Wright makes the statement in his new book that Justification and righteousness, when used by Paul the Bible do not mean the same thing. Justification is a declaration which grants a status – a status which comes from being declared righteous. Justification does not denote an action which transforms someone. Now Wright’s major point is that this righteousness is NOT a moral righteousness – a mistake which he says Piper makes:
John Piper insists that God requires a moral righteousness of us, and that since we have none of our own God must reckon or impute such a moral righteousness from somewhere else – obviously within his scheme, from the righteousness of Christ. But righteousness within the very precise language of the courtroom which Paul is clearly evoking, most obviously in Romans 3, is not ‘moral righteousness’. It is the status of the person whom the court has vindicated. And yes, God has vindicated Jesus himself, by raising him form the dead, as is said explicitly in 1 Timothy 3:16 but indicated also in Romans 1:4. And yes that vindication is indeed the context within which the vindication of the believer is to be understood.
Very interesting!! I am about to start the exegetical part of the book – which I am looking forward to!