Aug 26, 2012

FUTURE VINDICATION AND WORKS


*this is my 11th post in the current series on the NPP  
Most disconcerting is how the NPP sounds like salvation by works. The following are some disturbing excerpts from Wright:
“Justification, at the last, will be on the basis of performance, not possession.” [1]
“The Spirit is the path by which Paul traces the route from justification by faith in the present to justification, by the complete life lived, in the future.” [2]
“Paul has . . . spoken in Romans 2 about the final justifica­tion of God’s people on the basis of their whole life.” [3]
“Present justification declares, on the basis of faith, what future justification will affirm publicly (according to [Rom.] 2:14–16 and 8:9–11) on the basis of the entire life.”[4]
No one doubts there is an eschatological aspect to justification but to say God acknowledges us as members of the covenant community because he “anticipates the future verdict”[5] sounds as if Wright is saying God declares us “in” because he knows on the last day we will have proven ourselves to have been “in”. Where is the assurance or objective basis of our salvation in that? Does this not diminish the radical nature of the gift of salvation, in that it was bestowed upon us freely, despite ourselves? Salvation is an amazing rescue operation, not a bland statement of fact based on God’s foreknowledge of our effort.[6]


[1] N.T. Wright, The Letter to the Romans, Volume Ten, The New Interpreter’s Bible (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002), 440.
[2] Wright, Paul in Fresh Perspective, 148.
[3] Ibid, 121.
[4] Wright, Saint Paul, 129.
[5] N.T. Wright, “The Shape of Justification”, www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_BR_Shape_Justification.htm
[6] By “giving sanctification an instrumental role in procuring the final verdict of justification, Wright has significantly compromised the objective … nature of the sinner’s justification by faith alone.” Robert S. Smith, Justification and Eschatology: A Dialogue with “The New Perspective on Paul (Doncaster, Australia: Reformed Theological Review, 2001), 134. See also Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of his Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1975), 175. 

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