Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Last Friday - Justification!

It was a tired and grumpy J that attended the NTI seminar on justification. Which was inappropriate, given the glorious truth of justification by faith alone, whether that is taken in the N.T. Wright sense or the mainstream traditional Reformed sense, as expounded by John Piper in recent debate with the aforementioned Bishop of Durham. (Thanks to Tim Chester for that useful link!)

I was confused about how to express my thoughts on imputed righteousness and had a headache, largely through exhaustion after a tiring three weeks of being drained by various pastoral situations at church in the hot weather, and partly through staying up past midnight liberating the Pacific and Europe from the Axis powers in Call of Duty: World at War with Phil. Amazing how a man almost thirty can be so captivated by such (well-executed) silliness! I think I'm a bad influence on Phil - he claims not to play WaW unless I'm there overnight...

Since the seminar I have read both Piper's The Future of Justification and Wright's Justification, and actually things seem a lot clearer now. The way that Wright ties in the covenant, eschatology, participation in Christ and much besides is very stimulating, and actually echoes a lot of the Sydney Anglican stuff (ironically) on biblical theology (Goldsworthy, Dumbrell et al) that has been feeding its way into the UK for a few decades. Abraham not Moses. One big story. New creation. That sort of thing.

Of course, Piper makes a lot of good points, too, but there's no doubting the narrowness of the picture he paints by comparison. I can feel a lifetime of wrestling with this and trying to teach it and live it coming upon me!