Indicative and Imperative in the Letters of Paul

Lionel Windsor (2004)


It is undeniable that Paul’s letters contain both declarations and commands, theology and ethics, indicatives and imperatives. Yet Paul himself never explicitly lays out the logical connection between these two elements of his thought. Certainly, indicatives generally precede and are connected to imperatives, sometimes broadly (e.g. Eph 1-3 then 4-6; Rom 1-11 then 12-15) sometimes in the same breath (e.g. Gal 5:1, Gal 5:25, 1 Cor 5:7; Phil 2:12-13).1 Yet Paul employs a wide variety of individual motivations for ethical injunctions, ranging from God’s mercy (e.g. Rom 12:1) to God’s eschatological judgment (e.g. 1 Thess 4:6, Gal 5:21; 1 Cor 6:9-10), from the example of Christ (e.g. Phil 2:5), through the work of the Spirit (e.g. Rom 8), to the self-awareness of Christians (e.g. 1 Cor 6:1).2 Can we comprehensively account for this variety? This question is one, not just of the existence, but of the implicit nature and logic of the connection between indicative and imperative in Paul’s thought.3

As we explore this connection, we will make certain assumptions. Firstly, we will assume (along with Classical Protestantism) that Paul’s controlling indicative is one of assurance of salvation for the individual believer. In Grogan’s words,

‘The Christian’s acceptance with God is grounded in Christ’s atoning work, accepted by faith [. . .] however ethical activity is to be conceived, whether as evidence of grace or as grateful response to grace, or as both, it cannot be rightly viewed as the means of acceptance with God’4

Secondly, we will assume that Paul does indeed operate with a coherent, if implicit, ethic.5 Thirdly, we will assume that Paul himself is tacitly aware of his ethic, in such a way that he can apply it in various contingencies without requiring a direct divine command (e.g. 1 Cor 7:25).6 On this basis, our task is to explore Paul’s rationale for moving from assurance of salvation to ethical injunction. We will then show how Paul applies his rationale to the particular connection between the Christian’s freedom and the Christian’s responsibility to love.


Earlier studies tended to see little or no connection between indicative and imperative. The Lutheran tradition in particular, with its tendency to focus exclusively on the forensic element of justification and neglect participation in Christ, has often struggled with the connection.7 Freedom from ‘the law’ (e.g. Rom 7:4, 8:2) can often be understood as freedom from all imperatives. Pauline imperatives are then viewed as temporary pragmatic injunctions designed to protect the spiritually immature from sin or lead them in despair to the gospel.8

The tendency to view Pauline ethics in purely consequentialist categories is not limited to Lutheranism. The British Congregationalist C. H. Dodd, for example, was influential in distinguishing the gospel kerygma—the gospel proclamation of God’s mercy and judgment—from the didache subsequently given to those who respond.9 The initial purpose of this didache was to help Christians conform to their surrounding culture in terms of family life, etc.; to be prudent, non-provocative and non-eccentric.10 Paul went some way towards ‘transforming’ this didache by connecting it back into the kerygma, but imperfectly.11 The USA, too, has advocates of a radical separation between salvation and ethics, in which assurance is linked to Christ’s atoning work whilst ethics is linked to the wholly separate sphere of Christ’s ‘lordship’.12


This separation of indicative and imperative, however, is inadequate to account for either the depth or the breadth of the theological grounds for ethical injunctions in Paul. As Rosner points out, Paul’s ‘ethics make no sense without his eschatology, soteriology, and ecclesiology’.13 Ethics is about preparing the church for the day into which it has already entered (e.g. Rom 13:11-12), following the paradigm of Christ’s death and resurrection (e.g. Romans 15:1-3; Phil 2:1-13), building the community through love (e.g. 1 Cor 12-14). This interrelatedness has led many scholars to posit a much closer connection between indicative and imperative which is often presented as a relationship of necessity.

Bultmann’s 1924 essay ‘The Problem of Ethics in Paul’ was a watershed in this regard.14 It made indicative and imperative the ‘basic formula’ of Pauline ethics and set the agenda of subsequent reflection.15 Bultmann saw the formula in terms of existential necessity. What is accomplished (indicative) must gain real existence in my moment of decision (imperative).16 ‘Since it is concrete, empirical man [. . .] who becomes justified, whose sin is forgiven, the relation of the justified to the life beyond does not exist apart from or beside his concrete conduct and destiny.’17

Bultmann seriously attempted to safeguard the reality of both God’s free grace and human decision.18 However, his existential categories cannot deal with the theological objectivity of the indicative: the existence of life ‘in Christ’ before it is ‘in me’ (Gal 2:17-21, Eph 2:5, Rom 5:6-10). For Bultmann, the indicative is only real ‘in me’. But others since him have realised that in Paul being precedes act; the imperative is grounded upon, appeals to and develops the implications of a given reality (past, present and future).19

Furnish, while rejecting Dodd’s separation of kerygma and didache, does not go down Bultmann’s existentialist track.20 Rather, he sees the relation of indicative and imperative in terms of Christological necessity, particularly when it comes to the command to love. Indicative and imperative, ‘though they are not absolutely identified, [. . .] are closely and necessarily associated.’21 For Paul, the command to love ‘is the necessary manifestation within Christ’s body of the new creation already underway in the working of God’s Spirit.’22 ‘If one has received the gospel then he has already received God’s love, and with it the command to love his brethren.’23 Why? Because ‘Christ’s love’ is both a gift and a claim, a benefit to receive and a power to display.24

Furnish is certainly more theocentric than Bultmann. This enables him to distinguish a logical order in which indicative precedes imperative: the gift of Christ’s love is prior to its application to the believer. Yet for all this, it is hard to see how Furnish accounts for the contingency inherent in the imperative. He affirms that the imperative must be taken seriously, yet does not really explain how something that is necessary can also be commanded.25 This is seen most acutely when we look at negative examples. When, for example, the Corinthians failed to love each other (1 Cor 1:11), then we must conclude that either Christ’s love had failed, or the connection between Christ’s love and their love was not ‘necessary’.

Similarly, Deidun argues that the indicative and imperative are connected by ‘theological necessity’.26 He takes dei/ (1 Thess 4:1) in strong terms, ‘it is necessary’.27 The ultimate ground of the imperative is the indwelling of God’s Spirit, impelling obedience.28 As with Furnish, this is a helpful, Trinitarian corrective against Bultmann’s existentialism.29 However, it is again difficult to see how to take the imperatives seriously in Deidun’s schema.30 For Deidun, the imperative is about human freedom ‘not resisting’ God, ‘co-operating’ with God, ‘yielding’ to God and saying ‘yes’ to the ‘necessary effect of God’s inward activity’.31 Yet if God is necessarily involved in our obedience, isn’t the possibility of resisting him ruled out? Where is the place for the contingency that Deidun seeks to affirm? Deidun is ultimately forced to exchange Paul’s prolific second person imperatives for his own third person imperative: ‘Let God be what he is’.32


If necessity is inadequate to explain the connection between indicative and imperative, is there a better way? Furnish himself points in the right direction when he notes that ‘redemption is not just deliverance from the hostile powers to which [the Christian] was formerly enslaved, but freedom for obedience to God.’33 This idea of an end goal or purpose for salvation is very promising, and we shall explore this connection in what follows.

O’Donovan, in discussing the Pauline material, points to the far-reaching effects of Christ’s resurrection.34 The resurrection does not simply assure us of salvation from death; it entails a re-ordering of fallen creation. At its centre, the resurrection is a reaffirmation of God’s created order in all its richness: God, humanity and the creation are rightly related by Christ’s resurrection. Like Deidun, O’Donovan affirms both the Spirit’s work and the reality of human freedom in the imperative. However, he relates these two realities in a more coherent manner.35 The gift of the Spirit in me means not only that I must ‘put to death’ what is opposed to God’s order (e.g. Col 3:5ff)36 but also that ‘in the redemption of the world I, and every other “I”, yield myself to God’s order and freely take my place within it’.37 The imperative is thus a call to yield to God’s necessary resurrection order rather than a necessary yielding to God’s order (as in Deidun); hence the imperative preserves its integrity. Our freedom is that of Spirit-indwelt Sons, ‘humbly and proudly in command’ of the natural order yet subject to the facts of this order.38

O’Donovan then goes on to discuss the implications of this re-ordering.39 Hill’s article in many ways parallels O’Donovan’s argument but is applied directly to Paul’s Letter to the Romans; it is worth a brief summary.40 Hill argues that an overarching indicative of Romans is that the created ‘generic order’ (i.e. the set of relationships between classes of persons and things) is both deformed and concealed by sin (Rom 1) but has been restored by God’s work in Christ. This restored generic order has an historical goal that is yet to be reached at the last day, particularly freedom from decay and the redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:19-25). The incompleteness of this historical goal explains the frustration, suffering and sin that characterises our lives. Yet the renewed generic order in Christ also implies a presently renewed telic order; that is, a re-orientation of purpose for all those ‘in Christ’ rather than ‘in Adam’ (5:12-21). This renewed telic order, which is the basis for ethics (the imperative), is grounded on the renewed generic order (the indicative) that is only knowable by the renewal of our minds (12:2) by the Spirit (8:1-8).

We conclude that the relationship between the indicative and the imperative in Paul is neither incidental nor necessary, but naturally teleological. The indicative assures us not only that we have been saved from generic disorder in its fullest sense (‘death’) but to generic order in its fullest sense (‘life’), beginning with ‘righteousness’: right relationship between God and humanity ‘in Christ’ (e.g. Rom 5:17-18, 8:10; Eph 4:24; Phil 3:9).41 The imperative, then, is contingent upon the natural telic re-orientation of our being. This logic is evident in Romans 6: our new generic order in Christ (5:12-21) involves death to sin and life to God (6:1-10). Thus the first imperative in Romans is ‘account yourselves dead to sin but living to God in Christ Jesus’ (6:11), followed closely by commands to ‘yield’ your created members to God as tools of righteousness (6:12-13). The gift of ‘eternal life’, then, is not just a promise of immortality but the creation of a new person with re-oriented purposes (6:23). Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 15, we see that those who have no hope of life also have no imperative (15:32-33), but the knowledge of our bodily resurrection in Christ climaxes in a sweeping ethical imperative to labour ‘in the Lord’ (15:58). In Christ, we have not ‘abstract, ideal potentialities’42 but a real purposeful nature.

Freedom, love and Paul

A good example of the teleological structure of Paul’s ethics is the relationship between our freedom in Christ and our love for others. The connection is evident in Gal 5:13: ‘For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as (eivj) an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.’ Freedom is oriented toward love. This orientation is explored at more length in 1 Corinthians 8-10 and Romans 14-15, where, as we shall see, what Christians are saved to is given priority in ethical decision-making over what they have been saved from. As Barth observes, sanctification (which includes love) is the goal of justification and therefore has teleological priority.43

1 Cor 8:1 raises the question about whether it is right to eat food offered to idols. Paul’s answer is lengthy and complex, but illuminating. He answers neither ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but gives a number of indicatives interspersed with imperatives. He begins by contrasting ‘knowledge’, which ‘puffs up’ (and is inherently divisive),44 with ‘love’ which ‘builds’. It soon becomes evident that the ‘knowledge’ that he is disparaging is that knowledge which only considers what we have been saved from: in this case, bondage to polytheistic idolatry (8:4, cf 10:19). Paul appears to agree in principle with this ‘indicative’, identifying it with the beliefs of a group called ‘the strong’ who felt free to eat the food.45 However, he also identifies a group called the ‘weak’ who do not have this knowledge (8:7), yet are Christian and are not perverse (8:9-12).46 It seems that the ‘weak’ have accepted monotheism (8:6) but this has not filtered down into their attitude to idols; they have not yet realised that an idol is nothing (8:4).47 Paul does not seem immediately concerned to correct this misunderstanding; and he certainly does not use the ‘correct’ attitude to idols as a basis for any imperatives. Rather, Paul’s controlling indicatives are those which describe what the Corinthians have been saved ‘to’. These two indicatives can be characterised as monotheism and brotherhood.

In 8:6, Paul weaves Jesus Christ into the classic Deuteronomic statement of monotheism (Deut 6:4); and then expands the statement to show its implications for the generic order of creation (‘all things’) and our own existence. Wright has dubbed 8:6 a statement of ‘Christological monotheism’, and sees it as the controlling indicative of the rest of the passage.48 Horrell, on the other hand, argues Paul completely overrides 8:6 by his subsequent argument; Horrell posits that Paul’s ethics are not based on doctrinal considerations at all but rather on the competing notion of the imitation of Christ (11:1).49 However, there are good reasons to agree with Wright that Christological monotheism is crucial to the rest of Paul’s argument. If we have been saved to worship ‘One God and Lord’, then the critical imperative is to worship God alone and nothing else. If the weaker brother really believes that idols are something, and he eats idol food, then his action will violate monotheism. Hence he is ‘destroyed’ (8:12).

The second controlling indicative of chapter 8 is brotherhood (8:11-13). The strong must realise that their generic order under Christ entails brotherhood with the weaker Christian, who through Christ’s death participates with them in the new creation (cf 12:13, Gal 3:27-28).50 Paul, when applying this to his own situation, describes it as being ‘in-lawed of Christ’ (e;nnomoj Cristou/, 9:22)—an expression that shows that believers are governed by their new order of being in Christ and belonging to him, which leads to a life of service to others.51 Therefore the strong must lovingly ‘build’ the brothers, not to idolatry (8:10) but toward their telos which is worshipping the one true God (8:6, cf 10:23). This may require abstaining from idol food if it causes the weaker brother to stumble (8:9-13).

Paul brings brotherhood and monotheism together in chapter 10. Here Paul’s prohibition of idolatry is much stronger. This is probably best explained by the observation that chapter 8 discussed the individual’s use of his ‘authentic right’52 while chapter 10 has the redeemed community as a whole on view, as seen by the propensity of plural pronouns and words such as ‘participation’ and ‘body’ (10:16-20). Thus Paul’s ultimate intention in chapters 8-10 is to persuade the ‘knowers’ to forego their individual rights and seek their neighbour’s good (10:24).53 The member of the redeemed body will not eat idol-meat even though as an individual it is perfectly acceptable, for this would be sinful for the church. This is truly a teleological ethic. It recognises the objective and necessary existence of a right but decides not to use that right in the interests of love, which is the purpose of the redeemed community which worships the one true God. This logic extends even to unbelievers (10:27-28). The implications of monotheism for what we are saved to overrides its implications for what we are saved from.

Romans 14-15 presents a similar argument in a different situation. The ‘weak’ here are vegetarians (14:2), observe special days (14:5-6) and abstain from wine (14:21). Most commentators see this as a more specifically Jew-Gentile issue than in 1 Corinthians.54 Yet the overall shape of the ethic is similar. The ‘strong’ were in danger of basing their actions simply on the truth of what Christians have been saved from. Because they knew that purity regulations were of no consequence (14:14, 20), they were tempted to despise those who adhered to them.55 Yet, once again, Paul bases his imperatives on what we are saved to. Because we are those welcomed by God and Christ into a community of the welcomed, the strong are to welcome those who have not yet worked out the full implications of their salvation (14:1-3, 15:7).56 Conversely, since we belong to the Lord through Christ’s work and are thus accountable to him (14:6-12), the weak must not pre-empt God’s role by judging their brothers (14:3, 13).57 Because we are in brotherhood with those for whom Christ died (14:15), we are to love them, thus serving Christ (14:15, 18; 15:1-2, 6). The ‘kingdom of God’ is God’s generic order which has the shape ‘righteousness and peace and joy’ rather than ‘food and drink’ (14:17). Although this saves us from scruples about eating and drinking, this fact alone is insufficient for ethics. For (ironically) if we remain with this fact alone, we end up making the ‘kingdom of God’ a matter of food and drink and destroy God’s real work (14:20-21).

Furnish, in discussing these chapters, is certainly right when he observes that ‘Paul regards love as an act of freedom’,58 and that love is ‘the means by which one’s freedom in Christ is authentically realized.’59 Yet a teleological understanding of the relationship between indicative and imperative is required to illuminates the inner logic of these observations. Freedom is not just about the destruction of bonds, it is about the restoration of right order in which the restored agent is free to fulfil the full range of potentialities inherent in that order: in this case, to love. Conversely, to use one’s freedom as an opportunity for the flesh (Gal 5:13) is just a different form of slavery.

Freedom, love and us

This understanding is very pertinent for our world in which people of many different backgrounds and convictions live, work and play together. Multiculturalism tests the limits of tolerance, e.g. how far can the secularist ideal of ‘reasoned debate and compromise’ really go when people who believe in animal sacrifice and female circumcision live side by side with those who find it morally repugnant?60 This variety is also reflected in contemporary churches: in a single church, one could find somebody who struggles with alcoholism sitting next to a wine collector, or somebody who believes that the wearing of robes is vital to preserve the dignity of church order sitting next to somebody who believes robes are superstitious medieval trappings.

In responding to this diversity, some have proposed that the solution involves subordinating ‘truth’ to ‘love’. In order for us live in harmony, doctrinal propositions must be sacrificed. Horrell, as we saw, proposed that this is exactly what Paul did in 1 Corinthians 8-10.61 Stanley Grenz, for example, posits that a loving Christian community defines God’s truth.62 This sort of argument is even used to justify the blessing of same-sex unions by church authorities.63

However, as we have seen, Paul’s solution is not to sacrifice doctrinal propositions, but rather to teleologically order and prioritise such propositions. If female circumcision, however ‘unnecessary’, enables women of a particular culture to freely serve and enjoy their family relationships, we should not prohibit it. But if it means ongoing frustration or degradation for such women, we should oppose it. It is never loving to bless same-sex unions, for this moves people away from the order of creation that is revealed in the law and restored in Christ. Similarly, if wine, robes or T-shirts lead my brothers and sisters towards drunkenness, superstition or irreverence and thus away from God’s good purposes, I must avoid them as far as I am able.

Paul says, ‘if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat’ (1 Cor 8:13). This is not because Paul has decided to jettison all indicatives, but because he regards the indicative ‘an idol has no existence’ (8:4) as teleologically subordinate to the indicative of his salvation into a brotherhood in which God alone must be glorified. Thus Paul’s strongest imperative is to do nothing to prevent God being glorified by his brother for whom Christ died.

Bibliography of Sources Cited

Barth, Karl. The Doctrine of Reconciliation. Edited by G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance. Church Dogmatics Vol. IV, 2. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1958.

Bornkamm, Günther. Paul. Translated by D. M. G. Stalker. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1971.

Bultmann, Rudolf. ‘The Problem of Ethics in Paul’. Pages 195-216 in Understanding Paul’s Ethics: Twentieth Century Approaches. Edited by Brian S. Rosner. Translated by Christoph W. Stenschke. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995

Chattaway, Peter T. ‘Canadian Anglicans Face Off’. Christianity Today 48/1 (2004): 24.

Coles, Clifton. ‘Testing the Limits of Tolerance’. Futurist 37/2 (2003): 14-15.

Deidun, T. J. New Covenant Morality in Paul. Analecta Biblica 89. Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1981.

Dennison, William D. ‘Indicative and Imperative: The Basic Structure of Pauline Ethics’. Calvin Theological Journal 14/1 (1979): 55-78.

Dodd, C. H. Gospel and Law: The Relation of Faith and Ethics in Early Christianity. Cambridge: University Press, 1951.

Furnish, Victor P. ‘Belonging to Christ: A Paradigm for Ethics in First Corinthians’. Interpretation 44/2 (1990): 145-57.

______. The Love Command in the New Testament. Nashville: Abingdon, 1972.

______. Theology and Ethics in Paul. Nashville: Abingdon, 1968.

Grenz, Stanley J. Revisioning Evangelical Theology: a Fresh Agenda for the 21st Century. Downers Grove: IVP, 1993.

Grogan, Geoffrey W. ‘The Basis of Paul’s Ethics in His Kerygmatic Theology’. Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 13/2 (1995): 129-47.

Hill, Michael. ‘Theology and Ethics in the Letter to the Romans’. Pages 249-62 in The Gospel to the Nations: Perspectives on Paul’s Mission. Edited by Peter Bolt; Mark Thompson. Leicester: Apollos, 2000.

Hodges, Zane C. Absolutely Free: a Biblical Reply to Lordship Salvation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989.

Horrell, David. ‘Theological Principle or Christological Praxis?: Pauline Ethics in 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1’. Journal for the Study of the New Testament 67 (1997): 83-114.

Kolb, Robert and Timothy J. Wengert (eds.). The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Translated by Charles Arands, Eric Gritsch, Robert Kolb, et. al. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000.

Martin-Schramm, James B. ‘Justification and the Center of Paul’s Ethics’. Dialog 33/2 (1994): 106-10.

Moo, Douglas J. The Epistle to the Romans. NICNT. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996.

Mott, Stephen C. ‘Ethics’. Pages 269-75 in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship. Edited by Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin and Daniel G. Reid. Leicester: IVP, 1993.

O’Donovan, Oliver. Resurrection and Moral Order: an Outline for Evangelical Ethics. 2nd ed. Leicester: Apollos, 1994.

Parsons, Michael. ‘Being Precedes Act: Indicative and Imperative in Paul’s Writing’. Pages 217-47 in Understanding Paul’s Ethics: Twentieth Century Approaches. Edited by Brian S. Rosner. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.

Rosner, Brian S. ‘Paul’s Ethics’. Pages 212-23 in The Cambridge Companion to St. Paul. Edited by James D. G. Dunn. Cambridge Companions to Religion. Cambridge: University Press, 2003.

______. ‘“That Pattern of Teaching”: Issues and Essays in Pauline Ethics’. Pages 1-23 in Understanding Paul’s Ethics: Twentieth Century Approaches. Edited by Brian S. Rosner. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995

Ryrie, Charles C. So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ. Chicago: Moody, 1997.

Seifrid, Mark A. ‘Righteousness, Justice and Justification’. Pages 740-45 in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by T. D. Alexander, Brian S. Rosner. IVP Reference Collection. Leicester: IVP, 2000.

Shogren, Gary S. ‘“Is the Kingdom of God About Eating and Drinking or Isn’t it?” (Romans 14:17)’. Novum Testamentum 62/3 (2000): 238-56.

Still, E. Coye. ‘Paul’s Aims Regarding EIDWLOQUTA: A New Proposal for Interpreting 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1’. Novum Testamentum 44/4 (2002): 333-43.

Wright, N. T. ‘Monotheism, Christology and Ethics: 1 Corinthians 8’. Pages 120-36 in The Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1991.

1 Brian S. Rosner, ‘“That Pattern of Teaching”: Issues and Essays in Pauline Ethics’, in Understanding Paul’s Ethics: Twentieth Century Approaches (ed. Brian S. Rosner; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 18; T. J. Deidun, New Covenant Morality in Paul (Analecta Biblica 89; Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1981), 241; Michael Parsons, ‘Being Precedes Act: Indicative and Imperative in Paul’s Writing’, in Understanding Paul’s Ethics: Twentieth Century Approaches (ed. Brian S. Rosner; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 247.

2 Deidun, New Covenant Morality, 51-52.

3 Rosner, ‘Pattern of Teaching’, 17-20.

4 Geoffrey W. Grogan, ‘The Basis of Paul’s Ethics in His Kerygmatic Theology’, Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 13/2 (1995), 143.

5 Michael Hill, ‘Theology and Ethics in the Letter to the Romans’, in The Gospel to the Nations: Perspectives on Paul’s Mission (ed. Peter Bolt; Mark Thompson; Leicester: Apollos, 2000), 249.

6 Grogan, ‘Basis in Kerygmatic Theology’, 130.

7 James B. Martin-Schramm, ‘Justification and the Center of Paul’s Ethics’, Dialog 33/2 (1994), 108; e.g., the Augsburg Confession (1530) in Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (trans. Charles Arands, Eric Gritsch, Robert Kolb, et. al.; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000), 39-40, separates justification from the Spirit’s work.

8 critiqued by Oliver O’Donovan, Resurrection and Moral Order: an Outline for Evangelical Ethics (2nd ed.; Leicester: Apollos, 1994), 154; Stephen C. Mott, ‘Ethics’, in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship (ed. Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin and Daniel G. Reid; Leicester: IVP, 1993), 269.

9 C. H. Dodd, Gospel and Law: The Relation of Faith and Ethics in Early Christianity (Cambridge: University Press, 1951), 9-10.

10 Dodd, Gospel and Law, 20-24.

11 Dodd, Gospel and Law, 24.

12 Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ (Chicago: Moody, 1997); Zane C. Hodges, Absolutely Free: a Biblical Reply to Lordship Salvation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989).

13 Brian S. Rosner, ‘Paul’s Ethics’, in The Cambridge Companion to St. Paul (ed. James D. G. Dunn; Cambridge Companions to Religion; Cambridge: University Press, 2003), 216-17.

14 Rudolf Bultmann, ‘The Problem of Ethics in Paul’, in Understanding Paul’s Ethics: Twentieth Century Approaches (ed. Brian S. Rosner; trans. Christoph W. Stenschke; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 195-216.

15 William D. Dennison, ‘Indicative and Imperative: The Basic Structure of Pauline Ethics’, Calvin Theological Journal 14/1 (1979), 59.

16 Dennison, ‘Indicative and Imperative’, 61-62; Parsons, ‘Being Precedes Act’, 222.

17 Bultmann, ‘Ethics in Paul, 212; italics original.

18 Bultmann, ‘Ethics in Paul’, 216.

19 Günther Bornkamm, Paul (trans. D. M. G. Stalker; London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1971), 201-3; Parsons, ‘Being Precedes Act’, 229 & 247.

20 Victor P. Furnish, Theology and Ethics in Paul (Nashville: Abingdon, 1968), 98-112.

21 Furnish, Theology and Ethics, 224-25; italics mine.

22 Victor P. Furnish, The Love Command in the New Testament (Nashville: Abingdon, 1972), 94; italics mine.

23 Furnish, Love Command, 95.

24 Victor P. Furnish, ‘Belonging to Christ: A Paradigm for Ethics in First Corinthians’, Interpretation 44/2 (1990), 153.

25 Furnish, Theology and Ethics, 227.

26 Deidun, New Covenant Morality, 60.

27 Deidun, New Covenant Morality, 53-63.

28 Deidun, New Covenant Morality, 55.

29 Deidun, New Covenant Morality, 230-31.

30 see Parsons, ‘Being Precedes Act’, 231.

31 Deidun, New Covenant Morality, 63, 67, 81-83.

32 Deidun, New Covenant Morality, 83.

33 Furnish, Theology and Ethics, 226; italics mine.

34 O’Donovan, Resurrection, 11-27.

35 O’Donovan, Resurrection, 24.

36 O’Donovan, Resurrection, 14-15.

37 O’Donovan, Resurrection, 23-26.

38 O’Donovan, Resurrection, 25-26.

39 O’Donovan, Resurrection, 31-97.

40 Hill, ‘Theology and Ethics’.

41 Mark A. Seifrid, ‘Righteousness, Justice and Justification’, in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (ed. T. D. Alexander, Brian S. Rosner; IVP Reference Collection; Leicester: IVP, 2000), 740-45.

42 Bornkamm, Paul, 201.

43 Karl Barth, The Doctrine of Reconciliation (ed. G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance; Church Dogmatics Vol. IV, 2; Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1958), 507-511.

44 Furnish, Love Command, 112.

45 David Horrell, ‘Theological Principle or Christological Praxis?: Pauline Ethics in 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1’, Journal for the Study of the New Testament 67 (1997), 86.

46 Furnish, Love Command, 113.

47 Horrell, ‘Principle or Praxis?’, 88.

48 N. T. Wright, ‘Monotheism, Christology and Ethics: 1 Corinthians 8’, in The Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1991), 129.

49 Horrell, ‘Principle or Praxis?’, 88-91; 106-10.

50 Furnish, Love Command, 114.

51 Furnish, ‘Belonging to Christ’, 155.

52 E. Coye Still, ‘Paul’s Aims Regarding EIDWLOQUTA: A New Proposal for Interpreting 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1’, Novum Testamentum 44/4 (2002), 335.

53 Still, ‘1 Cor 8:1-11:1’, 337-39.

54 Gary S. Shogren, ‘“Is the Kingdom of God About Eating and Drinking or Isn’t it?” (Romans 14:17)’, Novum Testamentum 62/3 (2000), 239-45; Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 831.

55 Furnish, Love Command, 116.

56 Moo, Romans, 836.

57 Furnish, Love Command, 116.

58 Furnish, Love Command, 111-12.

59 Furnish, Love Command, 116.

60 Clifton Coles, ‘Testing the Limits of Tolerance’, Futurist 37/2 (2003): 14-15.

61 Horrell recognises (without resolving) the inherent dangers of this (‘Principle or Praxis?’, 107-9).

62 Stanley J. Grenz, Revisioning Evangelical Theology: a Fresh Agenda for the 21st Century (Downers Grove: IVP, 1993), 73-129.

63 Peter T. Chattaway, ‘Canadian Anglicans face off’ Christianity Today 48/1 (2004): 24.



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