“For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” —Romans 7:15, HCSB. Perspectives on Our Struggle with Sin presents in point-counterpoint form three differing views of a Christian’s relationship with the law, flesh, and spirit as illustrated through Paul’s often-debated words in Romans 7. Stephen Chester (North Park Theological Seminary) writes “The Retrospective View of Romans 7: Paul’s Past in Present Perspective,” suggesting the apostle’s description of his struggle speaks more to his pre-Christian self. Grant Osborne (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) offers “The Flesh Without the Spirit: Romans 7 and Christian Experience,” perceiving Romans 7 as an accurate representation of what believers go through even after their conversion. Mark Seifrid (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), in “The Voice of the Law, the Cry of Lament, and the Shout of Thanksgiving,” asserts that Paul is not speaking of his past or his present Christian experience in Romans 7, but more fundamentally and simply about “the human being confronted with the Law.” Chad Owen Brand (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) writes a conclusion on the theological and pastoral implications of Romans 7.
“Christians have long debated how Paul’s moving depiction of a struggle with sin in “Romans 7 should influence our theology and practice of the Christian life. Now, in one book, Christians are given a wonderful opportunity to engage the different views, see how they differ, and come to their own conclusions. Chester, Osborne, and Seifrid clearly and capably defend their positions; and they do so with enough of a difference in method that the reader is given a good sense of the scope of the issues and their significance.”—Douglas J. Moo, Kenneth T. Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College
“The meaning of Romans 7 continues to bedevil and puzzle readers. This volume does not simply rehearse arguments and positions from the past. The authors approach the text from fresh and illuminating perspectives, and hence this work represents a significant contribution to scholarship. ”—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“One difficult and disputed text, three fine scholars, and three views of the passage. How is one to read Romans 7? This book takes you through all the options and rationale with detail, charity, and clarity. This is how to have a discussion over a disputed text. Read and learn about Romans 7. Decide who is right and why. And, above all, learn about how to discuss a difficult text.”—Darrell L. Bock, research professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary