Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Groaning at Piper, Part II

John Piper has again baffled me in his understanding of N.T. Wright. I wrote earlier on Piper's upcoming book critical of N.T. Wright. Now that he has released the conclusion to the book which is called The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright.

Clearly there may be more to the critique than is inferred by the conclusion, but the conclusion itself relies upon the typical strawman arguments that Wright's critics like to create.

Here are some of the quotes that imply wrong things about Wright:

"
God has not ordained that living the Christian life should be the basis of our hope that God is for us."

"Our own works of love do not create or increase God’s being for us as a Father..."

"There would be a double tragedy in thinking of our works of love as securing the fact that God is completely for us. There would be a double tragedy in thinking of our works of love as securing the fact that God is completely for us. There would be a double tragedy in thinking of our works of love as securing the fact that God is completely for us."

These three quotes all seem to imply that Wright must believe that works are in some way a "basis of our hope," "create or increase God's being for us as a Father," or that "our works of love secure[ing] the fact that God is completely for us."


All three of these quotes if meant as they appear to, wrongly impute ideas to Wright. Wright does and and never has argued that our good works do any of those things. The fact that Wright and the new perspective believe "justification" needs to be redefined and re-understood does not mean that they believe in justification by works, nor does it mean they place an unhealthy or inappropriate stress upon works. Wright is attempting to give passages concerning works their proper place--something that is too often lost.

I fear Piper's book on Wright is going to be yet another example of a misreading and misinterpretation of him.

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