Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision

Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision

4.2 11
by N. T. Wright

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Few issues are more central to the Christian faith than the nature, scope and means of salvation. Many have thought it to be largely a transaction that gets one to heaven. In this riveting book, N. T. Wright explains that God's salvation is radically more than this. At the heart of much vigorous debate on this topic is the term the apostle Paul uses in several of his…  See more details below


Few issues are more central to the Christian faith than the nature, scope and means of salvation. Many have thought it to be largely a transaction that gets one to heaven. In this riveting book, N. T. Wright explains that God's salvation is radically more than this. At the heart of much vigorous debate on this topic is the term the apostle Paul uses in several of his letters to describe what happens to those in Christ--

Editorial Reviews

I. Howard Marshall
"This sprightly and gracious yet robust work is Tom Wright's carefully argued and scripturally based response to those who think that he has deeply misunderstood Paul's doctrine of justification. Although it is intended especially for those familiar with the debate between the various scholarly perspectives on Paul, it is in fact a straightforward and reasonably succinct exposition of Tom's interpretation that incorporates a defense of his approach to Paul in general and his exegesis of specific passages in Galatians and Romans in particular. This is definitely one of the most exciting and significant books that I have read this year. Like all of the author's work, I found it hard to set down once I had started to read it. Strongly commended!"
Darrell Bock
"Frank theological table talk is sometimes a necessary endeavor. Tom Wright's Justification is his substantive reply to critical work by many, including John Piper, on the New Perspective. Wright correctly reminds us that this approach should be better called New or Fresh Perspectives. The goal is to open up the text concerning what it originally said in the first century, not change it. This book sets up a meaningful and significant conversation between the camps in this debate through its direct interaction with the critique. It should be read and reflected on, just as work on the other side should be. So I recommend this book and say, pull up a chair to the table and pay careful attention to the conversation. In the dialogue, all of us will learn more about what Paul and Scripture say about justification (and a few other things as well)."
Peter Leithart
"This is a sharply polemical book, and N. T. Wright occasionally rises to Pauline heights of exasperation at his opponents. At bottom, though, it is about Pauline basics—about Abraham and Israel, eschatology and covenant, courtroom and Christology. With debates about perspectives old and new swirling around him like a cyclone, Wright does what he always does—he leads us carefully through the text. Some will doubtless remain skeptical about the Copernican revolution Wright proposes, but we are all indebted to him for reminding us once again of the breadth of the gospel of God and the majesty of the God of the gospel."
Brian McLaren
"John Piper, it turns out, has done us all a wonderful favor. In writing the critique that invited this response, he has given Bishop Wright the opportunity to clearly, directly, passionately and concisely summarize many of the key themes of his still-in-process yet already historic scholarly and pastoral project. Wright shows—convincingly—how the comprehensive view of Paul, Romans, justification, Jesus, and the Christian life and mission that he has helped articulate embraces 'both the truths the Reformers were eager to set forth and also the truths which, in their eagerness, they sidelined.' Eavesdropping on this conversation will help readers who are new to Wright get into the main themes of his work and the important conversation of which it is a part. And it will give Wright's critics a clearer sense than ever of what they are rejecting when they cling to their cherished old wineskins of conventional thought."
Rob Bell
"I find it quite stunning that a book dealing with the subject of justification could be this compelling of a read. Along the way you find yourself getting caught up in the momentum and energy of the book which pulls you into the momentum and energy of THE BOOK—which is, of course, Tom's point."
Scot McKnight
"Tom Wright has out-Reformed America's newest religious zealots—the neo-Reformed—by taking them back to Scripture and to its meaning in its historical context. Wright reveals that the neo-Reformed are more committed to tradition than to the sacred text. This irony is palpable on every page of this judicious, hard-hitting, respectful study."
Richard B. Hays
"For some time now, I have watched in puzzlement as some critics, imagining themselves as defenders of Paul's gospel, have derided Tom Wright as a dangerous betrayer of the Christian faith. In fact, Paul's gospel of God's reconciling, world-transforming grace has no more ardent and eloquent exponent in our time than Tom Wright. If his detractors read this book carefully, they will find themselves engaged in close exegesis of Paul's letters, and they will be challenged to join Wright in grappling with the deepest logic of Paul's message. Beyond slogans and caricatures of 'Lutheran readings' and 'the New Perspective,' the task we all face is to interpret these difficult, theologically generative letters afresh for our time. Wright's sweeping, incisive sketch of Paul's thought, set forward in this book, will help us all in that task."
Michael F. Bird
"N. T. Wright provides yet again another fresh and exciting exposition of the apostle Paul. Here Wright shows how Paul proclaimed justification by faith as part of the Bible's theodramatic story of salvation, a story that stretches from creation to Abraham to Israel and all the way through to Jesus the Messiah. Wright responds to many criticisms including those of John Piper, and regardless of whether one gravitates toward Wright's or Piper's unpacking of Paul, you cannot help but enjoy the sparks that fly when these two great modern pastor-scholars cross swords over the apostle. Moreover, Wright artfully brings readers into the narrative world of Paul, and he sets before us a stirring portrait of the apostle to the Gentiles and his gospel."
Michael J. Gorman
"Like Paul himself writing to the Galatians, in this book Bishop Tom expounds and defends his interpretation of the apostle's teaching on justification with passion and power. At the same time, he seeks to move beyond divisive categories (old perspective versus new; soteriology versus ecclesiology; justification versus participation) so that Paul can speak from within his own context and thereby to us in ours. The result is an extraordinary synthesis of the apostle's—and the Bishop's—views that should be read by the sympathetic, the suspicious and everyone else."
Alexander Stewart
"Justification remains a well-written, persuasive articulation of Wright's position, littered throughout with flashes of brilliant exegetical insight, which deserves to be read by everyone interested in the debate, friend and foe alike."
Paul Metzloff
"...N.T. wright's Justification is well worth reading. It's not a light read and may take some effort, but it is about one of the ocre issues of our faith, and touches on something that is both a contemporary issue and one that concerned the lifes of Paul and Martin Luter. Wherever you fall in the argument, Wright's position is worth knowing."
Susan K. Hedahl
"Wright's work is brilliant, so full of inter-textual allusions and quotes that one can only stand in awe of the final product!"
Michael Makidon
"Whether you are a scholar or lay teacher, if you want to learn more about the New Perspective on Paul and N.T. Wright's views on justification, Justification is an important work."
C. Brian Smith
"Wright is a versatile author, able to reach both academic and popular audiences. Justification will appeal to academic readers and serious students of theology."
Mary L. VandenBerg
"For those interested in this ongoing debate regarding justification, this book offers an introduction to the overall debate, as well as a detailed biblical-exegetical understanding of Wright's onwn position."
Daniel J. Harrington
"Wright offers a passionate and stimulating treatment of the core of Paul's theology. . .Both an engaging exploration of Paul's theology and alively defense of his own approach to what in some circles is regarded as the heart of Christian doctrine."
Douglas Harink
"Justification is likely to become his most controversial book to date, for it offers a fundamentally new reading of a doctrine at the center of Protestant and evangelical theology."
Darren King
"Wright is pretty succinct in his argument. Wright's perspective falls in line with what is commonly referred to as the new perspective on Paul. Because, in Wright's mind, this perspective is much older than other conceptions. Put simply, it is an approach to Paul from within the interpretive context of Paul's original, Jewish milieu. Wright, and others on the same "quest" have argued that we have missed much of what Paul was getting at because we failed to read him through the original lens."
Young Anabaptist Radicals (young.anabaptistradicals.org)
"Wright does provide a vision of justification that - perhaps not surprisingly - is more in touch with the understanding of the 17th century Mennonite church than it is with Reformed theology. This is a great book."
Collin Hansen
Listed in the article Ten Theology Books for Your Beach Bag.
Craig Blomberg
"An outstanding book. Written in lively, if somewhat polemical style, not encumbered with many footnotes, Wright has here laid out his views with exemplary clarity. In fact, he is affirming all the major Reformation perspectives on justification. The burden of Wright's work, however, is to highlight how dwelling exclusively on the Reformers' emphases in Pauline soteriology can easily cause us to miss the bigger picture and the grander narrative in which those emphases are set. The problem for Wright with much of the Reformation and especially with John Peper's version of Calvinism is that it can quickly lose sight of the plan of God to redeem the entire cosmos through the people of Israel, culminating in the Messiah, as a blessing for the whole world. While one may still disagree with Wright's take on this or that passage or on one specific exegetical conundrum in a given passage, the only way I can see how one can deny that his major emphases are both correct and profoundly important is to ignore large swaths of Paul's writing and especially Ephesians. Perhaps Wright's critics will finally recognize him as a crucial ally and not an opponent."

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InterVarsity Press
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Meet the Author

Simply Christian, The Original Jesus, What Saint Paul Really Said, The Challenge of Jesus, The Meaning of Jesus, Jesus and the Victory of God and the magisterial Paul and the Faithfulness of God. His N. T. Wright For Everyone Series includes commentaries covering the entire New Testament. Formerly bishop of Durham in England, Wright is research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He was formerly canon theologian of Westminster Abbey and dean of Lichfield Cathedral. He also taught New Testament studies for twenty years at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford Universities. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Gregorian University in Rome and many other institutions around the world. In addition to his many books, Wright reaches a broad audience through his frequent media appearances. A sought-after commentator, Wright writes frequently for newspapers in England, including the Times, the Independent and the Guardian. He has been interviewed numerous times by radio and television broadcasters on both sides of the Atlantic, including ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS and NPR.

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Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A scholarly work, based on fact and not feeling. This book challenges us to throw down preconceived notions and look for actual meaning. Highly recommended.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't agree with all of it, but overall a very strong case for rethinking imputed righteousness and a fuller understanding of justification. Very engaging writing style. I found myself enjoying it even when I didn't understand what he was talking about!
Michael3168 More than 1 year ago
You need to be prepared to wade through some technical stuff if you are a lay person.
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jim72FL More than 1 year ago
Dr. Wright is especially thorough in pointing out scriptures that must be read in the context of salvation even when we don't want to act out what they instruct us to do.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It seems this book was written for one purpost-to get back at John Piper for publicly disagreeing with him. He constantly brings his name up and debases his interpretation of Justification. It is also very redundant-he uses the same phrases and "buzz words" for each section of scripture he analyzes. I realize he is trying to support his exegesis with multiple references, but it's a little overkill.