In an email published with permission a reader of Apprising Ministries writes in to ask:
Are you familiar with the New Perspective on Paul? In Richard Foster and Contemplative Mysticism: A Powerful Ecumenical Bond you referenced the website Bible Study Notes which had an article under the “Categories” section titled Pauline Gospel. When reading articles on a new site, it is hard to tell if they support NPP or are just using it as a reference to aberrant teaching. This “heresy” scares me because they use terms that seem right and many people sit under this type of teaching for years before they discover that it is a “different gospel”.
Gary Gilley is at our church as a visiting pastor 11-1-08 and to be honest I have a hard time with addressing this issue on a lay level to people that are under this teaching and unaware because it sounds SO much like the “solas”. It isn’t always what they are saying, but rather, what they neglect to tell about their teaching. A huge teacher of this is Les Feldick. Many homes are doing his bible studies on video and SO much of what he teaches is right on.
After attending one of these for over one year AND enjoying them, we finally heard him say that the NT believers do not have to repent. That was something for Israel. His “mantra” is Grace+Nothing. He also adheres to the Gap Theory. I get confused with the 2 different gospels and the 2 different kingdoms. Any updates and forthright information would be a blessing to me!!!
You’re welcome, the Lord be praised I’m here to offer what I can. I’m not really all that familiar with Les Feldick but what I have seen has not impressed me as one who could be considered a solid teacher of the Bible. So adding what you say he teaches I would recommend we steer clear of him in favor of someone like Dr. John MacArthur. I quite agree it’s always best to be very careful.
AM and its sister outreach Christian Research Netdoesn’t necessarily endorse everything we may link to for informational purposes so that’s all the more reason to be careful. The site youy mention appears to be connected with David Cloud of Way of Life so it would likely be fundamentalist and therefore against NPP; but these crazy days you just never know.
And as far as the New Perspective on Paul (NPP) itself I’ll begin by quoting The Master’s Seminary: “It’s an insidious heresy that on the surface might look like it has some sense of scholastic splendor but, once you poke through the veneer, it’s nothing more and nothing less than theological poison” (Online source). Much has been said and written about NPP as we see from The Paul Page: Dedicated to the New Perspective of Paul, which you’ll has pieces both for and against so be aware.
However, there really hasn’t been a lot written at what refer to as “a lay level.” Dr. Gary Gilley has done a series which is pretty accessible for the average Christian and I’ll place the link below. I did mention the heresy of NPP briefly in “Reclaiming Paul?” Sorry; More Like Reimagining Paul. NPP is truly a rottern root which gives the postliberal cult of the Emergent Church more food for their reimagined inclusive “gospel” of social reform.
Of course we’re not surprised as all that N.T. Wright, before whom they bow as one of their most revered Golden Buddhas, is also one of the main teachers of this heresy. And wouldn’t you know, NPP is yet another attack on the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement. As funding allows I hope to be writing more on this because NPP’s been in seminaries for years, which means many pastors today adhere to it and/or are even teaching this fantasy of works-righteousness to unsuspecting churches.
And you are quite correct, as with all cultic teachings, they are changing the meanings of words. Following are a few good sources which you will find helpful in addressing the revisionist history and heresy of NPP:
Dr. Gary Gilley, The New Perspective on Paul
Phil Johnson, A Defense of the Old Perspective on Paul
Chris Arnzen, Iron Sharpens Iron radio program, J. Ligon Duncan III: “The New Perspective on Paul”
Monergism.com, New Perspective on Paul