Does Paul write experientially?

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
Does Paul write experientially or salvation historically?
For instance, perusing through a fairly new Romans commentary, the terms 'flesh,' 'old/new man,' 'body of sin,' etc. are not meant to be taken experientially and individually but salvation/redemptive historically and corporately similar to Romans 5. eg. The church was baptized and died to sin at the moment of Christ's death in Romans 6, body of sin and old self relates to age before Christ, etc. Yet, couldn't all be said that what is true for the whole is what's true for the individual?
 

PezLad

Puritan Board Freshman
Can we not consider the line between Adam and me, as one body, with my sin a fruit and effect of Adams original sin, and hence i am one with Adam, which Christ did away with, not my personal sin only, but that of all my forefathers unto Adam, not for their sake if they did not believe, but for my sake. Thus i can view my personal sin as part of a corporate body, a heritage of sin, first with Adams eyes being opened, the rest of his progeny unto me being born with their eyes open to good and evil, and then the personal sins which flow from the original sin of Adam. In Christ, a new spiritual line is begun in us, for we are given eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, and our connection unto Adam through truducianism (spiritual and physical generation) is hence severed. Since Christs body is given for the whole world, then all my forefathers, the works of their flesh, were placed upon Christ, yet only the original sin of Adam, the imputation of guilt to Adam and progeny is removed for those who believe. Hence, both the works of my flesh and desires of my flesh are forgiven, yet the works of the flesh of my forefathers is forgiven not for their sake, but my sake, but their spiritual iniquity remains; thus the reprobate through the body of Christ receives temporal grace, but the believer temporal grace and the grace of eternal life. For only the spiritual iniquity of elect did Christ bear, the god belly, glory shame spiritual activities of the souls of the elect, which are the spiritual fruit of original sin. Hence, we are truly a new creation, the church of Jesus Christ has one Spirit and one Lord. The Bride of Christ is hence buried, for the whole is the sum of its parts, the individuals form the body, and raised with Christ to the Fathers right hand. Christs soul bore the spiritual iniquity of the elect in a penal substitionary manner, but his body bore the punishment which typifies the punishment the whole world deserves, every single human who has ever lived, the scape goat for the whole world in this life (Christ consumes not all immediately); benefits of his body and his soul, the atonement therein accrues only to the elect. Thus the literally body of Christ can deal with the works of the flesh (mechanical sin) of all my fathers even unto Adam (not for their sake but mine). The Bride Christ is hence purified from its natural heritage, the body of sin from Adam to each believer, the corporate heritage of the elect in the flesh is destroyed, and my own personal spiritual iniquity is forgiven unto me. In my loins is Adams seed, in my spirit is the seed of Christ, faith implanted by the Holy Spirit leading unto eternal life. I must die for natural heritage of sin must end; that connection between my soul and Adams seed and original sin must end. Regeneration is hence that new spiritual seed placed in the believers soul, yet incased and surrounded by spiritual iniquity, yet by faith that seed does prosper within us, our souls growing up into the perfect humanity of Christ such that we may behold his divinity all the more.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
The question is a anachronistic; but in short, the answer is both. The two are not mutually exclusive and must not be thought of as such.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
Is the idea of contrasting epochs through the notions of 'old man vs new man' etc. an idea from the 'apocalyptic' school of Pauline interpreters? I recently across the notion that they interpret 'faith ' in such a sense as well. However, that idea that 'faith' is a noun and always relates to the current epoch is obviously, completely convoluted as Paul uses it in an experiential way.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
Is the idea of contrasting epochs through the notions of 'old man vs new man' etc. an idea from the 'apocalyptic' school of Pauline interpreters? I recently across the notion that they interpret 'faith ' in such a sense as well. However, that idea that 'faith' is a noun and always relates to the current epoch is obviously, completely convoluted as Paul uses it in an experiential way.
Couldn't say. I'm not familiar with what you're talking about here.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Can we not consider the line between Adam and me, as one body, with my sin a fruit and effect of Adams original sin, and hence i am one with Adam, which Christ did away with, not my personal sin only, but that of all my forefathers unto Adam, not for their sake if they did not believe, but for my sake. Thus i can view my personal sin as part of a corporate body, a heritage of sin, first with Adams eyes being opened, the rest of his progeny unto me being born with their eyes open to good and evil, and then the personal sins which flow from the original sin of Adam. In Christ, a new spiritual line is begun in us, for we are given eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, and our connection unto Adam through truducianism (spiritual and physical generation) is hence severed. Since Christs body is given for the whole world, then all my forefathers, the works of their flesh, were placed upon Christ, yet only the original sin of Adam, the imputation of guilt to Adam and progeny is removed for those who believe. Hence, both the works of my flesh and desires of my flesh are forgiven, yet the works of the flesh of my forefathers is forgiven not for their sake, but my sake, but their spiritual iniquity remains; thus the reprobate through the body of Christ receives temporal grace, but the believer temporal grace and the grace of eternal life. For only the spiritual iniquity of elect did Christ bear, the god belly, glory shame spiritual activities of the souls of the elect, which are the spiritual fruit of original sin. Hence, we are truly a new creation, the church of Jesus Christ has one Spirit and one Lord. The Bride of Christ is hence buried, for the whole is the sum of its parts, the individuals form the body, and raised with Christ to the Fathers right hand. Christs soul bore the spiritual iniquity of the elect in a penal substitionary manner, but his body bore the punishment which typifies the punishment the whole world deserves, every single human who has ever lived, the scape goat for the whole world in this life (Christ consumes not all immediately); benefits of his body and his soul, the atonement therein accrues only to the elect. Thus the literally body of Christ can deal with the works of the flesh (mechanical sin) of all my fathers even unto Adam (not for their sake but mine). The Bride Christ is hence purified from its natural heritage, the body of sin from Adam to each believer, the corporate heritage of the elect in the flesh is destroyed, and my own personal spiritual iniquity is forgiven unto me. In my loins is Adams seed, in my spirit is the seed of Christ, faith implanted by the Holy Spirit leading unto eternal life. I must die for natural heritage of sin must end; that connection between my soul and Adams seed and original sin must end. Regeneration is hence that new spiritual seed placed in the believers soul, yet incased and surrounded by spiritual iniquity, yet by faith that seed does prosper within us, our souls growing up into the perfect humanity of Christ such that we may behold his divinity all the more.
Unless I misunderstand you--and I might be, without any paragraph breaks to separate statements--I believe you're advocating an unconfessional position.
Are you claiming that Christ was punished for the sins of every person, even though many do not receive it? That's Amyraldianism.
Are you saying further that your ancestors' sin were forgiven them so that you could be forgiven, but they were not regenerated? That's at the least a novelty.
It may be that you're considering this from an angle I've never seen, but it does look disturbing.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
In response to a PM,
In general, in Romans Paul is writing to the church (and so may at moments address the church as the body of believers); he is writing about how individuals are made right with God, who first begin in alienation and separation, and end up as members beside many others in a new community.

I don't believe Paul spends his energy writing in such broad terms as "corporate justification," or the like. In ch.5 he writes concerning the "all" or "many" who are treated together, because of imputation--of Adam's sin on the one hand, of Christ's obedience and righteousness on the other. But this has to do in an ultimate sense with two different individuals, the covenant heads of their respective constituencies. It is a specific benefit to the saved member of the second covenant that he gets a new identity and corporation to which he belongs in Christ.

I'm not sure what might be the point of the author/commentary referred to in the OP. Perhaps there is a point he is getting at, maybe an underappreciated thread of Paul's in Romans--undervalued by a certain hyper-individualist culture--that shows the apostle never loses sight of the church while he proclaims a saving gospel for every one who believes. But, maybe the author's point is overstressed, and so he is missing just as badly or worse in the opposite direction, and is too eager to make Paul's gospel a message of corporate realignment.

I'm reminded of NTWright's assertion: that justification in Paul's writing "is more about ecclesiology than soteriology." NTWrong.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
In response to a PM,
In general, in Romans Paul is writing to the church (and so may at moments address the church as the body of believers); he is writing about how individuals are made right with God, who first begin in alienation and separation, and end up as members beside many others in a new community.

I don't believe Paul spends his energy writing in such broad terms as "corporate justification," or the like. In ch.5 he writes concerning the "all" or "many" who are treated together, because of imputation--of Adam's sin on the one hand, of Christ's obedience and righteousness on the other. But this has to do in an ultimate sense with two different individuals, the covenant heads of their respective constituencies. It is a specific benefit to the saved member of the second covenant that he gets a new identity and corporation to which he belongs in Christ.

I'm not sure what might be the point of the author/commentary referred to in the OP. Perhaps there is a point he is getting at, maybe an underappreciated thread of Paul's in Romans--undervalued by a certain hyper-individualist culture--that shows the apostle never loses sight of the church while he proclaims a saving gospel for every one who believes. But, maybe the author's point is overstressed, and so he is missing just as badly or worse in the opposite direction, and is too eager to make Paul's gospel a message of corporate realignment.

I'm reminded of NTWright's assertion: that justification in Paul's writing "is more about ecclesiology than soteriology." NTWrong.
Hopefully, these are readable. It's from Tom Holland's Romans commentary. Though he is reformed and wrote a good rebuttal of NT Wright's overall methods, I get the impression he is really playing off the supposed Hebraic/Eastern/corporate mindset against the Hellenistic/Western/individual mindset.
There is more elsewhere. While there is a lot to agree with, his argument seems to be that it can't apply to the individual i.e. Bunyan, Marshall, etc.. Perhaps this is similar to the Arminian concept of 'corporate election' where the church is elected as an abstract entity?
 

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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
As long as we don't overdo the emphasis on experiential reading where Paul is measuring the Christian life by how intense the quiet time is, then I think the answer can be both.
 
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