Archives For John Piper

 

[ This is not something that we have done before, but given the boldness of John Piper’s recent remarks that Christianity must have “a masculine feel,” (LGT: Scot’s McKnight’s summary) I felt compelled to post my editorial for our forthcoming print issue here, as it is a response to Piper that states in no uncertain terms that we do not share his vision of the Kingdom of God. ]

As I sit down to write this editorial,

the internet has been abuzz for the last couple of weeks over John Piper’s recent comments that Christianity must necessarily have “a masculine feel.” I do not want to demonize John Piper, and even here at Englewood Christian Church, we bear the baggage of a long history of thinking and abiding in a masculine-dominated fashion similar to that described by Piper.  However, we must be clear, this sort of patriarchy is a part of the old older of things that is passing away.  The Kingdom of God is a new order in which there is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female (Gal. 3:28).  Paul’s point in this passage, as he makes clear in the latter part of the same verse, is not that we should deny these characteristics, but that in Christ’s new creation, they no longer serve to divide us.  Jesus put it more directly, his way was not one of domination (Matt. 20:25-28).

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“The Fixed Point
In Whose Orbit We Move”

A Review of
Justification:
God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision.

by N.T. Wright.

 Reviewed by Austen Sandifer-Williams.

 

Justification:
God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision.

N.T. Wright.
Hardback: IVP Academic, 2009.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

 

God is bigger than us. The statement may seem trite, but Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision explains that many pastors and biblical scholars have missed that point when they cherry-pick certain passages and interpret them according to a Reformed tradition that focuses on individuals rather than according to the rich tradition that unfolds in the Bible itself, from the story of Israel to the story of the restoration of creation. In this book, N.T. Wright, esteemed New Testament scholar and Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, has done a remarkable job of condensing the weighty topic of justification into a single digestible volume.

 

Justification is the act by which God makes people (sinners) righteous to God. The details of justification (how, why, when, etc.) are the subject of significant debate, and Wright brings to life why this debate matters and what justification means to Christians as the inheritors of God’s promise for the world through Israel. He does this by delving into Paul’s writings in a way that connects them to an overarching biblical story, the story of God’s promise for the redemption of creation.

 

Wright’s book is superficially spurred by John Piper’s implicit challenge in his book, The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright, a critique of Wright’s analysis of Paul. However, Wright is clear that his intent is not only to answer Piper, but also to clarify Paul’s whole theology on justification for the church today, in opposition to “the truncated and self-centered readings which have become endemic in Western thought (25).” In this context, the differences between Wright and Piper become representative of larger differences in Pauline scholarship between the “new” perspective (Wright) and “old,” traditional Reformed perspective (Piper). Continue Reading…