Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness?

ISBN: 1581344473
ISBN 13: 9781581344479
By: John Piper

Check Price Now


Biblical Studies Christian Christianity Currently Reading Default Reformed Theology Soteriology Systematic Theology Theology To Read

About this book

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.

Reader's Thoughts


Piper makes a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to defend the traditional view of imputation. I think he fails to either understand or adequately deal with any of the insights or observations of N.T. Wright.


In polemic against Robert Gundry, Piper has written an exegetical defense of a specific and vital point in the doctrine of justification: the imputation of Christ's righteousness to believers as the ground of their justification before God. Piper's whole exegesis is thorough and compelling. His treatments of Romans 3:24-26 and Romans 5:12-21 are particularly good. I think anyone who has caught a glimpse of how important this discussion is will greatly appreciate this book.

Joseph McBee

This book was a challenging read, not one you can sit down and skim or read through quickly. It demands careful thought and consideration. It also demands--in my case at least--re-reading paragraphs and in one case and entire chapter, in order to "get it." I imagine that someone with a theological degree at the undergraduate level at least, would have an easier time with this book. I am in no way suggesting that only people with a background in thelogy read this book though. On the contrary, books like these help to define and defend our faith and should be read by those who identify themselves with Christ as His people.

Stephen Willcox

This may be the best book I have read on justification! Concise, rich, deep, and solid theology on the issue of justification! I still remember my mind basking the glory of the imputation of Christ righteousness to me after reading this book. This may be my favorite work by Piper!

Andrew Mcneill

Wonderfully clear and exegetically precise discussion of how we should understand justification and imputed righteousness. Piper argues that we should not abandon the imputed righteousness of Christ because, while not explicitly spelled out in Scripture, the doctrine is akin to that of the Trinity: exegetically defensible and best understood by a cumulative look at various passages which strongly support the idea that Christ's righteousness is imputed to us. Well worth reading in light of both historic (from some strands of Brethren teaching) and contemporary (from the New Perspective people) challenges to the doctrine.


Piper attempts to defend the doctrine proper known as the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness, specifically challenging the position of Robert H. Gundry as laid out in a series of articles for Christianity Today. He erroneously lumps several other scholars with Gundry and treats their respective works as though his response to Gundry sufficiently refutes them all. Piper quite fairly represents Gundry's position throughout. While it would be a great idea to read Gundry's work (as well as the varied works of the numerous other scholars mentioned), one need not do so in order to understand the arguments. The end result: Gundry wins the battle in Piper's own book. Piper's defense is strained, and he unnecessarily stretches his interpretations of seemingly-pertinent New Testament texts much too far. A more effective response would have been one of silence, of ignoring Gundry. Instead, he has done Gundry a service.

Douglas Wilson

Pretty decent.


A very important book, especially in light of the current debates on justification, imputation, penal substitution etc...

Mark A Powell

Are Christians justified by an internal or external righteousness? Piper presents a thorough, step-by-step exegetical argument that leaves only one clear interpretation: Christians are justified by the imputation of an external righteousness, the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Just as Adam’s sin is imputed to all of humanity, Christ’s righteousness is imputed to all those who are in Him. Piper’s work brings much needed clarity to one of the most critical and necessary components of Christian faith.

Mark Nenadov

This a very impressive work! This is the first John Piper book I have read, and all I can say is WOW!A lot of "punch" is packed into such a little book (just over 100 pages). Some readers who are not keen on indepth exegesis may find it a bit overwhelming, but if they stick with reading it they will not be disappointed.I heartily recommend this book.

Jay Risner

Well done


This is a good book. However, it is an exegetical exercise, not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination.

Christopher Waugh


Dwight Davis

Piper's exegesis was surprisingly weak in this book. I love John Piper, and he is honestly probably the reason I'm a Christian. But I think he may be wrong on Justification and Imputation. Wright's exegesis of all of the passages here seem to be much more true to the text and much less blinded by a tradition than Piper's same exegesis.


First read 12/29/02

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *