Pastor Lane Keister has an interesting, albeit brief, defense of the traditional Reformed interpretation of Rom 7. Especially the first paragraph:
greenbaggins said,January 7, 2015 at 2:12 pm
RB, it is easy to admit that 7:14 is the most difficult obstacle to my reading of the text. However, I believe that the difficulty disappears once one realizes that Paul is not saying that the entire “I” is enslaved. He uses the word “I” in several different senses in the passage. Sometimes he means only the regenerate part of him. Sometimes he means the whole person. Never does he say that “I” is only the remaining sin. In other words, it is only the remaining sin that is enslaved, not the whole “I.” This, I believe, fully answers the problem you raise.
You would admit, would you not, that there is in fact a conflict going on in the “I” of Romans 7? Let me ask you this: what non-believer do you know of who even knows this struggle at all? That is, in my opinion, the ultimate Achilles heel of the non-regenerate interpretation of Romans 7: the unbeliever does not struggle with sin. To quote the song from “My Fair Lady”: “When temptation comes I fall right in.”
Further, you have not answered my points about the inward man delighting in the law of the Lord (something the unbeliever CANNOT do), or the contextual indicators in 1 Corinthians and Ephesians about what “the inner man” means. I have already said that Romans 7 does not describe what is always and constantly the case; and this would explain why the Christian is not enslaved. You have also not answered my argument about the sequence in the last part of the chapter. Why would the thanksgiving for freedom PRECEDE the statement about still being enslaved (again, it is ONLY the indwelling sin that is enslaved).