I have just finished reading and have posted a book review for NT (Tom) Wright’s latest book Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision.  Here is the first paragraph:

Reading a book by NT Wright on Justification and then hearing his critics is like listening to a majestic symphony and then hearing someone complain about the parallel fifths.

For more, see the review.

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3 Comments

  1. Hey Eric,

    Do you really think the atonement view of any given theologian should not be heavily thought through (thus we should question the 5ths)? Paul’s “test everything” should be especially true on core doctrines such as Trinity, atonement, etc. Do you agree? If we get that wrong then we are truly jeopardizing the core of the Gospel.

    I am–to be in transparent disclosure–not as fully onboard with Wright’s atonement views as you are (though I like Wright). I always try to read the strongest authors on each side of the coin. Thus, a reading of John Piper’s The Future of Justification: A Response To NT Wright book should be a good read to help one stay balanced on imputed righteousness. Piper, in fairness, submitted to manuscript to Wright before publication and dialogued with him on his positions to make sure he wasn’t misquoting him. There civil conversation shows the integrity of both men.

  2. Eric Priest says:

    Jordan,

    I have absolutely no problem investigating the 5ths. What bothers me is the petulant tone of many of Wright’s critics (Piper would not be among them) – many from within my theological context of Reformed Presbyterianism. I agree with you that Piper’s engagement with Wright is both welcome and healthy.

    Wright is vilified for doing what responsible theologians (both Reformed and non-Reformed) have done for centuries – going back to the scriptures to read them in context. Even if we conclude that he is incorrect and the traditional formulations are correct, as faithful Protestants we should learn from and admire his biblicism.

    I’m not completely a Wright guy; I believe the Westminster definition of Justification is a good one. I suppose my book review was almost entirely positive. Perhaps it was simply my frustration coming out; just before writing the review, I listened to an interview with (to name names) Guy Waters who criticized Wright for his focus on the exile. Dismissing the disaster that was the exile and the shadow of Deuteronomy 30 hanging over God’s people from Nebuchadnezzar to Nero is simply bad contextual reading.

    Some of Wright’s definitions make me uncomfortable. (I’m sure he’d like that.) However, I don’t detect anything in Wright that would make me believe that he denies the concepts of imputation even if he doesn’t like how we normally derive the doctrine. He is much more willing to base it in our Union with Christ through the Spirit than with the divine law-court and pronouncement of justification. I’m not there but I don’t think he’s sold the farm.

    Thanks for your pushback,
    Eric

  3. Justification and Variegated Nomism (2 massive volumes) edited by D.A. Carson really undoes much of the New Perspective on Paul’s dismissal of the “righteousness by Law/works” that they read into 2nd Temple Judaism. Vol 1 goes through all the 2nd Temple literature and shows how the Law was seen. Vol 2 then gives the implications for Justification.
    at http://www.amazon.com/Justification-Variegated-Nomism-Vol-set/dp/0801027926

    Seyoon Kim’s work is amazing as well. Paul and the New Perspective.

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