Wright's magnum opus has many admirable strengths in method and content, including its attempt to overcome "either-ors" in describing Paul's theology, its analysis of how Paul reworked Jewish theology around the Messiah and the Spirit, its focus on both justice and the church, its consistent interpretation of Christos as "Messiah," its (cautious) embrace of "theosis," its nuanced defense of counter-imperial themes, and its response to certain persistent criticisms of Wright. However, questions arise about certain aspects of the book, including the meaning of the undefined phrase "Paul's mature thought," the descriptions of other approaches to Paul, the assessment of the role of the cross, the analysis of the ethical implications of Paul's conversion, and the claims about participation in Messiah's rule. The most significant concerns for this appreciative reviewer involve the book's treatment of justification. Although Wright argues for the inseparability of justification and participation in Paul's soteriology, his juridical, declarative account of justification, with an emphasis on forgiveness, is less robust, comprehensive, participatory, and transformative than Paul's actually is. Ironically, Wright does not seem to recognize fully how Paul has reworked justification around the Messaih and the Spirit. He seems to miss some of the logical consequences of his own arguments about adoption, baptism, and dying/rising with Christ, while also offering an untenable interpretation of baptism as an act of divine reckoning. Wright fails to see that if the mode of justification has radically changed (faith as sharing in the Messiah's faithfulness—so, rightly, Wright), then its substance has also changed.

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