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By John Piper / Crossway / 2002
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Are Christians merely forgiven, or do they possess the righteousness of Christ? Recently the time-honored understanding of the doctrine of justification has come under attack. Many question how—or if—we receive the full righteousness of Christ. Martin Luther said that if we understand justification “we are in the clearest light; if we do not know it, we dwell in the densest darkness.” And now, in this new and important book, John Piper accepts Luther’s challenge. He points out that we need to see ourselves as having been recipients of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and therefore enjoy full acceptance with God and the everlasting inheritance of life and joy. Piper writes as both a pastor and a scholar. His pastor’s heart is shown in his zeal for the welfare of the church. His careful scholarship is evident in each explanation and undergirds each conclusion.
Does Christ’s lifelong record of perfect obedience to God get ‘credited’ to your account when you trust in Christ and are ‘justified’ by God? This has been the historic Protestant understanding of the ‘imputation of Christ’s righteousness,’ but John Piper warns that we are in danger of losing this doctrine today because of attacks by scholars within the evangelical camp. In response, Piper shows, in careful treatment of passage after passage, that the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to believers is clearly the teaching of the Bible, and if we abandon this doctrine we will also lose justification by faith alone. I am thankful to God for John Piper’s defense of this crucial doctrine.
—Wayne Grudem Research Professor of Theology and Bible Phoenix Seminary
The Gospel must be defended in every generation. Today, as in the sixteenth century, the central issue is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. John Piper clearly and powerfully proves this is the view of the Bible and not merely of orthodox Protestant theology. The church must say ‘No!’ to those who declare that imputation is passé. If imputation is passé, then so is the Gospel.
—R. C. Sproul
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John Piper has been the Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 1980. He is a widely respected theologian and bestselling author. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Piper attended Wheaton College where he majored in literature and minored in philosophy. He completed his Bachelor of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he studied under Dr. Daniel Fuller. Piper received his Doctorate in Theology from the University of Munich and taught biblical studies for six years at Bethel College. His preaching and teaching is featured daily on the radio program, Desiring God.