Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Snap: N. T. Wright's "Justification"

A reader recommended this book as a source for my research on the atonement, and while I did not find anything specifically useful to the direction I was taking there, I did find this useful in other critical ways. Mainly, I took my first look at the "new perspective" on Paul. And my main question was:

New perspective? What's new about it?

That's not a slam on Wright at all. It's a commentary on the fact that most of what Wright says about Paul is stuff I assumed was correct already. To be sure, there are some nuances I think Wright misses, and that's mostly because much of what he says could be better informed (and confirmed) by application of certain findings in that social science stuff I'm into. There are also a few details I don't agree with him on. But the main line of reasoning is, well, not news to me, at any rate.

As a bonus, Wright takes on John Piper and fairly takes him to shreds for what amounts to a highly fundamentalist reading of Paul that rejects first century contextualization in favor of Reformed-on-steroids recontextualization. That alone is worth the price of admission.

Given Wright's accessible writing style, I won't spoil it with description. I'll just say this'd be a good book for anyone wanting an intro the the, er..."new" perspective of Paul.

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