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(Fwd) Rom 7

Dear everyone

I have been forwarding our correspondence on Rom. 7 to Dr Matthew 
Brookes in Canada who first alerted me to this way of reading the 
analogy.  He responded to me as follows and I think states things 
rather coherently, and so worth circulating:

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 16:03:54 -0400 
To:  <GOODACMS@m4-arts.bham.ac.uk>
 From:   Matthew Brookes <brookes@gh1.sims.nrc.ca>
 Subject:  Rom 7

Dear Mark,

The saga unfolds!  It's made me reflect that despite what Jim 
Beale says actually Paul's choice of analogy is perfect, because the 
law of marriage IS so specific.  In other words, the law of marriage 
applies only to a specific relationship, ie the two between whom the 
marriage covenant is made. Although the law of marriage is global in 
its significance, it is necessarily local in its application- 'til 
death do us part' - ie the law has a built in self destruct clause 
which comes into operation when one partner dies.  And it is that law 
which 'binds the woman to her husband'.  Once the husband is dead, 
that law is null and void- it isn't transferred to the new 
relationship, it's left behind in the past, and the new relationship 
is governed by a new law (in the analogy, the law of the Spirit which 
is Life in Christ Jesus (8v2) rather than life in the flesh).  That 
seems to me to be Paul's emphasis, that the law was never intended to 
be anything other than a stopgap- ie it had built in redundancy- it 
expires when 'the fullness of time had come', and Christ 'born under 
the law redeems those under the law'- by his death we are bought out 
of the slavery of the law into the freedom of life in the Spirit.

God bless,


Dr Mark Goodacre
Department of Theology
University of Birmingham
Birmingham   B15 2TT

Tel.: 0121 414 7512         Email: M.S.Goodacre@Bham.ac.uk
Fax.: 0121 414 6866