It’s been a while since I last posted anything on the “New Perspective on Paul”, but I found this article by Steven Westerholm to be very helpful. It’s entitled “Justification by Faith is the Answer: What is the Question?”
Rather than get embroiled in debate on the meaning of “works of the law” (which I seem to remember he’s written on elsewhere) he takes a different approach. He starts with non-Pauline (or possibly Pauline) books, then chronologically works through the Paul’s epistles. He demonstrates that Paul had a thoroughgoing concern with how an individual can be made right before God. Thus by the time he gets to Galatians, Paul can answer the question “how are Gentiles included in the people of God” (the classic NPP question), with the answer he does, precisely because it is first the answer to a more fundamental question.
I found it a very helpful way of looking at the problem, and it goes in some way to finding a mediating position, as it doesn’t deny that Paul is addressing in Galatians the question that the New Perspective advocates are claiming for him.
For reference, here’s some of my earlier posts on the New Perspective:
Carson on the New Perspective
Moo on the New Perspective
Stott on the New Perspective
Book Review – The New Perspective on Paul (Michael Thompson)