Saturday, January 08, 2011

N.T. Wright, John Piper, and the book: Indeed, has Paul Really Said?

With the completion of the fifth and last section of the appendix, the book Indeed, has Paul Really Said? has now been released for distribution and is available on amazon.com in paperback, and eBook (Kindle) formats (see below).  As stated in earlier posts, the appendix to this work was not originally planned, however,  N.T. Wright’s rebuttals warranted the addition.  In his e-mail, Wright stated that he managed to influence John Piper in the development of his work - The Future of Justification - before it was published.  After stating this, he went on to describe his influence on others in a similar fashion.  Of course, the details of his statements are known only by the Lord and these men; however, this established the necessity to examine Piper’s work before going to print (The Future of Justification was published two months after Wright’s e-mail).  As expected, Wright’s behind-the-scenes comments provide an important backdrop to the final section of Indeed, has Paul Really Said?  Whether Wright’s claims are true or not, it is a simple historical fact that every generation faces the temptation to be swayed by men of acclaim.  Even the Apostle Paul faced this in his day:

Galatians 1:6-10: 6. I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7. which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the  gospel of Christ. 8. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! 10. For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

In Paul’s day, and in our own, we find that the temptation of pleasing men remains as a continued threat to the church.  Thus, in the closing section of Indeed, has Paul Really Said? we explore the broader question regarding how much impact and influence men of acclaim can have on the body of Christ, whether intentionally or unintentionally.  Ultimately, it is essential that men of influence clarify the Gospel for the sake of others – both now, and for future generations.   In the end, the encroaching dangers of the New Perspective Theology (NPP), along with such dangerous companions as Federal Vision Theology, make it necessary for the church to deliver a clear and unbending defense of the Gospel, over and above any temptation to seek favor with men. 

In all of this, the battle of the ancient church presses on.

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