What’s the big deal about Paul’s theology of Imputation? A Review.

Jesus' Blood and Righteousness

As the Associate Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Biblical Theology, Brian Vickers is certainly the type of man needed to write a volume on a subject such as Paul’s theology of imputation. In  Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness Brain Vickers does an excellent job of sorting through the centuries of debate and discussion regarding Paul and the meaning of his theology. 

In recent years various streams of New Testament scholarship have risen which has set a challenge against orthodox ideas of imputation. Among the discussions today, certainly John Piper and N.T, Wright have taken center stage on the issue and have served as catalysts to further study and a growing investigation into the biblical texts. One can walk into a Christian bookstore and find a myriad of volumes on this subject. Some volumes will serve to muddy the waters and lead to slight confusion, and as I found out, volumes like the one Vickers has written serves to provide a fresh breath of air on the subject.

Vickers begins with a survey of Historical Theology and looks at such towering figures as Martin Luther and John Calvin. He also draws upon various strains of Reformed Theology in order to provide a 30,000 foot view on the ideas surrounding imputation. He also draws on those outside of Orthodox Reformed Christianity and seeks to round out the survey by drawing its conclusion on the discussion which is finding itself in the Church today.

After tracing the historical trajectories Vickers begins where one would typically begin; Abraham. He moves on from there and dives into Romans, Corinthians, and finishes off with a synthesis of Paul’s theology. The conclusion wraps up this volume with the fact that without this imputation of righteousness there would be no hope for us or anyone for that matter. He agrees with the “giants of the faith” when they say that Christ’ blood and righteousness are our hope.

Without singling out the texts and ripping them from their contexts Vickers does an excellent job of taking difficult texts and leaving them where they should be. He doesn’t rely solely on one type of method of investigation but draws upon centuries of methodology and writings to bring us this single, readable volume. I appreciate the effort it takes to introduce the Church to topics as difficult as this. Brian Vickers has brought us a volume which clears the waters of Imputation and allows guys like me to stand firm in faith with a deeper understanding of what Christ has accomplished on the cross.

Jesus Blood and Righteousness: Paul's Theology of Imputation
Brian Vickers / Crossway, 2006
Review Copy From Crossway Publishing 

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