A Brick in the Valley

The Future of Justification
November 6, 2007, 11:51 am
Filed under: Atonement

John Piper has written a new book, The Future of Justification.  In it, he responds to the new perspective on Paul.  I have ordered it, but not yet received it.  In the mean time, Adrian Warnock provides some very helpful excerpts and commentary.


5 Comments so far
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I’m being challenged by the New Perspective, but remain Reformed in my understanding. What about this…it seems in recent reading I’ve done that the NP is not a theological issue, it is an exegetical issue. In other words, the NP’s concern is not to change systematic theology, but primarily to change how we read Romans and Galatians in their original context. By saying that Paul is dealing with “identity markers” and not “legalism” doesn’t necessarily remove forensic justification, I think Dunn and Wright say as much. So can we have our cake and eat it too?

Comment by Brian McLaughlin

The bottom line is that I need to do more reading in this area. . . Adrian Warnock blogs regularly about this. I’d be interested to hear him respond to that thought.

Comment by cdbrauns

Here is an interesting summary from Wright when he is discussing NP with James Dunn: “Let’s be quite clear what Jimmy is saying. Some recent writing continues to polarize justification by faith in terms of “how I get saved and how I get into a personal relationship with God” (my thoughts: this is evangelical and Reformed) on the one hand, and on the other hand, how Jews and Gentiles come together, and the fact that Gentiles don’t have to get circumcised (my thoughts: this is NP). These are not two separate things to be polarized in Paul. It is because of the one that the other is true. They go absolutely together and its not an either-or.” (see http://www.thepaulpage.com/Conversation.html)

I like this summary because the two view do in fact go together without competition. I just wonder if you can read Romans as an NP and still maintain a forensic justification. Then again, if it were this simple would all these great minds be debating it as they are?

Comment by Brian McLaughlin

My sense is, but my knowledge is primarily from secondary sources, that forensic salvation is not maintained.

I do know from a primary source that, as it relates to forgiveness, some argue that the legal emphasis of justification has been damaging to understanding interpersonal forgiveness.

I await Piper’s book. Again, I have it ordered.

Comment by cdbrauns

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