Faith in the Son (Paperback)
Over the last fifty years, the apostle Paul’s theology has come under immense critical examination. One important issue prompted by recent scholarship is the correct translation of the Greek phrase pistis Christou as “faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 2:16). Many English-speaking scholars now interpret this Greek phrase as the “faithfulness of Jesus Christ.” This new translation is bound up with the theological argument that we are not justified by our own faith but by the faithfulness of Christ.
Kevin McFadden argues that faith in Christ is a proximate cause of salvation that accords with grace. Not only is this treatment a helpful introduction to the pistis Christou debate, but it also demonstrates the central role of faith in salvation as the church brings the gospel to the world.
Paperback, 304 pages
Publication Date: May 2021
Table of Contents
Foreword (Robert W. Yarbrough)
Introduction: The Πίστις Χριστοῦ Debate and Pauline Theology
Chapter 1: Paul’s Understanding of Christ-Oriented Faith in Historical Context
Chapter 2: Direct Statements of Christ-Oriented Faith in Paul’s Letters
Chapter 3: Conceptual Parallels to Christ-Oriented Faith in Paul’s Letters
Chapter 4: ’Εκ Πίστεως Χριστοῦ as a Pauline Idiom for Christ-Oriented Faith
Chapter 5: Theological Synthesis: Christ-Oriented Faith within Pauline Theology
“A number of recent books have been written on the subject of faith in Paul’s letters, and so we might wonder if there is anything fresh and interesting to say about faith in Christ in Paul’s theology. McFadden’s book shows us that the answer is yes. I was struck repeatedly by McFadden’s careful and astute reading of the biblical text, a reading in which he dialogues with scholarly interlocutors. McFadden demonstrates that faith in Christ is constitutive of Paul’s theology and central to it as well. Those interested in Pauline theology, even those who disagree, will be provoked to consider anew the role of faith in Christ in Paul’s theology. We find here a remarkably close and insightful reading of the Pauline letters, one that repristinates the theology of the Reformers for our day.”
Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Kevin McFadden has written an important book on a central theme of the New Testament and of the theology of the apostle Paul more specifically. Interacting with a wide range of scholarship, he forcefully defends the traditional understanding of the phrase ‘faith in Christ’ as highlighting the necessity and the reality of faith in Jesus that saves sinners. At a time when it has become fashionable to diminish the significance of individuals in favor of corporate dimensions of the body of Christ, Faith in the Son of God describes with admirable exegetical sensitivity how Paul uses the language of faith when explaining what sinners do as God saves them on account of Jesus’s death on the cross. Thus, the book is as much about the gospel as it is about faith, and thus about the effective witness of the church in an increasingly secular world.”
Eckhard J. Schnabel, Mary French Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; author, Jesus in Jerusalem
“McFadden presents a compelling case that Paul’s letters emphasize the importance of faith in Christ. His argument is that εκ πιστεως Χριστου describes Christ-oriented faith as the means (‘instrumental cause’) of salvation. This work is biblical theology at its finest. Not content to merely tread the path well worn by others, McFadden presents fresh arguments that I have not previously encountered. He writes as a scholar who is consistently fair and irenic in his treatment of differing views and as a humble student who is able to learn from those with whom he disagrees. More than anything else, he writes as a faithful exegete who seeks to formulate his theology from the biblical text rather than impose his preconceived theology on the text. I highly recommend this book to scholars, students, and pastors.”
Charles L. Quarles, Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Kevin McFadden (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is associate professor of New Testament at Cairn University in Philadelphia and the coauthor of Biblical Theology according to the Apostles. Kevin and his wife, Colleen, are members of Trinity Community Church in Abington, Pennsylvania.