Piper's Argument Analysis

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Wright and Piper have varying, and often contradictory, interpretations of a number of scriptures; notably Romans 2:27-30. Regarding this passage, Wright attempts to prove that Paul’s argument to the Judaizers was that “there is no road into covenant membership on the grounds of Jewish racial privilege” (Piper, 146). Whereas, Piper uses this as proof of the works-based-righteousness that supposedly plagued the First Century Jews. Piper primarily argues from 2 Corinthians 5:21 to claim that Christ’s “active obedience” has been imputed to the Christian, not merely an act of clemency. This is one of the main issues between Piper and Wright’s theology. Wright does not argue for the notion of Christ’s “active obedience” imputed to the sinner. Reformers have famously distinguished between the “passive” obedience of Christ on the cross, and the “active” obedience by fulfilling the Law. Piper…show more content…
Both writers view their theology as exclusive - without regard to a plausible middle. I am swayed by pieces of each argument, but not entirely moved by either. In particular, I find Wright’s view of Paul within the context of First Century Judaism to be invaluable, and provides a great deal of understanding to some of Paul’s more difficult - and at times offensive - scriptural teachings. I also believe with Piper that it can be dangerous to be so heretically vague in one’s “fresh” definitions of the gospel, righteousness, and justification. Whether or not these fresh perspectives are right or wrong, I agree with Piper that “muddying the waters” will do more hurt than help, and that a clear, complete, and concise writing of this difficult-to-grasp shift in doctrine would be wildly beneficial. I don’t believe one must be a theologian to have an acute understanding of the nature of the gospel, and am overall disappointed with the inaccuracy of speech and unclear logic within the writings of both
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