Trevin Wax has interviewed Bishop N.T. Wright on some of the differences between him and John Piper on justification. This interview is in light of Wright’s upcoming release of Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision. Below is an excerpt from the interview. Do you think that Wright is fairly representing Piper’s position?
Trevin Wax: What would you say are the key differences between you and Piper on justification?
N.T. Wright: Well, I set justification within the larger Pauline context, where it always comes, of God’s purposes to fulfill his covenant promise to Abraham and so to rescue the whole creation, humankind of course centrally included, from sin and death. Piper holds that Abrahamic context at arm’s length.
Second, I understand justification as basically a law-court term, where it means the judge’s creative declaration that a person is ‘in the right’ in terms of the lawcourt, whereas Piper holds that justification involves the accrediting to a person of the moral, not the forensic, ‘righteousness’ of Christ – something Paul never says (as J. I. Packer admits).