Douglas J. Moo / other commentaries.

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This post has 13 Replies | 2 Followers

Posts 326
Chrisser | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Feb 4 2020 11:57 AM

Is this a Calvinist commentary? I'm interested in 2nd edition and while I am happy to read Calvinist works but I prefer Arminian theology.

Posts 1931
Kenneth Neighoff | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2020 12:29 PM

I believe Moo is Lutheran.  He is a top notch scholar.  He is worth reading.

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Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2020 12:47 PM

The series of videos kicked off here is helpful to see that his presentation is fair: https://academic.logos.com/douglas-moo-on-gods-election-part-1/ 

But, he is clearly not Arminian:

First, Exod. 4–14 does not clearly indicate that Pharaoh’s hardening of his own heart was the basis for God’s hardening; in fact, it may well imply that Pharaoh’s hardening of his own heart was the result of God’s prior act of hardening.53 Second, Paul’s “whomever he wishes” shows that God’s decision to harden is his alone to make and is not constrained by any consideration having to do with a person’s status or actions. Third, if Paul had in fact wanted his readers to assume that God’s hardening was based on a person’s self-hardening, we would have expected him to make this clear in response to the objection in v. 19. What more natural response to the objection that God is unfair in “finding fault” with a person than to make clear that God’s hardening is based on a person’s own prior action?54
The “hardening” Paul portrays here, then, is a sovereign act of God that is not caused by anything in those individuals who are hardened.55 And 9:22–23 and 11:7 suggest that the outcome of hardening is damnation. It seems, then, that this text, in its context, provides important exegetical support for the controversial doctrine of “double predestination”: just as God decides, on the basis of nothing but his own sovereign pleasure, to bestow his grace and so save some individuals, so he also decides, on the basis of nothing but his own sovereign pleasure, to pass over others and so to damn them.56 Many scholars argue, however, that God’s hardening of an individual is not final. They note that Romans clearly teaches that Israel’s hardening will one day be reversed (see 11:25).57 But this objection fails to make the vital distinction between the individual and corporate perspectives. In Rom. 11 Paul is arguing about the position of Israel as a nation in the plan of God: how God called that people (11:2), hardened much of it (11:7), and will eventually remove that hardening so as to save it (11:26). Here, however, Paul is speaking about the work of God in individuals. And vv. 22–23, where Paul expands on the idea of both God’s mercy and his hardening, suggest that the division between those individuals who receive mercy and those who are hardened is basic and final.
No doctrine stimulates more negative reaction and consternation than this one. Some degree of such reaction is probably inevitable, for it flies in the face of our own common perceptions of both human freedom and God’s justice. And vv. 19–23 show that Paul was himself very familiar with this reaction. Yet, without pretending that it solves all our problems, we must recognize that God’s hardening is an act directed against human beings who are already in rebellion against God’s righteous rule.58 God’s hardening does not, then, cause spiritual insensitivity to the things of God; it maintains people in the state of sin that already characterizes them. This does not mean, as I have argued above, that God’s decision about whom to harden is based on a particular degree of sinfulness within certain human beings; he hardens “whomever he chooses.” But it is imperative that we maintain side-by-side the complementary truths that (1) God hardens whomever he chooses; (2) human beings, because of sin, are responsible for their ultimate condemnation. Thus, God’s bestowing of mercy and his hardening are not equivalent acts. God’s mercy is given to those who do not deserve it; his hardening affects those who have already by their sin deserved condemnation.59


Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), 598–600.

Posts 7064
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 4 2020 2:25 PM

Smart guy, buy way off! This proves that PhD’s or other theological diplomas doesn’t mean you’ll interpret the Bible correctly.

I will say this, though: even if you don’t agree with Moo on everything, you can still learn a thing or two from him.  Just practice 1 Thessalonians 5:21 in his and other commentaries.  After all, commentaries are all very subjective and biased on the way a certain text is interpreted due to their non inspired nature.

Posts 326
Chrisser | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 5 2020 4:23 AM

Appreciate all the comments and clarification. I do think Moo is worth reading. But I fall into the category of those people who find that Calvinistic interpretation of of Romans to be, well, not something I'm able to believe. Are there any other reasons an arminian would find it useful?

Posts 1454
Wild Eagle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 5 2020 6:41 AM

Chrisser:

.... I prefer Arminian theology.

Hi Chrisser,

I think this link will be useful to you to find Arminian  authors based on their view on the book of Romans

https://community.logos.com/forums/t/74189.aspx?PageIndex=1

"No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying." Leonard Ravenhill 

Posts 453
Dave Moser | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 5 2020 12:22 PM

Chrisser:

Appreciate all the comments and clarification. I do think Moo is worth reading. But I fall into the category of those people who find that Calvinistic interpretation of of Romans to be, well, not something I'm able to believe. Are there any other reasons an arminian would find it useful?

Have you ever interacted with Calvin's commentaries? He's a master expositor, with very little focus on "Calvinism" (indeed, his contemporaries and many Reformed today consider him "the theologian of the Holy Spirit" not predestination), and many non-5pointers love his exegesis and pastoral concern.

I ask that, because I read Moo in much the same way. A fantastic expositor with keen pastoral insight. You might want to skip his exegesis of chapter 9, but don't miss out on his awesome work elsewhere in the commentary.

Neither of them is like the classic Baptist pastor (my own tribe Smile) who says, "I have two points about this passage and three about believer's baptism." They really pay excellent attention to the text and are always worth reading.

Other value propositions:

  • This second edition promises interaction with the NPP from a classical Protestant position.
  • If you don't square with Calvinism, it's important to know how the better Calvinists argue. Much debate on both sides of that conversation attacks straw men.
Posts 634
Scott E. Mahle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 5 2020 2:37 PM

Chrisser:

Are there any other reasons an arminian would find it useful?

Of course! As someone within the Wesleyan tradition and graduate of a Wesleyan University, I can say you’ll get much from reading Moo. Several of his works on Romans – and the New Testament – were my textbooks! His knowledge of the Pauline corpus as a specialty and the New Testament in general has helped create some of the very best exegetical works available and has made him one of the most respected biblical scholars and theologians of our time. It really doesn’t matter what tradition one comes from when it comes to solid exegesis. Theology on the other hand, because he does enjoy hanging out at that intersection . . . well, let’s just leave it as there are plenty of reasons Moo’s works are ranked among the best. I have always appreciated the opportunity to glean from his vast fields of knowledge.

The second edition is the one you would want to grab because he interacts with more modern issues, such as the 15-page excursus on the New Perspective on Judaism and the New Perspective on Paul. It also comes with an incredibly well assembled bibliography with plenty of opportunities to link to other resources you may have in your library. This also testifies to his comprehensive research! There are plenty of tradition specific commentaries for you to choose from (this isn't it) but when it comes to scholarly work on Romans you'll need to consult Moo (NICNT), Cranfield (ICC), Dunn (WBC), or Fitzmeyer (AB).

Most comments you’ll find from others will be based upon Moo’s 1996 volume, but nothing has changed and the 2018 volume shines just as bright. Here are a few quick reviews:

“Moo on Romans, for example, is one of the finest commentaries ever written.”

Naselli, A. D. (2009). Review of The New International Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert L. Hubbard (OT) and Gordon D. Fee (NT). Themelios, 34(3), 456.

“. . . the work is an exegetical and theological gold mine.”

(1998). Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 41(4), 650.

“If you don’t have a comprehensive commentary on Romans, Moo’s very accessible work should figure high on your list. If your only critical commentary on Romans is Dunn, you need Moo as a counterweight. Certainly it is not for the beginner or the popular reader. But for pastors, scholars, and teachers, it will serve as a reliable guide through this most crucial book in the Bible. Even where you decide to part company with Moo, you will know clearly what is at stake, for he comments not merely on the grammatical, historical, and textual significance of the issues, but he draws out the theological implications of the various choices and options.”

Klein, W. W. (1998). Review of The Epistle to the Romans by Douglas J. Moo. Ashland Theological Journal Volume 30, 30, 138.

“This is a monumental work that can be placed among the best commentaries on Romans. If one wants to know the content of Romans, this commentary needs to be consulted.”

Hoehner, H. W. (1998). Review of The Epistle to the Romans by Douglas J. Moo. Bibliotheca Sacra, 155, 248.

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Posts 326
Chrisser | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 5 2020 3:31 PM

I may have blown my wallet on NIC 1 and 2 Samuel.

Posts 397
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Adam Borries (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 6 2020 10:02 AM

PSA: This thread was reported for violating forum guidelines for "theological dispute." I disagree; let me explain why. 

This is not a theological dispute, because it's not debating the merits of one theological system over another. Rather, this is a discussion of an author-- in particular, attempting to clarify the doctrinal stance of the author. As long as the discussion sticks to factual statements about the author, this is fair game.

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Posts 326
Chrisser | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 6 2020 10:14 AM

Adam Borries (Faithlife):

PSA: This thread was reported for violating forum guidelines for "theological dispute." I disagree; let me explain why. 

This is not a theological dispute, because it's not debating the merits of one theological system over another. Rather, this is a discussion of an author-- in particular, attempting to clarify the doctrinal stance of the author. As long as the discussion sticks to factual statements about the author, this is fair game.


Moo is a really good exegete I think. it's just I've got to prioritize things. I'm hoping to pick it up this month if possible. Is it alright to ask what Moo has to say about sexual conduct / misconduct? That's an area which is important because one of my closest friends is using a bizarre and highly unusual argument to justify affirmation of homosexual marriage based on the word arsenokoitai. He know's its more likely he's wrong but I'd like to help him come away from that conclusion completely. I don't mind Calvinists and I do see how they come to their conclusions in some cases, it's just not what I subscribe for various reasons. Additionally I think there's different types of Calvinism just like there's different types of other beliefs. I'm essentially leading a bible study group which is de-facto arminian and i was afraid I would have to go into depth trying to counteract Moo's arguments. Too much ink is spilled yelling at each other. I can see how one could make a biblical case for BOTH of them. In general, this does seem to be the best, most up to date detailed commentary, which is why i'd like to grab it if budget permits later this month. Furthr I'm looking for commentaries which defend the trinity based on the synoptic gopsels. i just want advice on pruchasing.

Posts 28
CharlyG | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 6 2020 10:23 AM

What I usually find is folks are against a caricature of "Calvinism".  Just one example, the 5 points(TULIP)addressed specific errors. It is not the definition of Calvinism.The 5 SOLAS, the Doctrines of Grace(TULIP), Covenantal Theology, The Ordo Salutis, etc. state a more complete "definition".

Posts 411
Mathew Haferkamp | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 6 2020 12:28 PM

Hey Chrisser, I thought you might like this quote from your namesake.

So far from this, after the reading of Scripture, which I strenuously inculcate, and more than any other (as the whole Academy, yea the conscience of my colleagues will testify,) I recommend that the Commentaries of Calvin be read, whom I extol in higher terms than Helmichius himself, as he owned to me, ever did. For I affirm that in the interpretation of the Scriptures Calvin is incomparable, and that his Commentaries are more to be valued than anything that is handed down to us in the Bibliotheca of the Fathers; so much so, that I concede to him a certain spirit of prophecy [interpretation] in which he stands distinguished above others, above most, yea above all. His Institutes, so far as respects Common places, I give out to be read after the Catechism, as a more extended explanation. But here I add—with   p 236  discrimination; as the writings of all men ought to be read. Brant, C. (1854). The Life of James Arminius. (J. Guthrie, Trans.) (pp. 235–236). London;  Glasgow: Ward & Co.;  Lang. Adamson, & Co.
Posts 497
Liam & Abi Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 7 2020 7:13 AM

CharlyG:

What I usually find is folks are against a caricature of "Calvinism".  Just one example, the 5 points(TULIP)addressed specific errors. It is not the definition of Calvinism.The 5 SOLAS, the Doctrines of Grace(TULIP), Covenantal Theology, The Ordo Salutis, etc. state a more complete "definition".

This is a vitally important point. I would add to this find list the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Westminster Confession of Faith which will also give a more broad understanding of Calvinism and it is pastoral/theological implications. (Liam)

Carpe verbum.

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