Monday 7 May 2007

Michael Bird: The Saving Righteousness of God

My good friend Mike Bird has released his second book: The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification and the New Perspective (Paternoster, 2007), 230 pp.

James Dunn describes Mike’s work as “a calm, judicious and irenic voice amid the welter of paranoid accusation and counteraccusation” of the New Perspective controversy. Robert Gundry says that “for fair treatment and thoroughness of coverage, … this book is probably unmatched.” I. Howard Marshall describes this as a “fresh and sane approach to a difficult area,” which “will clarify the essential issues for students and preachers alike as they wrestle with expounding the thought of Paul for the contemporary church.”

Mike’s aim is to offer an evangelical integration of the traditional Reformed doctrine of justification with the framework of the New Perspective on Paul. He argues that the covenantal and forensic dimensions of justification should be viewed as two sides of the same coin, not as opposing interpretations. For Paul, faith alone in Jesus Christ is the instrument of eschatological vindication, and it is this same faith which marks out the people of God. In my view, one of Mike’s most valuable contributions is his concept of “incorporated righteousness” – a remarkable concept that successfully brings together the New Perspective and the traditional Reformed doctrine of justification.

If you’ve been struggling to get a handle on these issues, or if you’re eager to see the doctrine of justification reshaped in light of contemporary New Testament research, I’m sure you’ll be very grateful for Mike’s balanced and irenic approach.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the post. I have been waiting on this one to come to Amazon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, it's good to know this is available now. I've read some of the essays, and they're extremely helpful.

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