Those who either support, or at least don't disagree with NPP

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Inactive User
Hey y'all,
I have been trying to understand a bit of whats going on and have, through my reading and listening, found many people who disagree with the NPP. As a former debater, I feel, to justly reach a conclusion on my own, I must also hear from the affirmative. For Proverbs says, the first to argue his case seems right, until the second comes to cross examine him.

All this to say, from what I have heard, it seems like the debate is worthy to be had, but I would like to see from those who support the movement the basis for support.

If there are articles, sermons, or whatever that support it that I can read. I recall, years ago, reading an interview with some of the Aburn Avenue folks, but thats it.

Any help is appreciated.



Puritanboard Amanuensis
The Paul Page is probably the best place to start. It has the most competent (and less shrill) critiques and defenses of said position. I had to debate this in college and didnt study up on what NPP was and wasn't. As a result, I didn't do as good. I was using arguments that were irrelevant to the discussion. I have found the following helpful to keep in mind when debating adherents of NPP.

1) There are more than one variety of it. In other words, an argument against Ed Sanders might not work against James Dunn. An argument against Dunn might not work against Tom Wright. Remember, Wright considers himself a critic of Sanders and Dunn.

2) Do not start with your conlcusion as your first premise. I see this too often. Do not let your argumetns look like this:

a) They are denying the gospel.
b) Galatians 1:0
Therefore, they are denying the gospel.

In the long run perhaps they are, but that is not the way to prove it.

3) Also, don't be afraid to read them. I admit, I read them. Lots of them. Many of my friends whom I have lead to the Reformed faith are asking questions about Wright. I can handle this one of two ways:

a) He is a heretic and you shouldn't read him. "But what about his arguments?" says the inquirer. "well," says I, "You just shoudln't read him. Trust the experts." Of coruse, this is the quickest way to insult someone's intelligence and the first thing tehy will do is read the guy.

b) Read him, critique him (preferably without name calling) and don't be afraid to talk about i. I had a guy come up to me and ask, "Why are you reading him?" Well, so I can critique him. "Well, you aren't read for that and neither am I, let's just trust the experts." Calvin would be proud.

4) Don't associate them with Auburn Avenue. Good proponents of NPP can nail you on that. While there may be some overlap, technically its not accurate.

and to clear my name (again): I AM NOT NPP. This joke's not funny anymore.


Puritanboard Amanuensis
There were a few on campus at my college suggesting some stuff that NPP was saying. I finallly bought What St Paul Really Really Said and felt that I could rebut, given my litmited time, what this proponent was saying. Furthermore, I then turned the argument on the historical sources. I told him since I read his "big dogs" he needs to read Calvin. He didn't. I had read both. I reminded him of that. We never discussed it again.

I really couldn't do more than that, though. I was taking 20 hours and working two jobs.


Puritan Board Freshman
Nick, in my opinion, Perspectives Old and New on Paul: The "Lutheran" Paul and His Critics written by Stephen Westerholm is by far the best resource for people seeking an advanced understanding the subject (pro & con.) As far as modern Pauline scholars go, Westerholm is top-notch and you will find that he manages to inject bits of subtle humor into his writing that make reading it a pleasure.

Here is an Amazon link:

For what it's worth, here is a link to a paper that Stephen Westerholm recently presented at Concordia Fort Wayne that deals with the main issue of the NPP debate:

[Edited on 3-9-2006 by AdamM]
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