I appreciate very much the engagement with my post below linking to Gerald Bray's editorial re the Piper, Wright exchange on righteousness and Romans.
Yesterday I had a few minutes to indulge in a visit to the John Kinder Theological Library where a copy of Wright's Justification book was on its new books stand. A few minutes dipping into it assured me that Wright has not indulged himself with a superficial flirt over the issues. (Though it was not long enough to be able to say that at every point in his argument he offers a depth that Bray implies is not there in the book).
Anyway, it happens that I am very slowly making my way through one of those books which fall into the rather large category called "Books I should have read much earlier in my pretentious life as a scholar". In this case it is Karl Barth's commentary on Romans. This comment from his preface to the second edition is worth reproducing here:
"For example, place the work of Julicher side by side with that of Calvin: how energetically Calvin, having first established what stands in the text, sets himself to re-think the whole material and to wrestle with it, till the walls which separate the sixteenth century from the first become transparent! Paul speaks, and the man of the sixteenth century hears."
A wonderful statement of the goal of hermeneutics ... and a challenge for our assessments of Piper and Wright: who breaks down the walls between the first century and the twenty-first century?
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