I Believe White is Right to say Wright is Wrong
2007 saw the release of a book by John Piper called "The Future of Justification - A Response to N. T. Wright." I found this to be a well researched, thoroughly biblical and very much convincing treatment of the subject. It would seem however, that the battle for the truth of justification is not about to disappear over the horizon any time soon. This should not surprise us. If sola fide (justification by faith alone) is the very heart of the biblical gospel (and I believe it is), then we would expect to hear its truth challenged in each generation as meddling demons and those who speak for them raise their voice in hostility and contempt against it. Indeed Martin Luther anticipated just this in his own day. In that both the truth of God and the depravity of man has not changed one iota since then, the long battle continues, yet the source of the attacks can be very surprising at times.
June 2009 sees the anticipated release of a new book by N. T. Wright, published by IVP, called "Justification: God's Plan and Paul's Vision" in which Wright attacks the Reformation doctrine of justification by faith alone, based on the imputed righteousness of Christ alone. This is certainly a time to saturate ourselves in the biblical Gospel - to know what we believe and why we believe it. Here is the heads up from Dr. James White on the issue.
Martin Luther - "This doctrine [justification by faith alone] is the head and the cornerstone. It alone begets, nourishes, builds, preserves, and defends the church of God; and without it the church of God cannot exist for one hour. For no one who does not hold this article or, to use Paul's expression, this 'sound doctrine' (Titus 2:1) is able to teach aright in the church or successfully to resist any adversary . . . this is the heel of the Seed that opposes the old serpent and crushes its head. That is why Satan, in turn, cannot but persecute it."
"Whoever departs from the article of justification does not know God and is an idolater . . . For when this article has been taken away, nothing remains but error, hypocrisy, godlessness, and idolatry, although it may seem to be the height of truth, worship of God, holiness, etc. . . If the article of justification is lost, all Christian doctrine is lost at the same time."
"When the article of justification has fallen, everything has fallen. Therefore it is necessary constantly to inculcate and impress it, as Moses says of his Law (Deut. 6:7); for it cannot be inculcated and urged enough or too much. Indeed, even though we learn it well and hold to it, yet there is no one who apprehends it perfectly or believes it with a full affection and heart. So very trickish is our flesh, fighting as it does against the obedience of the spirit."