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Justification - God's Plan & Paul's Vision Paperback – February 20, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
I disagree with those reviewers who say that Wright's use of historical context violates the "sola scriptura" model of the Reformers. In fact, the Reformers were making their own assumptions about the historical context of Paul's writings; they assumed either that Paul's issues were identical to their own (Renaissance/Enlightenment) issues or that the epistles could be treated as ahistorical expositions of universal truths (in spite of the fact that Paul contextualized each of his letters by addressing them to particular churches and even to specific people in those churches). The bottom line is that the much-vaunted "sola scriptura" of the Reformers was far from "sola"! Wright's practice of exploring Paul's teaching within a specific historical context is right on. (By the way, many Christians in the Reformed tradition, and I include myself in that number, have been guilty of treating the Reformation as God's last word on theology. But if the Reformers could claim that Augustine and Anselm and Aquinas weren't the last word, who are we to say that the Reformers were? They have no special claim to truth that wasn't possessed by their predecessors, without whom the Reformers would have had little to say about theology.) Wright is not claiming that he has the last word. As more is learned about first-century Judaism, he will no doubt adjust his current thinking. That approach is more biblical, and certainly more humble, than that of those who think they already have the last word.Read more ›
Author: N.T. Wright
Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press, 2009
Number of pages: 252
Leading New Testament scholar N.T. Wright has taken C.S. Lewis's seat at the table. As Lewis changed the way people looked at Christianity, read their Bibles and thought about God in the twentieth century, Wright will do the same in the twenty-first. Like Lewis, Wright has a talent for making difficult biblical concepts accessible to the average person.
He is a primary scholar in the New Perspective on Paul. Wright sheds light on aspects of Paul and his theology that have left to gather dust in the dark corners of church tradition.
Wright's rise to popularity makes him a lightning rod for controversy. He intends to educate, but theological sacred cows are kicked over in the process. Incoming criticism rains down on him from several theological strong-holds. Some he deflects and some he absorbs. His most public fire-fight revolves around his treatment of the Doctrine of Justification.
Opponents say that Wright's New Perspective is out of balance; that examining Paul in a historical Jewish context is a mistake. Wright's answer: "...we end up reading [Paul] as though was really a 17th-century theologian born out of due time..." Wright posits in his book Paul: In Fresh Perspective that most of what we accept about Paul is based on scholarship that has been delivered to the world since the Reformation. But Paul pre-dates the Reformation.
Author Scot McKnight attempts to sum up the New Perspective in three bullet points:
1. Judaism was not a works-earns-salvation religion.
2. Paul was therefore not opposing a works-earns-salvation religion.
3.Read more ›
His impetus for the book is a book published in 2007 by Dr. John Piper called The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright which probes the underpinnings of Wright's understanding of Paul and if this is a helpful or harmful understanding.
What is N.T. Wright's essential point, contra-the traditional Reformed/evangelical point of view? Because it is spread throughout the book, I will say essentially this: that the purpose of Christ's life, death, and resurrection was not merely about individual salvation (restoring "my relationship with God" and "getting to heaven") nor was it about fulfilling the Torah for us (the "active obedience" of Christ which is "imputed" to us, but that it was about fulfilling the promises made from way before the law was established and then transgressed. It was about fulfilling the promises made to Abraham to restore and bless the whole world and reconcile all the children of God in an eschatological way. This, therefore, makes the scope of the Jesus story much larger than a restoration of Israel from under the law, but more broadly the fulfillment of the covenant promise to Abraham to restore the whole world into the covenant. Therefore, justification is the declaration that one has been become a member of the covenant family, not an act of God which brings you into the covenant family (the traditional understanding).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Challenging read. I don't fully agree with what Wright is saying but his historical outlook is very important!Published 23 days ago by Michael
This book is difficult to read and if it makes a point, then I did not perceive it. Additionally, the subtitle should be changed to "Wright's Plan and Wright's... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dale Knight
N. T. Wright is basically a pelagian with this book. The theology is horrible and is a complete misrepresentation of Paul. Read morePublished 2 months ago by revdaniel.ross622
I recently began to read N.T. Wright, and am very pleased to find, in addition to his many offerings aimed at his scholarly counterparts, many that are quite solidly within the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Autumn L Holdren
I found the book very fascinating and engaging. It was a good read except for getting bogged down in the many technical nuances of Wright's explanations concerning his Law Court... Read morePublished 14 months ago by TJ Center
I think N. T. Wright is the foremost Pauline scholar today. This amazing unpacking of Paul's work around justification, redemption and salvation is thoroughly well researched and... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Arnie Adkison
Great writing of N.T. Wright, but very academic and polemical.Published 17 months ago by Darrin Campbell Ray