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Justification - God's Plan & Paul's Vision Paperback – 20 Feb 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK Publishing (20 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0281060908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281060900
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This sprightly and gracious, yet robust, work is Tom Wright's carefully argued and scripturally based response to those who think that he has deeply misunderstood Paul's doctrine of justification... This is definitely one of the most exciting and significant books that I have read this year... Strongly commended! Professor I. Howard Marshall, University of Aberdeen 'Paul's gospel of God's reconciling, world-transforming grace has no more ardent and eloquent exponent in our time than Tom Wright. If his detractors read this book carefully, they will find themselves engaged in close exegesis of Paul's letters, and they will be challenged to join Wright in grappling with the deepest logic of Paul's message... Wright's sweeping, incisive sketch of Paul's thought, set forward in this book, will help us all in that task.' Professor Richard B. Hays, the Divinity School, Duke University"

About the Author

Tom Wright, until recently Bishop of Durham, is currently Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews and is a regular broadcaster on radio and television. He is the author of over fifty books.

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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on 13 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
N. T. Wright's response to John Piper's critique (The Future of Justification) is his most thorough book on Paul yet. It is, in many ways, a masterful unpacking of Paul's thought. Wright shows how Paul's theology of justification is grounded in God's covenant with Abraham and plan to bring redemption to the world through Israel, and ultimately through Jesus. He explores how justification is informed by Jewish law-court imagery, eschatology, and Christology. Wright's unpacking of the narrative substructure to Paul's thought is, at times, brilliant. And after reading this book, I think that Wright and Piper are actually much closer in their thinking than either one of them may think.

However, confusion and misunderstanding continues, and this due not least of all, to Wright himself. It's unfortunate that he sometimes caricatures positions that he rejects out of hand and misconstrues the thought and theology of his opponents. (Can anyone who knows John Piper seriously believe that there is no place for the Holy Spirit in his theology?!) Wright's reasons for rejecting imputation are not fully convincing. I still suspect that he takes some wrong steps in his exegesis at some crucial points. And his articulation of how justification by faith in the present relates to future judgment according to works is still a little fuzzy and subject to misunderstanding.

With that said, I think Wright's unpacking of the believer's union with Christ comes fairly close to achieving what imputation achieves for Piper and traditional Reformed theology. Not all his critics agree, but Wright should at least be carefully read and listened to before stones are cast.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Dr Dee on 16 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most extraordinary books to come out of the theologically conservative camp in the past fifty years. Wright both cogently and devastatingly shows how conventional evangelical notions of "justification by faith" are construed out of garbled, cliched, and ultimately shallow readings of the New Testament. Or to put it another way: they are gleaned from the teachings of the Reformers (Luther in particular) rather than the Bible. The problem with Luther, Wright opines, is that he assumes that Paul was addressing the Roman Catholic Church in his epistles to the Romans and Galatians. This exegetical stance has wrongfooted generations of Protestant Christians.The Mosaic Law, Wright contends, was not given to the Jews so that they might keep it and thus be assured of heaven when they die, for the Law had already been given to Israel "after" God had redeemed the nation. Rather by keeping the Law Jews signified their status as God's chosen people and their calling to bring light to the Gentiles. Their failure to fulfil this mission meant that in his own life and sacrificial death Jesus the Messiah lived out Israel's original calling. Salvation, then, is about incorporation into the life, death, and resurrection of Christ - such that his life, death, and resurrection become in turn the believers' new mode of existence. For Wright "justification by faith", as traditionally understood in Protestant circles, is too "man centred". It's typically about "my" faith, my "personal" salvation, etc., which stands over against Paul's (more communal) notion of salvation because of Christ's faith and faithfulness.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr Childs on 13 July 2013
Format: Paperback
This response from NT Wright, I must confess, is frustrating at times. Firstly, he has written it very quickly- which shows, and it is frankly rather 'sloppy' at times, not quite thought through- which is a striking contrast to Dr. Piper's clarity and precision. Nevertheless, this is partly due to Wright's way of saying things, and he cannot be blamed too much for that. Secondly, and more worryingly, he seems to be surprisingly (and uncharacteristically) angry that people do not understand him (a crime he is not altogether innocent of), which lends itself to a tinge of arrogance when asserting his own views. Thirdly, he does not actually address many of Piper's objections, which is self-confessedly the way he wrote it. The bulk of the book is spent showing how the New Perspective interprets the broad themes in Galatians and Romans, and so lacks the specificity of Piper's book and it is rather annoying to not actually receive an answer to a number of problems that are raised with his position.

Having said that, the coherance of the paradigm which Wright shows in the actual texts is absolutely wonderful, and frankly moved the New Perspective from 'perhaps they've got a nugget of truth right somewhere' to 'the framework is right even if some details are missing'. This is why this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the New Perspective, particularly if you don't want to read the larger books available. Nevertheless, the terminology used in the book is considerably advanced beyond the typical books penned under 'Tom Wright' and not 'NT Wright'.

Well worth reading, but please please do not read it and not the original book by Piper or another 'Old Perspective' advocate- there's no room for that attitute in genuine faith.

3 1/2 stars
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