Dr. John Piper’s new book, as its subtitle indicates, is a rejoinder to N. T. Wright’s take on justification in the letters of Paul. The volume consists of eleven chapters and six appendices, all endeavouring to lay bare what Piper considers to be the shortcomings of Wright’s understanding of justification and related matters. In his Acknowledgements (11), Piper informs us of his intentions and expectations in a quotation from Solomon Stoddard: “The general tendency of this book is to show that our claim to pardon and sin and acceptance with God is not founded an any thing wrought in us, or acted by us, but only on the righteousness of Christ.” By thus framing the issue, Piper’s book functions as a broadside against any and all attempts, especially those of Wright, to introduce things “wrought in us” or “acted by us” into the Pauline preaching of justification by faith, thereby detracting from “the righteousness of Christ only.” A certain amount of hype has attended the advent of this publication, particularly the “warning” that any other than Piper’s outlook on Paul is playing fast-and-loose with the apostle’s teaching. According to Piper’s web page, “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.”
In the Conclusion (184), Piper clarifies that the book’s title is intended to draw attention to where the doctrine of justification may be going, as well to “the critical importance of God’s future act of judgment when our justification will be confirmed.”
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