This is going to be a rather longish quote, but it is one that has been resonating with me for some time now. I originally encountered when I was reading Ridderbos’ book in a more sporadic fashion, trying to get my head around how to wrestle with Paul’s understanding of the cross of Christ. I cam across is it again today when I was being more focused and purposeful in my reading. I hope you enjoy:
For the proper understanding of the great theme of justification by faith it is necessary above all to obtain an insight into the manner in which it is connected with the basic eschatological-christological structure of Paul’s preaching . . . and, as it were, how it issues forth organically from that preaching. Because this background has frequently been lost sight of, for a long time this theme was ascribed too predominating a significance in the whole of Paul’s proclamation of salvation and everything else was subordinated to it; at a later period, others have, leading to a still greater dislocation of the organic relationships in Paul’s doctrine, thrust this theme entirely into the background, in the interest of what was then regarded as the mystical-ethical main line. The inadequacy of the one as well as the other of these two ways of judging Paul’s preaching can be recognized easily when we endeavor to understand Paul’s doctrine of justification primarily in the light of the general redemptive-historical or eschatological character of his preaching.
-Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology, 161-62.