N. T. Wright, a world-renowned New Testament scholar and bishop in the Church of England, has spent years seeking "new" interpretations of the apostle Paul's writings. Among his conclusions are that "the discussions of justification in much of the history of the church certainly since Augustine got off on the wrong foot, at least in terms of understanding Paul and they have stayed there ever since." // According to Piper, Wright's confidence that the church has gotten it wrong for 1,500 years, given his enormous influence, set off warning bells for Christian leaders such as himself, a pastor and New Testament scholar. According to Piper, if Wright's views find a home in the church, not only could the doctrine of justification be distorted for generations to come but the New Testament writers' original intent could be silenced. This book is a call from John Piper to all Christians, citing his warnings against "fresh" interpretations of the Bible and his plea to hold fast to what he considers the biblical view of justification.
For Serious Scholars
I received The Future of Justification from a colleague a couple of years ago, and I finally got motivated and made a goal to finish the book this school year. This is by far the most academic of the Piper books I have read, and I had to take my time reading it. I read certain portions of the book more than once in order to gain a fuller understanding of what was being stated. Although the book was not one of the more enjoyable Piper books I have read, I realize I need to read more books like this. It covers a topic that I teach and a topic that all of us need to better understand. It is not surprising to see such a range in the reviews of this book, but I do feel that Piper is Christlike in how he responds to Wright and the `New Perspective on Paul.' Keep in mind that Pastor Piper read an 11,000-word response from Wright himself as part of the detailed critical feedback he received to improve the first draft of this book. The 240-page book is organized into eleven chapters and contains six self-standing appendices that were not written in response to the work of N.T. Wright. If you read The Future of Justification like many leading scholars have done, you will be taking a serious look at the biblical doctrines of justification and imputation.
Farewell John Piper