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Justification by Faith and Judgment according to Works

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Ville Suutarinen
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By analysing Tom Wright and John Piper, the dissertation studies the old dilemma of justification by faith and judgment according to works from an ontological perspective. The paper investigates why in the writings of Wright and Piper good deeds or faith-works may or may not carry qualitatively sufficient ontological weight in justification and/or judgment in which God takes into consideration inheritance of his people in Christ's representativeness and human sinfulness inherited from Adam. This analysis defines the ultimate criteria for one to be able to stand in front of God in judgment or what is the climax of the judgment. By evaluating the cores of the authors' soteriological-ontological systems, and by showing qualitative and processive problems of the systems, the study ends up arguing that through a qualitative process of judgment, three goals are reached. (1) We argue that in the judgment process we have actual responsibility for our sins, and, hence, pro Wright, faith-works/life led have actual weight in judgment; yet, through comparing the ontological qualities of Christ and the righteous people of God in judgment, which we call the comparison theme, God nullifies the quality of the saints' ontological state, nullifying the quality of works and boast simultaneously, and, thus, pro Piper, Christ's imputed quality for God's people stands as the climax in the end; (2) the imputation of Christ's righteousness, including forgiveness, via the comparison theme and the Adam-Christ representative headship motif, is introduced as an integral part and the climax of the pre-advent judgment; and (3) a possible soteriological-ontological framework for a solution for the dilemma of justification by faith and judgment according to works is proposed.