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Debates over the New Perspective on Paul show a great deal of similarity to Reformation-era debates over synergism. In fact, synergism has become one of the more common charges made against the New Perspective by its critics. After documenting the charge in these modern debates, this article explores the details of synergistic controversy surrounding the Reformation. Among other things, various wings of the Reformation appear to have understood, and reacted to, synergism in quite-different ways. The article then highlights some aspects of New Perspective debates that are reminiscent of earlier theological debates over synergism and suggests ways in which greater attention to some aspects of theological interpretation might help move this part of the New Perspective debate forward.


Originally published in Journal of Theological Interpretation, 3 no 1 Spr 2009, p 89-106,