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Justification According to NT Wright: Part Six

Overly Short Critique

Posted Sunday, February 24, 2008 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Theology  

            As almost all reviewers say about Wright, there is much here to appreciate. One aspect that I particularly appreciated was his emphasis on the worldwide focus of the Abrahamic covenant, a focus I learned from another Wright.1 To think that God has given up on the nations and is now focusing upon Israel purely for Israel’s sake is to badly misread the text. Other aspects of Wright’s view which are worthy of appreciation are his coherent meta-narrative and his close attention to the text. 

            There are a variety of areas where I have concern with Wright’s view. His covenant reading of the Old Testament is helpful but overdone. While some have argued that covenant is the center of the Old Testament, there are too many loose ends to make it work, loose ends which Wright does not deal with. This is particularly evident in his wholesale understanding of צדק  as covenant loyalty, when the word group cannot be limited to such a narrow range.

I think that the basis for the future justification is weak. I do not think that Romans 2 requires a future justification since the futures can be read in other ways and not as temporal futures. Not only is there difficulty exegetically with future justification and go against the large stream of interpretive history, it also leads to problems about the ground of present justification and imputation.  


1. Christopher J. H Wright, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2006).

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