One point that the author made very early was that Paul's letters could not possibly be seen as refuting the Jewish understanding of salvation because he never discusses repentance. It was one of those "why didn't I see that earlier" moments. Repentance is the most important aspect of practical salvation in the Jewish ethos, so a discussion that so clearly omits any mention of it cannot be primarily meant as a critique against Jewish salvation-theory. It would be like a Soviet political theorist criticizing the entire American system of government without ever mentioning democracy or separation of powers.
Another thing I took from Sanders was a nice way to articulate an idea that I have had for a long time but could not put eloquently. It is related to the point made in the last paragraph. Christians often present the Law as a false path to salvation...that is to say a path that:
- Someone might believe to lead to salvation
- Does not in fact do so.