Bret James Stewart's Reviews > The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright

The Future of Justification by John Piper
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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 Perspective on Paul. The New Perspective (NPP) basically promotes the idea that the traditional interpretation of the Bible regarding this matter is inaccurate and that the idea of God's righteousness means maintaining His covenant relationship with His people (as opposed to Piper's more traditional view that it refers to maintaining God's glory). Although the NPP brings some thoughtful and legitimate ideas to the table, I have to agree with Piper and reject the system, overall. The more important factors are the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer and the ongoing works vs. faith debate. In a nutshell, the NPP holds that righteousness is not imputed to the believer (this is justification) by faith alone, but is, rather, a mixture of faith and actions worked out "over the entire life lived" and these good works result in "final justification" at the final judgment. Piper holds to the traditional view that justification is imputed to the believer separate from works and through Christ alone. I think the biblical evidence supports Piper's view. This is an important debate, and I am glad Piper wrote this book as it elucidates the core issues. Piper's book is relatively short, so it does not grapple with every point of contention. This review is even shorter, and it does not grapple with every point of Piper's book.

Piper has laid out his argument in and easy to read and understand manner using headings and subheadings and frequently includes questions in the titles. This makes it easy to stay on track and understand his argument. The book is great as it includes Wright's views in a fair manner with a lot of direct quotes. Footnotes add additional value. Piper includes additional sources in support of both his and Wright's position. He is very fair in this book, and I recommend it to anyone interested in the NPP and an evaluation of the same. I would have ranked it just over 4 stars if I could, but not enough for 4.5, so I rounded down to 4. I have read one other book, Desiring God, by Piper. His style is approachable and clear. I will be reading other books by him in the future.
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February 12, 2014 – Shelved

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