Thursday, February 14, 2008

Garlington on Piper’s The Future of Justification

Here is a superb review of Piper's The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright, written by Don Garlington.

The more I ponder some of Piper's criticisms of Wright, the more I tend to the following conclusion: His presentation problematically tends to think words like 'justification' are to be interpreted according to a story that does not quite do, one that is influenced heavily by pietism, the Calvinism of the 'period of reformation', and modernity. It lacks the scriptural robustness and biblical-narrative-hugging scope of vision offered by Wright, and to that degree it hinders his analysis and exegesis.


At 2/16/2008 4:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

Yep, good review. Fascinating how Piper's pathological fear of Wright's 'new' and 'fresh' interpretations leads him to basically reject historical exegesis in favour of a hermeneutically impossible 'pure' contextless reading of the Bible which inevitably results in people imposing other contexts onto the biblical text (ie: Piper's own Pietistic Calvinism)

At 2/16/2008 11:17 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Of course, Piper would deny his reading is contextless, but I think you more or less hit the nail on the head.

At 2/19/2008 5:52 PM, Anonymous Jeremy Priest said...

I really appreciated Garlington's review. Thanks for posting it.

I have a Wright-related question:

I just started reading Wright's Surprised by Hope and it is as usual, good stuff. However, I thought the way he deals with purgatory is a bit heavy-handed. Also, he makes this ad hominem attack towards the end of the purgatory section: if you still think Paul teaches purgatory you need to talk to a psychiatrist. I blogged about that here (

In a related note, can you explain the background for this assertion that he makes in the same purgatory chapter:

Wright asserts, "with the Reformers," that "death itself gets rid of all that is still sinful" (170), therefore, death is the final phase of the purgatory that is life (cf. 171).
Where does Wright draw this argument from?

At 2/19/2008 5:55 PM, Anonymous Jeremy Priest said...



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