They can’t both be “Wright”

“Justification by faith is the heart of the Gospel. This is what is contained in the promise, ‘Whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.’ If we fail to grasp the fact that the righteousness which justifies us is imputed and not infused or inherent, we shall find that, in substance, what we preach is a gospel of works, not a Gospel of grace” [from N. T. Wright (along with John Cheeseman, Philip Gardner, and Michael Sadgrove) in the 1972 edition of The Grace of God in the Gospel (Banner of Truth)].

“If we use the language of the law court, it makes no sense whatever to say that the judge imputes, imparts, bequeaths, conveys or otherwise transfers his righteousness to either the plaintiff or the defendant. Righteousness is not an object, a substance or a gas which can be passed across the courtroom . . . . To imagine the defendant somehow receiving the judge’s righteousness is simply a category mistake. That is not how language works” [from N. T. Wright in the 1997 edition of What Saint Paul Really Said (Eerdmans)].

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Very clever title for the post…

  2. I’m curious then about what can be said about grace? In the sacramental systems grace is most certainly treated as a substance that is given and transfered through various means (e.g. the Eucharist). To me, treating these concepts as substances is confusing.

  3. Posted by blueg on September 4, 2007 at 12:18 am

    Treating grace as a substance is wrong. It is an attitude adopted by God towards his objects of mercy.

    As to righteousness not being a substance, then we also have to say that sin is not a substance. If sin is not a substance, the Jesus could not have become sin on the cross and therefore we are all lost.

    2 Corinthians 5:21

    For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

  4. The second quote sounds straight out of Finney, who determined to read the Bible like one of his law books, and consequently denied the substitutionary atonement.

  5. Wow, a nice 180 by Dr. Wright. The problem is that without imputation there can not be justification. The imputation of Christ’s righteousness is necessary for the declaration of our righteousness for it is only in Him that we can become the righteousness of God. In the economy of God Christ fulfilling all righteousness was not just so He could be the perfect Lamb of God, but as we are baptized into Christ we have His righteousness imputed to us. By the imputation of our sin to Christ and His righteousness to us God becomes both just, as He lays upon Christ the stroke due us, and justifier as He declares us righteous based on the accomplishment of Christ on our behalf.

  6. Amen Morris.

    Way to stir it up Paul. I wonder why N.T. Wright has changed so much in many of his views over the years. Isn’t he also one of the signers of the E.C.T. ?

  7. […] hammerharte (!) Statements von N. T. Wright über Rechtfertigung. Beide können nicht […]

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