The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright
This is the free PDF of Dr. Piper’s new book that Desiring God Ministries has made available for free online! Wow! I cannot say thank you to John Piper’s ministry enough. I’m just waiting for N.T. Wright to make some of his books available for free in response to Piper’s mass distribution campaign. 😉
BTW, if you missed it or if you cannot read the book right now, here is the interview series where Dr. Piper talks about his critique of N.T. Wright and why he wrote the book:
The Paul Page has recently posted Krister Stendahl’s chapter from the book PAUL AMONG JEWS AND GENTILES. This little article is an important part of history since it predated, yet fully expected, the New Perspective on Paul. Read it and see what you think. 🙂
[HT: Mark Goodacre]
Justin Taylor has posted another blurb on Piper’s book from Michael F. Bird. Here is the blurb:
“Biblical commentators since Augustine have struggled with how to understand the relationship between justification by faith and judgment by works. The advent of the New Perspective on Paul has further heightened this tension in recent days with several authors such as N. T. Wright placing more stress on the role of a transformed life as the basis of justification at the final judgment. In light of this, John Piper provides a constructive and critical engagement with the work of N. T. Wright, and Piper convincingly shows that justification, in its present and future tense, is anchored exclusively in the work of Christ and not in our obedience nor in works inspired by the Holy Spirit. Piperâ€™s case possesses exegetical rigor, theological acumen, and pastoral sensitivity. Piper invites us all to marvel at the glory, the magnificence, and the grace of the God who justifies the ungodly through faith in his Son. This book is not a rehearsal of old dogmas, nor a polemical rant, but it is a fresh articulation of the gospel that Paul preached and it is written with a conviction and verve that will inspire young and old preachers to faithfully set forth the whole counsel of God to their flock.”
Michael F. Bird
New Testament Lecturer, Highland Theological College, Scotland
Author of The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification and the New Perspective
Well folks, it’s almost here! Thankfully JT over at Between Two Worlds is giving us some shadows and types of the book about to be released in the near future by Dr. John Piper. The first blurb is a commendation by the well known Dr. Darrell Bock:
A good biblical dialogue needs two good conversation partners, who work hard to understand each other and make their case biblically. Piper’s look at justification does this with a superb tone and a careful presentation of his case. He and Wright exchanged communication before this book went public. Piper appeals to the wisdom of the ages on justification, a wisdom deeply rooted in Scripture. Wright argues his approach is also deeply rooted in Scripture as seen through a fresh appreciation of the first century context of Paul’s writing, a context we too often underestimate. This dialogue is important for the church; Piper has put us in a position to hear both sides of the debate and understand what is at stake. He has served us all well by enabling the reader to be put in the place of considering what Scripture says as he or she listens to this conversation and to our God. Iron sharpens iron, and Scripture is a sword that cuts between the soul and Spirit. Be prepared to be sharpened by a careful dialogue about what justification is.
–Darrell Bock, Research Professor of NT Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
This book is going to be well worth buying as soon as it comes out, whether you are on one side of the New Perspective debate or the other. As Dr. Bock tells us… iron really does sharpen iron!
It is my hope and prayer that any mysteries will be dispelled in regards to the views of N. T. Wright as well as clear concerns stated by John Piper about where the New Perspective, embraced too strongly, can lead people.
I still do not know what the book will ultimately conclude, but I trust that (from past experience) John Piper will have done his best to do justice to the views of N. T. Wright. May God get all the glory and may this book help many, many people to understand the Bible even more than they did before having picked it up!
In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,
Today’s ON FAITH question is an excellent one…
What’s more important from a faith perspective? Being saved? Or doing good works?
I would like to point out Bishop N.T. Wright’s response to the question. It is an excellent answer as well as another verification that he is in fact a very orthodox Theologian. I hope you enjoy the article. I have re-posted it on this blog entry below:
Continue reading N.T. Wright on Faith and Works
For those interested… Today I saw a post from the moderator on the Wrightsaid Yahoo! Group. It contained a letter from NT Wright that was written to someone that had found some egregiously bad accusations against Wright on the Internet. Here is the context that the moderator gave for the letter:
“Someone involved in translating Bishop Wright’s book on Judas and the Gospel of Jesus had ran across some incorrect information on the internet about Bishop Wright’s views. Bishop Wright wrote the following letter in response, though I have removed all the personal references. Feel free to disregard the list rule about forwarding messages and pass this along via email or the web. ”
Here is the letter from Bishop N.T. Wright defending himself from bad information that is always available from uninformed and ignorant people on the web as well as other places. Please feel free to pass this along via E-mail or on your own blog so that more people will understand what Bishop Wright believes and that he is not a heretic.
Continue reading N.T. Wright responds to false accusations
The Sufficiency of Christ’s Obedience in His Life and Death
John Piper has give us some excellent thoughts on Christ’s obedience as it relates to Jesus’ whole life.
Piper says, “It is more likely that when Paul spoke of Jesusâ€™ obedience as the cause of our justification he meant not merely the final acts of obedience on the cross, but rather the cross as the climax of his obedient life. . . . Thus when Paul compares the â€œone trespassâ€ of Adam to Christâ€™s â€œone act of righteousnessâ€ (Romans 5:18), there is no single act in Christâ€™s life that corresponds to the eating of the forbidden fruit. Rather, his whole life of obedience was necessary so that he would not be a second failing Adam. One single sin would have put him in the category of a failing Adam. But it took one entire life of obedience to be a successful second Adam. That this complete life of obedience came to climax in the freely embraced death of Christ made such an overwhelming impression on his followers that they looked upon the â€œcrossâ€ or the â€œdeathâ€ as the climax and sum of his obedience, but not separate from his cross-pursuing life.”
After reading this, I wonder if Piper’s thoughts might go well with James Jordan’s understand that Christ became the first mature man in history and attained to the glory that God had originally intended for Adam in the Garden. Jordan points out that, “He [Jesus] matured in faith, beyond the point where Adam failed. He matured to the point of being ready for adult responsibilities. Through his death, he became fully mature and was given dominion over ALL nations, over the wider world into which Adam had been prematurely cast.”
In other words, Jesus’ whole life of obedience was required for Jesus to reach full maturity to be ready for death on the cross, thus receiving the resurrection and being given dominion over all of creation.
Hebrews 5:9 says, â€œAnd being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.â€
It seems very probable that John Piper and James Jordan could meld their views together for an excellent understanding of Christ’s obedience and maturity being credited to us by faith. But I’m sure I’m just dreaming! 😉
For more information on Adam and the Garden, along with a good analysis of James Jordan’s views, see this article.
In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,
For those of you interested in a little bit of informative reading… The conversation on Jesus and Paul that took place between Jimmy Dunn and Tom Wright in October 2004 has been transcribed into a well formated PDF.Â There were two sessions, one on the Historical Jesus debate and anotherÂ regarding the New Perspective on Paul. Both conversations were very informative and this newly published PDF includes a full bibliography of works that Dunn and Wright cited during the conversation.
Here it is.
Also, if you would like to listen to thisÂ discussion instead of read it, you can download the two mp3s here and here.