Fundamental Structures in Paul

I remember coming across this phrase as a section heading in Paul, an Outline of his theology by Herman Ridderbos. It was so exciting to read and I felt as if whole vistas of understanding were opened up to me.

That book together with Resurrection and Redemption by Richard Gaffin are two books that have made the biggest impact on me in my understanding of the Apostle Paul.

I imagine these concepts like a great range of underwater mountains that penetrate the surface of the ocean as groups of islands. In the same way, once you grasp Paul's underlying framework, you can see it poking through in numerous places in his letters.

For me, one of the most fundamental of the fundamental structures is Paul's teaching on the "Two Worlds", or if you prefer, "Two Aeons". Jesus leaves the old, entering the tomb and then is raised a new being. We follow by virtue of being united with him. This my picture of how I think of it:

The Two Worlds/Aeons

I teach a course on Romans every year and I find that this teaching (based on Romans 6) has a deeper impact even than teaching on justification. (Probably partly because they are familiar with justification, but this idea is new to them.)

I recently condensed the lecture down to a 35min sermon which is available here: Romans 6: The Two Worlds
and the slides I showed as I was preaching can be seen here: Visual notes on Romans 6: The Two Worlds

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