This is the first part of a fairly extensive review of John Piper’s The Justification of God: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23.
Piper uses just a few page to introduce his work as a whole. This chapter provides the major questions and gives a road map for the argument. I shall do the same, posing a few questions of my own and providing a general road map for how my review will work.
I came to this text through a friend of mine with whom I have had many discussions/debates over the years. Many of these discussions involved issues of God’s sovereignty, free will, and predestination. Consequently, he purchased copies of this book hoping that we would have an opportunity to read it together. Unfortunately, it never happened and we have both since moved to different cities.
This then is my attempt to do an intense study of Piper’s work.
I will admit up front that, in spite of my belief that man possesses a will and the ability to make choices independent of God, I do not expect to find much fault in Piper’s argument. He is a first-rate pastor/scholar and a fine exegete. My posts will largely be focused on the contents of Piper’s book and what I may think about them.
I think that Piper’s understanding of Romans 9 will be very informative for all readers of the Withering Fig. However, I have a couple of questions that I’d like to keep in mind:
- How does Romans 9 fit into the larger context of Romans 9–11 and all of Romans?
- How does our understanding of righteousness, justification, and predestination derived from Romans 9 line up with our understanding of these concepts from other Christian texts (NT and OT)?
Now to the road map. I will create a post each week based on a chapter of the text. This post will serve as the discussion of the first chapter, “Introduction.” From here, we will go on to explore the rest of the book and eventually wrap it up with a conclusion at the end of all this.1
I hope that all makes sense, and I hope you enjoy. I would love it if you’d grab a copy of The Justification of God and read along for yourself, commenting along the way, of course! The more conversation we have, the more we’ll learn.
OK. Let’s get reading!
Article Series - The Justification of God
- Since this installment is a kind of non-review, I will publish chapter two at the same time. ↩