By Christopher D. Marshall
Ebook by means of Christopher D. Marshall
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Extra resources for Beyond Retribution. A New Testament Vision for Justice, Crime, and Punishment
Significantly, God's redemptive justice is made known "apart from law," although the law bears witness to it (Rom. 3:21), and its recipients find themselves now able to fulfill the true purpose of the law (Rom. 8:1-4). They now live their lives under "the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2; 1 Cor. 9:2), but this is the law oflove, not a code oflegislation. In all this, of course, Paul is not thinking primarily of what we would call criminal law. 22 Criminals also figure prominently in the New Testament narratives.
Goldingay (London: SPCK, 1995), 39-53. Cf. also M. Grey ("Falling into Freedom: Searching for New Interpretations of Sin in a Secular Society," SJT 47, no. 2 : 223-43), who observes that today "we have lost a common grammar of sin ... between secular and religious discourse" (223). 8 Gaining a Perspective ance from the New Testament on our subject? Do we take the apparent silence of New Testament writers on criminal matters as an indication that Old Testament patterns continue unchanged? Or does the New Testament have something new to offer?
If Christians are to speak meaningfully in current moral and political debates, including those relating to criminal justice, they must find ways of doing so that will command common understanding, if not assent, across the spectrum of pluralist society, 80 yet without shrinking from justifying and explaining their perspectives in light of the faith-story to which they subscribe. The dilemma Christians face, then, is not only deciding how Christian values derived from the eschatological experience of God's redemptive love and saving justice recorded in Scripture can be and should be applied in a mixed and fallen society, but also deciding how they are to be expressed in terms that are intelligible in the marketplace, yet faithful to and explicitly anchored in the distinctive claims of the Christian story.
Beyond Retribution. A New Testament Vision for Justice, Crime, and Punishment by Christopher D. Marshall