped me understand the issues surrounding this topic. this book was one more reminder of the complexities of many biblical positions and of the importance of careful study when attempting to frame a position.
Apr 24, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
One of the best of the multi-views books I have seen. I would land somewhere between the Dispensationalist and Modified Lutheran views presented here, but all five positions are engagingly presented, and the interactions of the authors are insightful and too-the-point.
Kyle Scheele
Apr 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Good discussion... but could have been better with an actual Lutheran contributor.
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kaiser is a disaster in his work on this book, sadly. The only two who really defined their terms well were Strickland and Moo. They came out very similarly. Bahnsen's arguments were weak.
Jay D
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So so.
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Greg L. Bahnsen was an influential Calvinist Christian philosopher, apologist, and debater. He was an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and a full time Scholar in Residence for the Southern California Center for Christian Studies.
More about Greg L. Bahnsen...

Other Books in the Series

Counterpoints (1 - 10 of 33 books)
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  • Five Views on Apologetics
  • Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy
  • Five Views on Sanctification (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology)
  • Four Views on Hell
  • Four Views on Divine Providence
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“John Gerstner similarly observes, “Christ’s affirmation of the moral law was complete. Rather than setting His disciples free from the law, He tied them more tightly to it. He abrogated not one commandment but instead intensified all.” 0 likes
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