The New Perspective on Paul has caused many to reject the notion that Paul thought Judaism was a bad religion that taught salvation by works. But the New Perspective often claims that Paul’s problem with Judaism was that it was too ethnic, which leads to the question of just how Paul countered that while still holding that God could not go back on his call of Israel (Romans 11:29).
There is a new book out called Paul the Jew that contains an essay by Gabriele Boccaccini about his idea that Paul actually believed in three ways to salvation. There is a sort of skeptical review on the Jesus Creed blog by Scot McKnight.
You should know that Boccaccini has learned but controversial views about the influence of the Enoch traditions on the New Testament. With that in mind, here is part of McKnight’s summary:
Paul, he argues, sides with the apocalyptic tradition that evil has a supernatural origin. Humans have lost the battle to sin and evil. The problem for Paul, as for Enoch, is not the Torah but human capture by sin and evil. The only remedy is God’s merciful liberation. He emphasizes the need to release Paul from 16th Century debates and free him for 1st Century theories of sin and enslavement to evil. Jesus liberated people by the mercy of God. Justification, however, is not salvation; one must continue in obedience. “Having equated “justification by faith” (which Paul preached) with “(eternal) salvation by faith” (which Paul never preached) is one of the major distortions of the Christian re interpretation of Paul”