Monday, May 19, 2008
Book Review: 'The Future of Justification'
John Piper is probably one of the best-known Calvinist authors writing today. This book is his response to Bishop N.T. Wright of Durham's take on the 'New Perspective on Paul. Written with all the passion and clarity that we have come to expect from Piper, it is an excellent book for those wishing to understand the 'New Perspective' according to its most well-known advocate.
Piper quotes extensively from Wright's works, comparing Wright with the Apostle Paul, whom Wright claims to have a superior understanding of. In this book Piper shows that Wright's understanding of Justification and righteousness is overly simplistic, and that in many places words such as 'Faith', 'righteousness' and 'justification' simply cannot have the meanings that Wright gives to them. He shows that Wright's understanding of the righteousness of God as God's doing what is right is simply not deep enough. It is not simply that God does what is right (although he certainly does so), but that He is righteous in nature.
This is primarily an exegetical book. Piper takes the principal texts dealing with justification and exegetes them, showing what the Bible means by Justification. He highlights concerns with Wright's views, and sets the reader thinking. This is not only a response to N.T. Wright, it is a defence of the Reformation understanding of the Scriptures. Highly recommended.
The Future of Justification is published by Intervarisity Press (UK), and is available here for £9.99.