Friday, February 03, 2006

Wright and Justification (Again)

I get the vibe that in contrast to Climax of the Covenant and What Saint Paul Reall Said? that Wright is finally getting a better balance on the forensic and covenantal aspects of justification. Consider the following statement:

"God has declared in advance that he has dealt with sin and death, and has summoned the world to the obedience of faith, with the corollary that all of those who believe find themselves declared in advance, as part of the apocalyptic unveiling of the ultimate future, to be within God's true family, whether they be Jew or Gentiles".

1. Wright here defines justification primarily in relation to sin/death, that is overturning the verdict (death) against sin through God's saving action in Christ.
2. Covenant membership, the part that Wright gets the most excited about, is here regarded as a "corollary" of justification instead of comprising its entire content.

I hope critics of Wright are paying attention!


Paulos said...


I believe that your observations about Wright are correct. Who could really quibble with the statement you cite.

(Oh, I realize that there are plenty who could and would quibble.)

TheBlueRaja said...

Amen, Mike!

Rob said...

If that's the case why don't you just read Calvin?

pduggie said...

I wonder if some of the complaint against this will be about how much God has dealt with sin and death 'in advance'. Justification_reformed_model is set up to deal with the guilt that we have under the preaching of the law. Come to Jesus and have your guilt taken away, which it currently is not. He's dealt with sin and death, but Justification_refmod says he hasn't dealt with MY sin until I come to faith.

T.B. Vick said...

I never thought Wright did this - ["Covenant membership, the part that Wright gets the most excited about, is here regarded as a "corollary" of justification] instead of comprising its entire content."

I always thought Wright's critics were off, or either mis-reading Wright in one sense or the other.

What work is that quote from, Michael?

Michael F. Bird said...

I think in Climax and WSPRS, Wright does gets the balance wrong. Since about 1999, he's been far more careful in his wording and description of justification.

T.B. Vick said...

So then I guess his new work titled Paul: In Fresh Perspective tends to be a little more balanced with regard to justification?

Having heard him speak, and having talked to him, I have heard him say he does not necessarily reject the "reformed issue/teaching of justification." But apparently current day reformers do not agree (especially James White - but consider the source).

Michael F. Bird said...

Vick, you're on the money. I think since about 1999 in his articles "Shape of Justification" and the Edinburgh Dogs conference, the Romans commentary, Fresh Perspectives gives a healthier presentation of Wright that is more conducive to Reformed concerns of Wright.

Andy Rowell said...

I refer to this post by you in my Feb 14 post regarding John MacArthur's harsh words about Tom Wright.

Well done.