The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright
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The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  369 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Pastor John Piper thoroughly analyzes the teachings of Bishop N. T. Wright on the topic of justification and sounds a call to discernment for the entire church.
Paperback, 239 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Crossway Books (first published 2002)
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Ben De Bono
Before I discuss the content of the this book, I want to briefly talk about the book itself and my feelings on whether or not it should have even been written. If you've looked at the rest of my Goodreads page, you can tell pretty quick I'm a fan of N.T. Wright. I find his theology to be a breath of fresh air. Because of that there's a part of me that is a bit annoyed that John Piper felt the need to write an entire book critiquing N.T. Wright.

On the one hand, I don't believe Wright (or anyone...more
I have read and been deeply impacted by many John Piper books. I was disappointed, because I found in this book that he seems to be arguing a strongly polemical position from a place of passion about preserving traditions. This is ironic, given that the traditions he's arguing to preserve are the traditions of the reformers who argued that we should scrutinize traditional teachings carefully in light of the Bible. Piper argues less from the Bible than from the tradition. My second disappointment...more
Bret James Stewart
John Piper has written a book critiquing the views of N.T. Wright primarily regarding justification. I would first point out that Piper has done so in an engaging and non-hostile manner. He is concerned about some of Wright's views, but does not attack Wright himself. N.T. Wright is a renowned theologian and scholar known, among other things, for his non-traditional views on Paul and what he thinks the Bible says regarding justification. Wright essentially holds to what is known as the New Persp...more
John Rabe
A very thorough and careful response to N.T. Wright's pervasive and influential contra-reformational teaching that Paul's use of the term "justification" is about ecclesiology rather than soteriology. I'm about halfway through and taking it carefully. It is a substantial work--as evidenced by the fact that Wright himself saw fit to write an 11,000 word response to Piper's first draft. It's also a model of charitable theological disagreement.
My second time through this book was probably even more helpful than my first time through. It is obvious that Piper isn't out to win a debate--he truly believes that true and right doctrine is being attacked by the New Perspective on Paul and he provides a very helpful response to this way of thinking. I am very thankful that Piper wrote this book. It has helped me tremendously when thinking through these issues.
Timothy Bertolet
Good book, easy read for anyone who wants to understand more about the New Perspective on Paul. Piper is gracious and clear. Sometimes he adds a few to many caveats as he tries to understand what N.T. Wright says--but he engages the issue without a condescending tone.
Mike Knox
I read this book a long time ago (early summer maybe?) and I won’t be taking time to review it. Except to say that John Piper has gone to great pains to hear Wright out and understand him. This book is a model for how to disagree with someone.
A much needed and well-crafted response to NT Wright's justification errors.
Micah Lugg
I had not read any N. T. Wright before this book, but Piper quotes often from his works, so you can get a flavor of what Wright was trying to say.

There were a few things I appreciated about the book:
1. His tone and approach was winsome and loving. He was attempting to protect more than attack. His concern was pastoral and that came through.
2. He shows that the problems with Wright's views are not of the "splitting hairs" variety, but have significant implications for the life of the church. For...more
Matt Anderson
John Piper took issue with some of N.T. Wright’s views on justification. Because of this, Piper decided to write a whole book to point out the areas where he felt that Wright was misleading his audience. In this book, Piper raises 8 questions concerning Wright’s teaching. I will discuss all 8 questions by first stating Wrights view, then stating Piper’s view, then concluding with my response to that particular question.
Question #1: The Gospel Is Not about How to Get Saved?
Dwight Davis
I wish there was a 2 and a half star rating, that would be more accurate to my assessment of this book.

Overall, this was okay. I thought Piper showed a few places where Wright could be a bit more clear and he raised some good objections. However, I also thought he was incredibly unfair to Wright on some points, most especially on Wright's theology of the gospel. I thought Wright's definition of the Gospel was great, and I think it was irresponsible of Piper to basically say that Wright didn't un...more
In The Future of Justification, John Piper takes on N. T. Wright’s championing of what is commonly called the “New Perspective on Paul.” Piper, who often writes in a very pastoral, if also deep, style, is fully engaged in Bible-scholar mode for this work. Piper takes Wright’s challenge to the historic understanding of justification in the writings of Paul very seriously, and the book that Piper has written shows that seriousness.


The primary positive that I will mention about this work...more
John Piper is the pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA and author of more than thirty books. In The Future of Justification, Piper responds to the writing and influence of an even more prolific, English Christian author and former Anglican Bishop, N. T. Wright. The context of the theological conflict about justification by faith between Piper and Wright addressed in this book is the wider impact that the New Perspective on Paul has had on Christian theo...more

Book title: The Future of Justification; A Response to N.T. Wright
Author: John Piper
Wheaton, Crossway; 2007
Number of pages: 188

N.T. Wright is an incredibly popular and engaging writer. He’s saying things in a new way and that has everybody (especially those enthralled to Reformation Theology) a little jumpy. Wright is an incredibly engaging and talented communicator both in written and spoken word. He has helped and emerging generation of church leaders look at church, the Bible, and the gosp...more
Unimpressive, this book reminds me of Piper's efforts in Counted Righteous in Christ, where he takes on Robert Gundry and, in my opinion, loses. The exegesis is too forced, much too plastic, and seems to stem from theological bias against anything seemingly 'new' and 'fresh'. Things old or traditional are not always right because they are old or traditional. Maybe a 'new/fresh perspective' is not wrong because it is new. Maybe the historic doctrine of justification needs "distorting", or maybe W...more
I read and gushed over Wright's "Justification" which is a response to this book, and so I figured I should read this book as well.

I will confess that I went into it ready to disagree with Piper in anyway that I could. Had he said that the sky is blue, I would have argued with him. Had asserted that the sky is indeed up, I would have scoffed. Piper disagrees constantly with some of my favorite authors and people who articulate things which I have thought for a long time, so I am always ready to...more
I have heard numerous Pastor's quote N.T. Wright and with the quote state his title which convinces the audience to think, "ooooh, aaahh, this Pastor is reading some impressive theologian with impressive titles so he must have really good things to say" but unfortunately, the hearer doesn't research any further into what the person being quoted believes or if what is being fed to them is good solid food and not a trendy sushi bar smorgasbord called a new “fresh perspective”. (I'm leery of anyone...more
For those who enjoy subjects such as these, the books by Piper and Wright on justification are a treat. Piper's book came first, a response to Wright's writings on justification which Piper contends are not true to the Biblical witness. I appreciate the humility and respect Piper writes with in this book. Piper does a great job of putting forth the traditional Reformed understanding of justification: the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to human sinners.

Overall I found Piper's book less...more
James Rutherford
In this volume piper provides a strong and well researched rebuttal to the New Perspective on Paul as popularized by N.T. Wright. Piper argues from the biblical texts that Wright's view does not represent Paul's thought and that the traditional reformed teaching of justification, consisting of the judicial forgiveness of sins and the imputation of Christ's righteousness by faith, is biblical. Definitely recommend this book for a non-academic critique of the NPP.
Adam Shields
I really appriciate how Piper is trying to make sure he accurately reflects what Wright believes, not only by using a very well cited quotes, but also a pretty generous reading. His intent is to make sure that Wright would not have any issues with the way that Piper explains what Wright believes.

All that to say, I really respect Piper for putting together a pretty academic responce to Wright and keeping it pastoral in concern and at least so far, bending over backwards to tell people that Wrig...more
Cody Brobst
Repetitive, as is Piper's style. Yet, very captivating, scholarly, and well researched. I think he proved his point, and did so in a fair way to Wright. Helpful read on such a controversial topic in the church.
Joel Wentz
I definitely recommend this to anyone interested in the full scope of the Justification debate. The low rating is due to Piper's ultimately unconvincing argument - his over-reliance on tradition, seemingly for the sake of tradition, and his tendency to "hop-scotch" through scripture references to back up his points (in comparison to Wright - who he is responding to - who does brilliant exegesis through entire sections of Pauline letters).

Piper does write well, and he is fair to Wright, quoting a...more
Todd Miles
This is the clearest response to Wright’s New Perspective on Paul teaching that I have yet encountered. It is clearly reasoned and lucidly argued. He spends most of his time attacking Wright’s understanding of the “the righteousness of God” as “God’s Covenant faithfulness,” by demonstrating that such an understanding is reductionistic and does not account for all of the biblical data. He then presents several concise arguments from Scripture for the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to t...more
Kent Maitland
Clear, straightforward argumentation that leaves no question of what Piper thinks about the New Perspective on Paul.

Slight proof-texting; Excessive appeal to what the 'majority' of church history believes.

Bottom Line:
Piper presents a very clear, concise, and informative objection to the New Perspective on Paul, even if the objection is largely ineffective.

I myself am NOT a proponent of the New Perspective on Paul. However, I do believe there are better arguments agai...more
A great and balanced explanation of and response to NT Wright's views on Paul and justification. Piper explains which charges against Wright are valid and which are not, which errors he falls into and which he does not, and which Wright's views may lead into even though Wright himself doesn't go there. It definitely helps me understand why there are such mixed views of Wright in evangelicalism. As his response, Piper provides an excellent defense of penal substitutionary atonement.
Not bad for understanding Wright's covenantal theology in relation to the evangelical Reformed view of justification, but my time would have been better spent on other books this summer. See my review of N.T. Wright's "Justification: God's Plan and Paul's Vision" as well. Essentially, Piper and Wright seem to be talking past each other. Doug Wilson has some helpful thoughts on his blog:
I attempted to follow this work in audiobook format while commuting, so I'll keep this short. Piper carefully and hospitably expounds N. T. Wright's views on justification and then affirms the views of the Reformers: those who believe that Jesus is Lord and that God raised him from the dead have been declared righteous by God already, not later in retrospect of their lives after they have died.
Josh Pannell
Great summary of Wright with a special emphasis on a defense of imputed righteousness from Paul.

Good book to help understand Wright as a whole.

But know that this book was written in 2007 so Piper does not mention any recent works by Wright.

It is very obvious that Wright is a scholar and that Piper is a pastor in this book. Piper does a good job, but Wright is a much better read.
Daniel Alvers
Excellent work from a man who seeks to glorify God, by defending orthodox Christianity from what some people think are "new ideas." I think imputation of righteousness is a must for true Christianity and true understanding of grace. I like pipers clear spoken works given in the blur that some are trying to create regarding the propitiation of Jesus Christ. An excellent book.
Ian Hammond
I have not read Wright's work. If it is as Piper says it is, than N.T. Wright seems to have fallen off the track in his attempts to be interesting or "fresh."
Piper's arguments for the definition of righteousness as being "the unwavering faithfulness to the Glory of God" is particularly persuasive and punches a significant hole in Wright's imprecise pedantry.
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John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.), and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethe...more
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