Re: Romans 4:17

Date: Fri Nov 03 1995 - 23:53:26 EST


In reply to some questions about Romans 4:17, you indicated that faith
is "trust in God to keep his promises." Please note Romans 4:13 which
mentions the term H EPAGGELIA. I have read that this word carries with
it the idea of unconditional promise, i.e., the one making the promise
does not demand that some requirement be fulfilled by the one to whom
the promise is announced. Do you have any insight into such an
understanding of this term? And, if this should be a somewhat characteristic
of the term in the contemporary historical period, does it appear to have
this representative use in the chapter under discussion?

I raise this question, because, if this is the case, it seems to me that
it strengthens the correctives being attempted by many
theologians today where legalistic tendencies have come
close to robbing the faith of its transcendent qualities. Therefore, we are
led back to your powerful observation that the thrust of Paul's words
is not about the nature of faith but the nature of God. (That statement has
really been very helpful.)

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