Bishop N. T. Wright-ism

Discussion in 'Federal Vision/New Perspectives' started by yeutter, Jul 3, 2017.

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  1. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I appreciate that he holds to that truths, and just wished that he would go all the way and hold to an inerrant bible.
     
  2. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    His view that we as the new Community of the faithful. and has part of the new creation, should be showing off unity, so do think that he just might be willingly to let some positions get watered down to achieve that end goal, but that is just my opinion.
     
  3. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I am just trying to understand just what makes his NPP so appealing to so many, as it would seem to be denying in some fashion the common held views of the atonement of Christ , as seen by the reformers such as Calvin.
     
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    We are the new community and we should show unity. I don't think he is willing to let doctrines get watered down. You would have to show quotes from him where he does that. I think he is wrong, but he isn't saying that.
     
  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Perhaps, but infallibility is a more powerful concept than inerrancy. The following statement is inerrant:

    "My name is Jacob."

    It's not infallible, though. I can think of a number of scenarios where my writing could be wrong (I could be drunk, under CIA mind-control, etc., and perhaps write something else).
     
  6. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    We must paint him correctly and not like the TNIV scenerio.
    It is attractive due to its claims; that this is the most original reading. It is not since a lot of ripped put of its context anyway. Also, by us Presbyterians because 'covenant' is made out a lot in the system. However, that is just a ploy with no actual covenant theology. Instead the NPP backgrounds what the Bible foregrounds (either Doug moo or JI Packer originally said that).
    I am not trying to defend it by any means I just want it faithfully represented unlike how we are by them.
     
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Once you step outside of Reformed circles, he is seen as generic conservative evangelical. Only more suave. And British accent.
     
  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    My introduction and reading of Him as been through Baptists authors, and then reformed ones, and several of them have taken him to task mainly his views on the atonement aspect of the Cross of Christ.
     
  9. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    He seems to be building a theology though to unite what he sees as the Community of he People of God, and as he sees Baptism as the entry way into that Community, and sees Justification more as a Catholic Infused righteousness mode, that is why to me at least seems to be going back to Rome in some fashion.
     
  10. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't see him using infused righteousness. In fact, he explicitly rejects a lot of the metaphysics (Aristotelian ontology) that makes that possible. Rome sees grace, etc. as a quasi-metaphysical substance. Wright, though wrong elsewhere, does not.
     
  11. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Thanks for your various postings on Wright, as his writings are quite hard to follow at times. He seems to know that if he states fully what he holds with, that will produce for him a lot of push back on certain issues.
     
  12. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    I have two comments:

    1) Read Paul and the Faithfulness of God before jumping to conclusions based on what you've heard.

    2) Some of his attacks are on deliberate straw-men, which I think is a rhetorical strategy to make his more accurate criticisms of liberal scholarship seem less one-sided. 90% of the times he attacks "Protestantism" it's either a gross caricature or else an attack on historic liberal Protestantism (Tillich/Bultmann) which read Luther/Calvin through an existentialist lens.

    3) Wright also has a great deal of historical ignorance. He is maybe the best scholar of Second Temple Judaism and Pauline studies writing today, but past the Bar-Kochba revolt, his historical knowledge seems to be limited to broad outlines rather than in-depth readings of primary texts or the history of doctrine.

    4) On the 10% where we disagree, half the time Wright is referring to what Paul meant in Paul's context. That is, he doesn't seem open to the idea that Paul might well have valid applications, say, in the context of 16th century debates about imputation. In many of these cases, he thinks the debate is either irrelevant in general, or that Paul's context is so different that Paul can't be said to apply.

    5) On the other 5%, I am happy to simply disagree with Wright (on election, for instance).
     
  13. yeutter

    yeutter Puritan Board Senior

    This discussion has given me the context I needed to understand N. T. Wright. Thank you. I continue to be mystified as to why he is viewed as the latest and greatest thinker by people who should know better.
     
  14. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Because a lot of what he says is correct. His stuff on gnosticism is pure gold (especially when he publicly implied that Harvard University was gnostic, and he was speaking at Harvard at the time). And the British accent helps.
     
  15. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Good one!
     
  16. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    The simple basic truth to me is that in the main area of pauline Justification, either NT Wright got it right, and Calvin and others did not, or else he got it quite Wrong.
     
  17. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    He has good stuff on the resurrection and historical Jesus, and the times in which He lived, and that the Bible is a trustworthy guide to us, but still see his take on Pauline justification as not quite right.
     
  18. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    For one, he is probably the best expert on Paul and the world of the New Testament writing today. Also, he's a very good writer who is very quotable. Not to mention the British baritone.

    I guess my thought is that I don't expect Paul to have a fully-fledged Protestant-Augustinian understanding of justification, any more than I expect him to have a Chalcedonian Christology. I think Wright is wrong in thinking that Paul contradicts the classic reformed position on justification, but he does have a point insofar as the problems that Paul addresses are not precisely the same as the problems that Luther and Calvin were dealing with.
     
  19. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I think that he does miss the main argument Paul was engaged in though, as his theology is how a sinner gets justified and reconciled back to God by the Cross, and not really concerned with how to identify those who are already saved, as Wright seems to have it being.
     
  20. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    I think I would disagree with that somewhat. That's one question, but for Paul, the larger question has to do with what we reformed would call Covenant theology and how Jesus fits into the story of Israel and the place of the Covenant people of God in God's plan to restore fallen humanity and creation as a whole. For Paul, the question isn't just what we are saved from and how that works, but what we are saved for (cf. Eph 2:8-10). The question of how the individual sinner can stand before a Holy God is very important (contra Wright) but its answer lies, to a large extent, in the answer to the larger question about the person of Jesus and His unique role in salvation history.
     
  21. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I do not think though that was/is the main emphasis of Paul though, as he seemed to really trying to get across to us how we as sinners can be reconciled back to God.
     
  22. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Through Jesus, Israel's messiah, the only faithful Israelite. The reconciliation of both Jews and Gentiles and their grafting in to the new people of God (which is really the old people of God) is the main concern of Paul's epistles.
     
  23. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    True, but his main emphasis in Romans and Galatians would be just how the sinner becomes part of that Israel, how to be individual justified before Holy God.
    Then the aspects of God fixing the curse on creation, and transformation of earth at time of Second Coming. Weights seems to be placing this backwards.
     
  24. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    I'd be careful about that individual focus. It's more a question here of how the promises are received. The Judaizers are insisting that the old way, the keeping of Torah, is still what marks the covenant, whereas Paul argues that it is faith which marks us out as covenant people united to God in Jesus, Israel's messiah who alone has kept Torah. Stressing the individual here is probably anachronistic, strictly speaking. That's not to say that it's an invalid implication (I think it's valid) but the curious thing is that if it's what Paul is after in this context, then it took the church until Augustine to get the point.

    Here's the situation: Paul is in a largely pagan context. He's a Pharisee, which means that he understands the rest of the world to be under Divine judgment, while Israel, though currently oppressed, is waiting for restoration, and that restoration will take place if Israel is faithful to Torah. The encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road changes this paradigm to an understanding that Israel's test has already happened and only Jesus, Israel's Messiah, has been judged righteous. Not only that, but Jesus is God incarnate, a messiah beyond Israel's wildest expectations.

    What this means is that the new community of Israel is composed of those who are in the Messiah by faith, because Torah has been fulfilled by Israel's Messiah. But it is still supposed to be distinctive. Christians are not to live as pagans. But because so many in the new community are new to monotheism, there's a lot of confusion around about how exactly this works out. Do we celebrate Passover? Do we observe kosher? Do we still have to be circumcised? These are the questions at the forefront of the minds of Paul's listeners, and they're the questions that Paul is trying to answer.
     
  25. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I would still see the main question that Paul answers though is how a sinner can become saved now by God, and the old Judaism and its sacrifices are no longer in force, as we are now under the way of grace alone faith alone in the Messiah who has now come.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  26. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    David,

    Go back and edit your post above so that it makes for good grammatical sense.
     
  27. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Thank you
     
  28. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Saved from what, though? And for what? For Paul, sin itself is the condemnation of God on the nations, and it turns out that God's own people are no better (Romans 1-3). Therefore we are saved from sin and for righteousness. It isn't simply that we are free from sin and condemnation, but that we are free to accomplish the mission of kingdom-building and blessing the nations for which Israel was intended. We are pronounced righteous so that we may be confirmed in righteousness in the New Heavens and New Earth. The point isn't that the Pauline corpus doesn't have material relevant to the question you are asking (it does) but rather that salvation, for Paul, has a purpose. The people of God have a purpose, as the firstfruits of the new creation.

    It's the question of how to be the New Covenant community of the Messiah (i.e. the Church) that Paul is primarily concerned with. He is writing to particular people in particular circumstances dealing with particular issues. That's not to say that the reformers were wrong to cite Paul for their conclusions (they weren't) but that we shouldn't assume that the questions being asked in the 16th century were the exact same questions as Paul was asking. I really don't think this ought to concern us overmuch. If there's a reformation sola that is front and center in Paul, it's solus Christus.
     
  29. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I do not see that Kingdom building as he does though, as think that the main thrust is getting saved and right with God, and then going out to be witnesses, as most Kingdom building will be done by Jesus at His second coming.
     
  30. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Then why does Paul spend all that time in Ephesians "creating a new body out of Jews and Gentiles," if the goal is just getting saved?
     
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