Episode 389 - The New Perspective on Paul

Episode 353 · May 30th, 2024 · 24 mins 50 secs

About this Episode

Now "here's a howdy-do" (The Mikado, Gilbert & Sullivan). How does Joe Meek shed light on that ascendant movement -- and it still is ascendant -- within New Testament scholarship and interpretation?

Let me say how.

Admirers of Joe Meek's amazing productions like to say that he was way ahead of his time in terms of technology and recording innovation BUT that the songs themselves, almost all of them, in their many hundreds, are sentimental, corny and juvenile.

But they're not! They may sound that way, but just listen to the words. They're about "guys and gals", the denizens of Grease and also of To Sir, with Love, and -- wait for it -- everybody. None of Joe's songs -- not a single one, except maybe, at the very end, one, entitled "It's Hard to Believe It" -- are about issues or groups or themes. Every song Joe ever chose to produce is about love: love gone wrong, love gone right, love fulfilled, love disappointed, love obstructed, love enabled. The evidence for this preoccupation is in the lyrics -- and oh, about 99.999 % of them.

The same is true in relation to the New Perspective on Paul. The evidence that that movement is founded on an imposed "story" or paradigm, is overwhelming. That is, if you actually read the Letters of St. Paul. Or the Book of Hebrews, from start to finish. Christ came to give us a New Covenant, not a sort-of "expanded" version of the Old. The Old is passed away, behold the New is come. For years and years, I have tried to say this. (One is instantly accused of "supercessionism" if one says it. And that seems to end the argument. But the accusatory term is arbitrary, linguistic, and freighted.) The evidence of the New Testament is in fact overwhelmingly contrary to the evisceration of Grace that has been dynamized by the New Perspective.

Joe Meek underlines this. His lyrics confirm it. A little "icky" at times they may be, but relationships that strive for mutual love can also be icky. Joe's songs mirror an odd truth: life is about individual men and women who are trying to find... belovedness, and therefore love in return.

Dear New Testament interpreters, read the Letters of St. Paul. Read the Letter to the Hebrews. Read the Gospels -- all of them. And read 'em again in the light of Joe Meek! The subject and meaning is staring you in the face. LUV U.