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Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness?
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Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness?

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  272 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Are Christians merely forgiven, or do they possess the righteousness of Christ? Recently the time-honored understanding of the doctrine of justification has come under attack. Many question how—or if—we receive the full righteousness of Christ.

Martin Luther said that if we understand justification “we are in the clearest light; if we do not know it, we dwell in the densest
Paperback, 141 pages
Published November 15th 2002 by Crossway Books
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John Kim
Mar 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading Counted Righteous in Christ by John Piper (2002, Crossway Books).

In this book, Piper addresses the doctrine of imputation of Christ's righteousness (i.e. passive and active obedience), which apparently has been questioned in some modern theological dialogue. Unlike some of his other books that I read before (e.g., Desiring God, Pleasures of God), this book was not as easy to read due to the technical nature of the discussion. Piper uses lots of Greek, refers to other co
Ben Adkison
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I recently finished reading Counted Righteous in Christ by John Piper. It is a concise, 135 page book which defends the doctrine of imputation. Generally speaking, imputation means ascribing a quality (such as guilt or righteousness) to someone based on the actions of someone else (Apple Dictionary). Theologically, Piper describes it as 1Cthe act in which God counts sinners to be righteousness through their faith in Christ on the basis of Christ 19s perfect 1Cblood and righteousness, 1D specific ...more
David Harris
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Does Jesus' record of obedience get credited to believers? Does it matter?

That is the question dealt with by this book. Until I started into Piper's defense of imputation, I was totally unaware that (besides Roman Catholics) there were those in the Christian community who don't believe justification includes the imputation of Jesus' righteousness, or who are at least shying away from this assertion. A series of articles written in CT by Robert H. Gundry spurned Piper to write this treatment of t
Mayowa Adebiyi
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The bulk of the argument is in the 3rd chapter where Piper presents exegetical arguments for imputed righteousness, particularly in Romans (and other related pauline texts). Although, the rest of the book - especially the first 3 chapters - could appear to be padding in order to convert an essay into a book (which it is); it does also provide the pastoral and practical background to the arguments presented against Gundry. This sets Piper apart from his opponents in the same way Augustine differe ...more
Danny Daley
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Like all of Piper's books, this is well written and fiercely biblical. Piper treats the major issues that one might expect to find in any standard evangelical treatment on imputed righteousness. However, because the book was a polemic, it also plays out as little more than an apologetic for the "correct" way that evangelicals should see this very difficult topic. Piper rarely cites his "opponents" favorably, and in his efforts to be strong in his theology, he does not treat the very important hi ...more
Jan 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Piper attempts to defend the doctrine proper known as the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness, specifically challenging the position of Robert H. Gundry as laid out in a series of articles for Christianity Today. He erroneously lumps several other scholars with Gundry and treats their respective works as though his response to Gundry sufficiently refutes them all. Piper quite fairly represents Gundry's position throughout. While it would be a great idea to read Gundry's work (as well as the var ...more
Joseph McBee
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was a challenging read, not one you can sit down and skim or read through quickly. It demands careful thought and consideration. It also demands--in my case at least--re-reading paragraphs and in one case and entire chapter, in order to "get it."

I imagine that someone with a theological degree at the undergraduate level at least, would have an easier time with this book. I am in no way suggesting that only people with a background in thelogy read this book though. On the contrary, boo
Andrew Mcneill
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully clear and exegetically precise discussion of how we should understand justification and imputed righteousness. Piper argues that we should not abandon the imputed righteousness of Christ because, while not explicitly spelled out in Scripture, the doctrine is akin to that of the Trinity: exegetically defensible and best understood by a cumulative look at various passages which strongly support the idea that Christ's righteousness is imputed to us. Well worth reading in light of both h ...more
Mark A Powell
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Are Christians justified by an internal or external righteousness? Piper presents a thorough, step-by-step exegetical argument that leaves only one clear interpretation: Christians are justified by the imputation of an external righteousness, the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Just as Adam’s sin is imputed to all of humanity, Christ’s righteousness is imputed to all those who are in Him. Piper’s work brings much needed clarity to one of the most critical and necessary components of Christian fai ...more
Justin Wilson
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very well written and easy to follow. Piper does a marvelous job of helping you read and think about the different texts. He is very gifted in asking good questions and finding God honoring answers. Highly recommend it to readers willing to open the Scripture and dive into the text. Piper is very kind and fair to Gundry, and approaches the subject with reverence. Imputed righteousness is a much debated subject and usually it's fought because man wants "something" that he can add to his standing ...more
Jacob Aitken
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I can admit that a strong imputational thrust is found in Romans 4, but I still don't see it as an open and shut case. 2 Cor. 5:21 says--and only says--we might *become* the righteousness of God. It does *not* say it is imputed to us. I am specifically talking about that next and I am affirming a form of imputation.

Imputation language is found in the New testament, but in Romans 6 and talking about baptism.
Tim Woody
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: theological
The only reason I gave this book a two star rating and not a three star rating is because the book is a response to another author and not really a book on Imputation. Now Piper does address imputation but it felt like unless you have a grasp of the source material he is critiquing your not going to be able to fully jump into his book. Apart from that John Piper is very thorough and does a great job with imputation texts.
Sep 11, 2007 rated it liked it
In polemic against Robert Gundry, Piper has written an exegetical defense of a specific and vital point in the doctrine of justification: the imputation of Christ's righteousness to believers as the ground of their justification before God. Piper's whole exegesis is thorough and compelling. His treatments of Romans 3:24-26 and Romans 5:12-21 are particularly good.

I think anyone who has caught a glimpse of how important this discussion is will greatly appreciate this book.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’
(Jeremiah 33:14-16)
Mark Nenadov
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This a very impressive work! This is the first John Piper book I have read, and all I can say is WOW!

A lot of "punch" is packed into such a little book (just over 100 pages). Some readers who are not keen on indepth exegesis may find it a bit overwhelming, but if they stick with reading it they will not be disappointed.

I heartily recommend this book.
Dwight Davis
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Piper's exegesis was surprisingly weak in this book. I love John Piper, and he is honestly probably the reason I'm a Christian. But I think he may be wrong on Justification and Imputation. Wright's exegesis of all of the passages here seem to be much more true to the text and much less blinded by a tradition than Piper's same exegesis.
Jun 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Piper makes a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to defend the traditional view of imputation. I think he fails to either understand or adequately deal with any of the insights or observations of N.T. Wright.
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Many today in the evangelical world are asking if we should abandon the idea of the imputation of Christ's righteousness to believers by faith.

Piper answers, "NO!"

I agree.

Available for free in pdf format at (so you have no excuse not to read it).
Jeff Breeding
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen Willcox
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This may be the best book I have read on justification! Concise, rich, deep, and solid theology on the issue of justification! I still remember my mind basking the glory of the imputation of Christ righteousness to me after reading this book. This may be my favorite work by Piper!
May 16, 2007 rated it liked it
A very important book, especially in light of the current debates on justification, imputation, penal substitution etc...
Victor Chininin
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
An excellent exegetical and practical work on imputation.
Jay Risner
May 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Well done
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
A concise defense of the historic Protestant view of imputed righteousness. At only 135 pages, and free from, it's a worthy investment of one's time.
Hank Pharis
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
A solid and eloquent defense of imputation (which amazingly more and more Christians are challenging).
Mar 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
First read 12/29/02
Oct 02, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: academians / hard-core theologians
This is a good book. However, it is an exegetical exercise, not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination.

Sep 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
Meh. I'd love to read Wright's book on Justification before I gave this one a serious review.
Christopher  Waugh
Nov 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Rick Hogaboam
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Satisfied the critics who charged Piper with heresy over alleged denial of Jesus' active obedience. Michael Horton's positive blurb was significant in light of this background.
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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 about John Piper