Thursday, October 29, 2009

Michael Horton Reviews N.T. Wright on Justification

Thanks to Trevin Wax, below is a list of Michael Horton's series at the White Horse Inn on N.T. Wright's new and important book, Justification. I'd highly recommend the book to those not acquainted with Wright's work. While I'd want to qualify or challenge some of Horton's criticisms, overall I think he's evenhanded in his review. At the very least, what Horton's review shows is that Wright is not a left-wing nutball who we can just dismiss. While he might sometimes be overly enthusiastic in his interpretations of Paul, Wright offers many important insights that we would do well to benefit from.

Horton's conclusion admits this much:
In spite of exaggerations and false dilemmas, Wright reminds us that justification is inextricably tied to God’s covenantal, historical, cosmic, and eschatological purposes for “summing up all things in Christ.” Even if it is in some ways an over-correction, he does remind us that justification does not emerge simply out of need for personal or pastoral needs, but out of an unfolding plan that revolves around God’s faithfulness to his own righteousness and results not only in saved individuals but in a church and a kingdom. Even if he tends sometimes to confuse this kingdom with his own political agenda, Wright properly reminds us that even in its seminal and liminal existence in this time between Christ’s advents, it is already true that Jesus is Lord.
As a funny anecdote, Horton recalls that N.T. Wright's early book, The Grace of God in the Gospel was instrumental in Horton "inviting Calvin into his heart" as a young student. When Horton told Wright this, Wright replied with the equally tongue-in-cheek comment, "Now let me help you invite Paul into your heart." :) Enjoy!

1. Introduction
2. Justification and God’s single plan: The Covenant and History
3. Justification and God’s people
4. Justification and God’s Righteousness: Imputation and Future Hope
5. Justification and God’s Righteousness: Covenant and Eschatology
6. Justification, Faith, and Faithfulness: The Works of the Law
7. Justification and the Testimony of Paul
8. Justification and Romans
9. “Works of the Law” – Soteriology and Ecclesiology
10. Conclusion

Monday, October 12, 2009

1000 Years of Peace That Christians Like To Fight About

The Millennial Reign of Christ is one of the most debated and divisive topics among Christians. But it's also a central point of eschatology and one's view on the Millennium often contributes to their hermeneutic. Desiring God just hosted a very good discussion of the Millennium. The contributors were:

John Piper - moderator
Doug Wilson - postmillennial
Sam Storms - amillennial
Jim Hamilton - premillennial

I found the premillennial position to be the most compelling (which isn't surprising given my theological bent!). But the other positions were very interesting and thought provoking. What do you think?