John Piper responds to N.T. Wright

My first assessment for second year is due in one week. It is a 2000 word book review. The book I choose to review is ‘The Future of Justification’ by John Piper. 

If you haven’t heard of the book, it is a response to another well known and popular theologian, N.T. Wright. 

One of the things that has struck me the most as I read the book was how respectful Piper is in his critique of Wright’s work. Obviously he rights about an issue that they disagree on, never the less page 3 of the introduction says: 

Nicholas Thomas Wright is a British New Testament scholar and the Anglican Bishop of Durham, England. He is a remarkable bled of weighty academic scholarship, ecclesiastical leadership, ecumenical involvement, prophetic social engagement, popular Christian advocacy, musical talent and family commitment. As critical as this book is of Wright’s understanding of the gospel and justification, the seriousness and scope of the book is a testimony to the stature of his scholarship and the extent of his influence. I am thankful for his strong commitment to Scripture as his final authority, his defense and celebration of the resurrection of the Son of God, his vindication of the deity of Christ, his belief in the virgin birth of Jesus, his biblical disapproval of homosexual conduct, and the consistent way he presses us to see the big picture of God’s universal purpose for all peoples through the covenant with Abraham and more.

While Piper works hard to show the biblical errors in Wright’s views, he has humility as he does it. He speaks of Wright with great respect, knowing that while they may disagree they share a great unity through Christ.

Piper says this later in his introduction:

My little earthly life is too far spent to care much about the ego gratification of scoring points in debate. I am still a sinner depending on Christ for my gratification or regret. Among these greater things are faithful preaching of the gospel, the care of guilt-ridden souls, the spiritual power of sacrificial deeds of love, the root of humble Christian political and social engagement, and the courage of Christian missions to confront all the religions of the world with the supremecy of Christ as the only way to escape the wrath to come.

All too often I think we all forget that these things come so far in front of our need to score points and win the argument. We are puffed up by our sense of being right and forget our real status as sinners who have no knowledge or hope apart from the grace of God.  

And so I pray for us all the prayer Piper finishes his intro with:

May the Lord give us help in these days to see the word of his grace with clarity, and savour it with humble and holy zeal, and spread it without partiality so that millions may believe and be saved, to the praise of the glory of God’s grace. 


3 thoughts on “John Piper responds to N.T. Wright

  1. yeah its definitely on my list of books to read – it will be interesting to see if he agrees with me about Piper’s treatment of him

  2. Pingback: The Future of Justification « kt-rae

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