Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Mike Bird on justification

I’ve been reading the drafts of Mike Bird’s forthcoming book on Paul, justification etc. recently, and let me tell you, it is quite simply a load of total and utter rubbishy tripe. Still, it made me laugh. Its like a cross between a Mr Men book, and the Idiots Guide to Idiots. Give a rabid blind chimpanzee a keyboard with three letters, and you’ll have a more convincing thesis.

... well, not really. It’s actually an exciting, highly readable, and, to my mind – and I mean this honestly – important book that makes a bundle load of sense. I’m really looking forward to seeing how his argument is received. It could mean serious cross-fire from both sides, Mike – I hope you’ve got a trench helmet spare.

His last chapter attempted to contend that ‘the “traditional” reformed view and the NPP are indispensable to attaining a proper understanding of Paul’s articulation of justification’. In other words, he argues that ‘Paul’s notion of God’s saving righteousness includes both a declaration that those who profess faith in Christ have been graciously granted a right-standing in a right relationship with God, and also that they are thereby constituted as full and equal members of God’s covenant people’ (p. 73). Well, Amen to that, not simply because it’s ecumenical, but also because the texts, to my mind, seem to justify exactly this. You’ve got me convinced. And this means Tom Wright isn’t going to hell after all, I guess.


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