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John Piper’s “The Future of Justification”

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Mark Tubbs, who writes reviews for Discerning Reader, has just posted his review of John Piper’s newest book, The Future of Justification. Here are a few quotes:

A certain friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) attended a certain pastoral training institute (which shall remain nameless) where he was once advised by a certain staff member (who shall remain nameless) of said pastoral training institute that Dr. John Piper (D. Theol. From the University of Munich) is not a theologian. Piper’s ears must have burned at this utterance. In The Future of Justification, Piper’s theological acumen is on full display. His logic, as far as I can make out, is impeccable, and more importantly, his exegetical work is careful, nuanced and accurate.

Critically reading The Future of Justification was a difficult pleasure. I am somewhat humbled by other reviewers’ gauging of this book’s difficulty. While it certainly isn’t at the level of difficulty of John Owen, nor of some other theological-philosophical obscurantist pedants who shall likewise remain nameless, I would not rate it quite so low as 3 out of 5 for difficulty – more like 4 out of 5, at least for this reviewer. Its intricacy arises from its two main objectives: 1) to examine and assess the New Perspective teachings of N.T. Wright, Anglican bishop of Durham; and 2) to celebrate and reinforce the traditional reformation teachings on the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

What I appreciate most about Piper’s book most how biblically based it is. When Wright declares “What I’m saying is in the Bible,” Piper both graciously and devastatingly meets him in theological disputation on Wright’s own terms – biblical exegesis. While Piper does briefly appeal to theological work accomplished by others, including the founding Anglican theologians who wrote the Thirty-Nine Articles, Luther’s colleague Philipp Melanchthon, the framers of the Helvetic confessions, the Westminster divines, and Westminster’s Richard Gaffin (not to mention CREC pastor Douglas Wilson and Piper’s own theological assistants at Desiring God), Piper establishes his arguments primarily on extensive scriptural exegesis rather than standing on the shoulders of a tradition that Wright routinely criticizes.

Read the rest of the review here: “The Future of Justification” by John Piper

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