Is Elder Macarius among the NPP?

Seriously, I know Elder Macarius of Optina was not part of the New Perspective on Paul.  That said, it’s now obvious that the New Perspective on Paul is not new.   Many Reformed polemicists would respond, “Of course, it’s simply repackaged Pelagianism and Roman Catholicism.”  Of course, such a remark is silly because the NPP denies merit theology and much of the heart of Roman soteriology, but many of NPP’s moves are certainly within the patrum consensus.

I am finishing the biography of Elder Macarius and the end of the book has a series of letters written to a young seeker.   Concerning faith and works Macarius writes,

For our salvation one needs not simply faith alone, but works also.  The words of the Apostle Paul:  By the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified (Romans 3:20) refer to the works of the Old Testament Law and not to the commandments of grace. (317).

This seems like it was taken from a page of James Dunn’s theology, but it predated Dunn 100 years.

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