Tom Wright and James White on Unbelievalbe Radio

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SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
I wish they had more time to discuss the topic. The 90 minute program wasn't nearly enough to do the topic justice.

I have to be honest. I still don't exactly get what N.T. Wright REALLY believes. It's almost like he's talking about the same old thing we've always believed but using slightly different words. Ugh.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Planning on listening to it eventually. I listened to the show last week when he was talking about it. His analysis of N.T. Wright's "mono-chromatic" view of Paul is very apt. It's pretty much what D.A. Carson's analysis of the various NPP writers is. They take an idea that's true and then make it the "end all" in terms of how everything else is to be understood so that all the other aspects of the Gospel are re-cast to be seen in the light of their emphasis.

I've come to realize, over the last few years, that many errors stem from taking what is, in itself, a good thing to reflect upon but it is then pressed as the sole way to view everything and so other aspects of Revelation are muted.
 

travstar

Puritan Board Freshman
I wish they had more time to discuss the topic. The 90 minute program wasn't nearly enough to do the topic justice.

I have to be honest. I still don't exactly get what N.T. Wright REALLY believes. It's almost like he's talking about the same old thing we've always believed but using slightly different words. Ugh.
Yeah, I said as much to Dr. White. This interaction was about two hours or so too short. I would, however, say almost the opposite in regards to terminology, i.e., he uses Reformed language to espouse a differing idea, especially in regards to imputation. The concepts he promotes rather remind me of the energies/essence distinction of old.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would, however, say almost the opposite in regards to terminology, i.e., he uses Reformed language to espouse a differing idea, especially in regards to imputation. The concepts he promotes rather remind me of the energies/essence distinction of old.
Yes, actually that more accurately reflects the idea I was trying to get across. Uses the same lingo to say something else.

Unfortunately, I don't understand exactly what the "something else" is that he is actually trying to say!
 

travstar

Puritan Board Freshman
I would, however, say almost the opposite in regards to terminology, i.e., he uses Reformed language to espouse a differing idea, especially in regards to imputation. The concepts he promotes rather remind me of the energies/essence distinction of old.
Yes, actually that more accurately reflects the idea I was trying to get across. Uses the same lingo to say something else.

Unfortunately, I don't understand exactly what the "something else" is that he is actually trying to say!
This is why I felt the interaction was too short, though it was beginning to be helpful toward the end. Wright used a phrase that needed nailing down, namely that Christ's work places us on "Resurrection ground." This was one of the phrases I had in mind when I introduced the Eastern energies/essence distinction. Wright would never say that we absorb the energies of God, nor would he use the term "deification." However, underneath the sheepish clothing of his rephrasing, I see those ideas lurking.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm getting the idea that he's basically just repackaging some old heresies/errors. For example, the idea that the Atonement doesn't effectively save anyone, but merely makes them saveable.
 

travstar

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes, but not in an Arminian or Pelagian way. It really is splitting hairs. I see the repackaged idea more akin to the idea of theosis. In my current estimation, it's a different type of synergism, but synergism nonetheless, unless one can come along and show me otherwise.
 

travstar

Puritan Board Freshman
The true part is that we are Abraham's seed, members of the covenant community, and of the nation of Israel here on earth.
 

MarieP

Puritan Board Senior
Wright seems to have found a nice facet and declared it to be the whole diamond.
He actually sounded a lot more "both/and" in this audio. I don't have the exact quote, but he explicitly said that you can't separate soteriology from covenant membership. Also, in response to James White's question about how he'd counsel a believer who was doubting his salvation, Wright said he'd urge them to keep looking to Christ and trusting in His work on the cross (I thought he'd add "and resurrection," but he didn't!)

I would have loved to hear interaction on Romans 2 and 2 Cor. 5. I think Dr. White holds to a hypothetical view of Rom. 2, which I once thought was the only Reformed position. I'm not certain what he believes about the works by which we will be judged at the last day- whether they are our deeds done by the Spirit's power and cleansed in Jesus' blood, or if they are Christ's "active" obedience.

But even John Piper has said:

But is Romans 2:13b a hypothetical statement? When Paul says, "Not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified," does he really mean: They would be justified if there were any, but there aren't any "doers of the law." Or to put it another way, Does "doers of the Law" refer to sinless, perfect law-keepers? Could Paul call a person a "doer of the law" who sins, but who loves God and loves the law and hates his own sins and confesses them and casts himself on the mercy of God revealed in the law itself?

I think he could. And I think he does. So I believe verse 13 means: Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the ones who will be acquitted at the last judgment will be those who 1) love God's law, and 2) depend on his help to live according to the truth that they have, and 3) trust God for his mercy when they stumble.
And Tom Schreiner:

"Justification refers to God’s verdict of not guilty on the day of judgment (Rom 2:13). God’s eschatological verdict has now been announced in advance for those who believe in Jesus Christ. Those who have been justified by the blood of Christ will be saved from God’s wrath at the eschaton (Rom 5:9). God will announce publicly to the world the verdict of not guilty on the last day, though this verdict already stands for those who belong to Christ Jesus. The forensic and legal character of the term ‘justify’ derives from the verbal form if sdq in the OT. Judges are to declare the righteous innocent and condemn the wicked (Deut 25:1; 2 Sam 15:4; 1 Kings 8:31-32:2; 2 Chron 6:23; Prov 17:15; Isa 5:23). Judges do not ‘make’ anyone righteous. They pronounce on what is in fact the case – if they are righteous judges. In other words, the verbal form belongs in the forensic realm. For example, God will pass judgment on whether Paul is acquitted before the Lord on judgment day (1 Cor 4:4). When Paul says that the doers of the law will be justified (Rom 2:13), a declaration of righteousness is intended. God will pass judgment as to whether people are righteous, whether they have done what is right and good. The uniqueness of the Pauline gospel surfaces in the truth that God declares those who are sinners to be in the right before him if they trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation" Magnifying God in Christ: A Summary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, Baker, 2010), 99.
 
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MightyManfred

Puritan Board Freshman
One thing we've been told repeatedly in my church, that I can't help but think upon whenever I read the term, New Perspectives ...

Here's what we've been taught: If, in studying Scripture, you come up with something new that nobody in the church has thought of before; you're WRONG. This is solid ground from which to stand against dispensationalists and NPP folk. God is not in the business of hiding Truth from His people so "smart men" can enlighten us.
 
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