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

By John Piper (Author)
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Item description for The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright by John Piper...

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

Publishers Description

N. T. Wright, a world-renowned New Testament scholar and bishop of Durham in the Church of England, has spent years studying the apostle Paul's writings and has offered a "fresh perspective" on Paul's theology. Among his conclusions are that "the discussions of justification in much of the history of the church-certainly since Augustine-got off on the wrong foot, at least in terms of understanding Paul-and they have stayed there ever since."

Wright's confidence that the church has gotten it wrong for 1,500 years, given his enormous influence, has set off warning bells for Christian leaders such as John Piper, a pastor and New Testament scholar. If Wright's framework for interpreting the New Testament text and his understanding of justification find a home in the church, not only could the doctrine of justification be distorted for generations to come, but the New Testament writers' original intent could be silenced. So Piper is sounding a crucial warning in this book, reminding all Christians to exercise great caution regarding "fresh" interpretations of the Bible and to hold fast to the biblical view of justification.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Crossway Books
Pages   239
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.64 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2007
ISBN  1581349645  
ISBN13  9781581349641  

Availability  3 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2016 09:42.
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More About John Piper

John Piper John Piper, the preaching pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis since 1980, is the author of numerous books" "and a senior writer for "World "magazine,"" He received his doctorate in theology from the University of Munich and taught biblical studies for six years at Bethel College, St. Paul, before becoming a pastor. He and his wife, Noel, have four sons and one daughter.

SPANISH BIO: John Piper es pastor de Bethlehem Baptist Church, en Mineapolis. Sus muchos libros incluyen: Cuando no deseo a Dios, No desperdicies tu vida, Lo que Jesus exige del mundo.

John Piper currently resides in Minneapolis, in the state of Minnesota. John Piper was born in 1946.

John Piper has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Coleccion Teologica Contemporanea: Estudios Ministeriales
  2. Essential Edwards Collection
  3. John Piper Small Group
  4. Lifechange Books
  5. Swans Are Not Silent

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( P ) > Piper, John
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Soteriology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Systematic Theology > Soteiriology & Salvation
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright?

Understanding Paul as Wright does takes courage and is not a comprehension exercise  Dec 21, 2008
This is more a review about Wright than Piper. I read excerpts of Piper and all the reviews of his book and am familiar enough with his line of argument to add a few words. Piper's position is an oft repeated evangelical liturgy. Wright's perspective takes Christians out of their (theological) comfort zones and into the world - where we are meant to be. The closing lines of NT Wright's book, 'Paul: In Fresh Perspective,' state that it takes courage not comprehension to make sense of Paul and his writings. As another reviewer has said, NT Wright makes the point that much of the history of the church certainly since Augustine got off on the wrong foot, at least in terms of understanding Paul and they have stayed there ever since. That takes courage and it also has comprehension exercise obsessed evangelicals nervous.

Reading Piper reminds me of the warning Erasmus issued in his Ciceronianus to those who aped Cicero in the Renaissance: they were exaggerating the value of the classics and conforming their subject matter to a limited set of topics, and would do better to use the Christian terms of the day they were living in. Now Erasmus was no relativist, he did, however, observe that his contemporaries were hampered by terminology which prevented a free and open exchange with the influence of Christianity in the world where they lived. I suspect Piper and Carson and co. with their doctrinal (policy) statements and theological (bureaucratic) study groups are falling into the trap of the Ciceronians. Erasmus was concerned about the Augustinian view of humanity in Luther, as we should be concerned about the same influence in Piper. The obsession with using the right words from the Reformation places congregations more at risk than anything written by Wright.

Wright has observed a vitality in Christian thought among Greek and Jewish Christians prior to Augustine that indeed will tumble the last 1500 years or so of religiosity and iron cages of control over Christian language. I'm not complaining. Wright remains a most relevant and biblical scholar in our day due to the thorough going nature of his perspective. The future of justification is tied up with interpreting our vocation as imitators of Christ (see Wright on Philippians 2:5-11 in his Climax of the Covenant). No small wonder people are voting with their feet and joining Christian communities where living out a justified life (active engagement with the world) takes value over a life of talking about justification.

I have read most of what Wright has published and heard him speak. I have trained at Bible college and heard reformed evangelicals speak. I live in a world where I have a God given responsibility to be creative and engage the people around me - to continue to work out my salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Bishop Wright is not shifting away from biblical Christianity, he is rather helping us recover from the nightmare started by Augustine. Once we are changed by faith and accept Christ and what he has done for us, then there is the business of what that means in life to get on with and live out. It disempowers Christians to spend week in week out going over how lowly we are.

The message of Christ means so much more, repentance and forgiveness and a humble heart before the cross of Christ are essential to salvation (as Wright says in many places), but a justified life is something positive I must respond with - what does it mean to work out my salvation for the rest of my life? - it means creative engagement with the world - which has nothing to do with Augustinian dualisms around binary opposites such as good and bad (Wright on page 73 of Paul: In Fresh Perspective, puts Piper's argument about justification to sleep - Wright is clear that Paul is talking about the practice of being a Christian).

Piper acknowledges he misses Wright's perspective in places - that is because it is the present reality of the Christian life that is Wright's point of application. Central to Wright's work is a call to see 'the Challenge of Jesus' to discern new ways of doing things, modeling new ways of being human, a birthright to reorganize and redesign the world we live in. I can't speak for the future of justification, talking through what we believe is part of the journey. We are called to live as a light to the world, not a neon sign to a reformative movement some five hundred years ago. Lets work out the message of Christ in prayer and work out his words in our own time - to that end I hope that Piper may stimulate a more open inquiry into what NT Wright is saying.
The Future of Justification  Nov 16, 2008
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 gospel in a fresh way.

Don't mistake my use of the word "emerging" to mean Emerging Church (although Wright has made headway with those folks). Wright has become a premier Bible scholar and Bible interpreter in this generation. His work will be influential for years to come.

Thus, you have Piper's need to write the book. Congregants hand him one of Wright's books and ask him, "what about this guy?"

Piper takes issue with Wright's take on the doctrine of Justification. In a nut shell, Wright tells what it does to a believer's standing with God on the Last Day. Piper is convinced that Paul teaches the necessity to know what it IS, not just what it DOES. If one doesn't know what it IS, then one's understanding of what Christ accomplished on the cross will be misunderstood. In fact, what the church believes about Justification may be distorted for years to come due to Wright's ever expanding influence.

The author's thesis is that the righteousness of Christ and His perfect obedience is imputed to the believer once faith is placed in Christ. Piper makes the point that Wright believes God declares us righteous based on the work of Christ and includes us in His family. That Jesus defeated evil and sin and took our place on the cross. God vindicated Jesus by raising Him from the dead and in our identification with that (the resurrection) we, too, are vindicated. This is what Justification does. This is not good enough for Piper.

Piper makes a compelling argument, but I think it's weak. I've familiarized myself with the work of both these men and find my preference to lean more in Wright's direction and method of biblical exposition than Piper's. Piper, in my opinion, is more beholden to Reformed Theology and all his exposition is obviously and unashamedly run through that filter.

Piper takes a chapter to set up what Wright says about a subject and then in the next chapter, dismantles Wright's thesis.

I think the book could have been half the size, maybe a quarter. I got Piper's point early in the book. He's given credit from many scholars as giving Wright a fair shake, but I don't feel he has really made the effort to understand what Wright is saying.

imagePiper, book reminds me of the character Jim Carrey used to play in a bit on In Living Color. Carrey's plays the over zealous life guard of a hot tub. Carrey's schtick is he gets on a bull horn and enforces rules that would be posted at a public pool. "Time for laps!" Carrey announces with a bull horn in a hot tub users ear.

Piper is doing laps across a hot tub.

If you like theology or Piper or Wright, you might enjoy this book. If you are not familiar with Wright but read most of what Piper writes, you'll come away from this book thinking a) what's the fuss all about, or b) Wright's a heretic. It depends where you stand with Reformed Theology or your status in the John Piper fan club.

I think my membership's been revoked.
justified  Oct 14, 2008
It came in a very good condition and good time.I like the subject I DID NOT regret ordering it at all,every Christian should understand justification more and more every day
I agree with Piper, but too early for this one...  Sep 9, 2008
This book is a tough one. The reason I say this is because I totally agree with John Piper's view, and the Reformation's view of the Pauline theology of justification by faith. I agree with Piper's and the Reformation's view of the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer. I also disagree with N.T. Wright's, which ultimately started with Schweitzer, Wrede and Sanders, view of Pauline theology and the link they believe it has with second century temple Judaism. Although I do like their premise of trying to understand Old Testament Judaism. I believe though that they get confused in what God intended with the Law and how the Jews misused it.

So, now that I have stated all that, you would expect me to really like Piper's book on the topic. The problem is that I think it is a little too early to try and refute what Wright is coming out and saying. The reason for this is because no one really has a clear understanding of what Wright believes (at least those who I have talked to). Piper even praises Wright for many of his views of Scripture, and also the high view that Wright places on Scripture. But, there are many places in here that Piper says that he "thinks" Wright means this, or that Wright "might" believe that. I would think that it would be better to go ahead and wait this out until we find what Wright is really saying before we try and refute him outright.

With all this said, I also understand why Piper desired to come out with a refutation. I just believe it was too soon. I believe he would have been better to come out with a short intro to some disturbing beliefs of Wright and then wright a polemic on the justification of God and the imputation of Christ. I know that Piper has a couple of books that do this, so maybe an update to those books with this intro would have served better.

The book, because of the confusion of Wright's beliefs, is very hard to follow. There are even parts in the book where I would probably either agree with what Wright is saying, confused on what the problem is, or just am completely confused on what Wright really believes. The book really makes you feel like Piper is as confused as you are with what Wright is trying to say.

I honestly wouuld not recommend this book to anyone trying to get a grasp on what Wright believes, it was very confusing. Because of this, Piper's refutations come out very confusing as well. The best part of the book was the end, when Piper gives a small defense of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ.

I believe that this book will be something that will be forgotten and will need to be thrown away once we understand more on what Wright is trying to get across in his views of Justification and Pauline theology. Once a better understanding is seen, I would ask Piper to try again. Not Recommended.
It looks good to me.  Aug 25, 2008
I bought this book because my old church (I left because of a job and not theology) has embraced Wright's theology. I asked my former pastor about the imputation of righteousness and Wright's view of justification. As I remember the conversation, he asserted that the imputation of righteousness does not matter because eventually you end up in the same place. I found that hard to believe. When I saw this title of Piper's latest book, I was glad and Piper addressed these type of issues directly.

Piper corresponded with Wright to get Wright's input. He pointed out where Wright has done a great service to the Church in several areas, but Piper also pointed where Wright's theology or at least his ambiguity about the doctrine of justification may lead several churches astray.

I'm not a theologian or even a pastor, but I was able to follow most of the arguments and realized the importance of the issues that Piper addressed. I haven't read more than a few short works of Wright and I was able to glean some good stuff from this book. My favorite part of the book was where Piper showed how Wright defined righteousness and then described how Piper defined righteousness. I found Piper's definition far more complete. The book was written well, but it was not an easy read. I need to go back and reread some of the sections so I can more fully understand his arguments.


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