"Give him space to stand and a full auditorium, and he can describe the grand sweep of God's redemptive design like nobody else. I really wish he would stick to that, instead of misunderstanding, misrepresenting, misconstruing, and misinterpreting the positions of numerous non-existent theologians." - Doug Wilson
Definition of Justification written by N.T. Wright for the New Dictionary of Theology Edited by David F. Wright, Sinclair B. Ferguson, J.I. Packer:
1. The question of justification is a matter of covenant membership. The underlying question in (for instance) Gal. 3 and 4 is: Who are the true children of Abraham? Paul's answer is that membership belongs to all who believe in the gospel of Jesus, whatever their racial or moral background.
2. The basis of this verdict is the representative death and resurrection of Jesus himself. In view of universal sin, God can only be in covenant with human beings if that sin is dealt with, and this has been achieved by God himself in the death of his Son (Rom. 3:24-26; 5:8-9). Jesus takes on himself the curse which would have prevented God's promised blessing finding fulfilment (Gal. 3:10-14). The resurrection is God's declaration that Jesus, and hence his people, are in the right before God (Rom. 4:24-25).
3. Justification thus establishes the church as a new entity, the renewed Israel, now qualitatively distinct from Jew and Greek alike, transcending racial and social barriers (Gal. 3:28). The sharp edge of this point, for Paul, was the conviction not only that pagan converts to Christianity did not need to become Jews in order fully to belong to God's people, but also that the attempt to do so was in itself a renunciation of the gospel, implying that Christ's achievement was insufficient or even unnecessary (Gal. 2:21; 5:4-6)...."
Justification: God's declaration, from his position as judge of all the world, that someone is in the right, despite universal sin. This declaration will be made on the last day on the basis of an entire life (Romans 2:1-16), but is brought forward into the present on the basis of Jesus' achievement, because sin has been dealt with through the cross (Romans 3:21-4:25); the means of this present justification is simply faith. This means particularly, that Jews and Gentiles alike are full members of the family promised by God to Abraham (Galatians 3; Romans 4).
- N.T. Wright (Mark for Everyone pg. 233).