Re-reading Doug Campbell

Here’s something I’d like to say:

I’ve just picked up a copy of Douglas A. Campbell’s The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul (Grand Rapids / Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2009). Initially, I was a bit daunted. It’s a very big and scary book, running to 1218 pages. But I’ve just realised that I don’t need to read it all to understand its meaning! I have a theory about the book, that makes more and more sense the more I think about it. The book can’t be Doug Campbell’s own position. It’s too full of overly complicated theories and uncalled-for denunciations. On my reading of Campbell, his whole book is actually a presentation of the position of one of his opponents, whom he wants to discredit simply by quoting at length. Campbell’s own position only truly shines through in his very last, highly ironic, sentence, where he sums up his opponent: “It seems that beyond our European conceits, the real Paul awaits us.”

Did I say that?

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