Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Justification by N.T. Wright

Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision is N.T. Wright's well written answer to John Piper's book,The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright. His tone toward Piper is gracious yet firm. He believes a paradigm shift must takes place in how most theologians have understood "imputed righteousness," over the last 400 years, which he believes was a knee jerk reaction of the Reformers against Roman Catholicism. According the Wright the issue was never about "merit" but about God's faithfulness to keep his promise to Abraham. That faithfulness of God to keep covenant, according to Wright is what Paul means by God's "righteousness."

The first half of the book is theological and the second half is exegetical. Wright's emphasis and constant reminder to his readers is God's promise to Abraham to bless the nations and remedy the curse of sin by sending the faithful Israelite; Jesus the Messiah to live and die for His people in order to redeem them. This, according to Wright is Paul's message and the overarching theme of the Bible. According to Wright, it must not be ignored when trying to understand how the world is being redeemed for God's glory and how a person becomes a child of God.

A must read for anyone interested in the subjects of Soteriology, Ecclessiology, or Eschatology; in other words anyone wanting to know how and why they fit into this community called, "The People of God" ought to read it!


David Blugerman said...

Chris, let's read Francis Watson's take on the New Perspective.

Paul, Judaism, and the Gentiles: Beyond the New Perspective.


Kim Burgess said...

upnotrYou left out a very important nuance, Chris, it seems to me, per the way Wright explicitly expressed it: Yahweh maintained and historically/publicly declared His "covenant faithfulness" (i.e., righteousness) per ALL that He had promised to Abraham to do in the covenant on behalf of "all the nations of the earth" (Gen 12:3), but He had promsed to doso "through [ethnic] Israel". But, whereas that corporate ethnic (Old Covenant) Israel almost always proved unfaithful to its calling in Abraham on behalf of the nations, Yahweh then raised up "in the fullness of the times", as you did state, the "faithful Israel" in the person of "the Messiah of Israel" who Himself embodied, as Isaiah's "My Servant, Israel", ALL that the nation of Israel had been called to be, but failed to achieve. In this Christ of Israel, Yahweh fully kept his promise that the, indeed, salvation of the nations comes "from the Jews"(John 4:22)!