Why Wright is Misrepresented!!!

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R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
Nonsense.

In the writers he mentions and in the hands of others whom he does not mention, Tom Wright receives far better treatment than Tom himself gives to Luther and Reformed/confessional orthodoxy.

Take Guy Waters' book for example. Guy did his PhD at Duke with Richard Hays, one of the premier proponents of the NPP. A PhD program normally takes 5 years. This blogger complains that the critics haven't spent enough time reading the NPP. Isn't 5 years long enough? This wasn't, and please excuse me here, a seminary PhD done in a friendly environment where the advisor is patting one on the back so "go on." Academically, this was a rigorous, serious environment where Guy was challenging views on which many reputations now hang.

Further, this blogger ignores a numnber of critics who are not confessionally Reformed but who make some of the same criticisms such as Simon Gathercole and Mark Seifrid.

Some of his critics such as Dick Gaffin (and Steve Baugh in the forthcoming volume) and Mike Horton (in another forthcoming volume) concede that some of what NTW is helpful. Will he make the same concession to Luther and Reformed orthodoxy? On anything? Ever?

I think that this blog is a perfect example of a hermetically sealed mind. There is no argument, no evidence that could persuade this person that Wright is wrong. The argument, therefore, is not really with the Wright partisans, such as represented by this blogger and the FV boys. They've made up their minds. The argument is for the heart, mind, and soul of those who think Tom Wright is a hero because he is winsome, Oxonian, "evangelical", and still believes in and defends the historicity of Jesus and the resurrection.

rsc
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
Very much agreed Dr. Clark. It seems as though many FVers have been praising this blog post on their blogs and message boards because they feel the same way about their 'guys' (Wilson, Leithart, Smith, Wilkins, etc.). The blogger himself seems to also have leanings that way.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
I am not defending NPP or FV or any or all of its adherents, proponents, admirers. I am not very familiar with Dr. Waters at all (and have no immediate possibility of developing such familiarity). But there was this in Reformation21:

J&NPP argues that the New Perspectives on Paul (NPP) are soteriologically incompatible with the confessional Reformed theology expressed in the Westminster Standards. The NPP´s and the Westminster Standards´ understandings of the doctrines of grace cannot be reconciled. Perrin argued in his review that J&NPP had misunderstood the NPP. "œWe have in Justification and the New Perspectives an author," Perrin claims, "œwho seems to be demanding a methodology from his opponents they would never be interested in using, demanding answers to questions they are not interested in asking, and demanding language they simply do not speak." Had J&NPP been more sensitive to NPP proponents´ methodology, questions, and language, Perrin suggests, it might have been in a position to conceive "œhow implications from NPP research may build upon, modify, challenge, or subvert the confessional stance forged by the Westminster divines." (Of course, J&NPP had no intention of subverting the Westminster Standards. It sought, rather, to uphold them as summaries of biblical truth). Perrin offered examples from J&NPP which he believed illustrated his criticism.
(I removed footnote indicators and the bolding is mine)

Now here is my question, as one who has not and does not have access to the original exchanges between Perrin and Waters:
Does Waters not misread Perrin here? To me it sounded like, if Waters is quoting Perrin at all fairly, that Perrin could be paraphrased:
If J&NPP had paid attention to what the NPP actually said he could have come up with some accurate information on how it relates to and in some cases subverts the confessional understanding
And Waters seems to take that as a fundamental misreading of him, as though he was on board with a confessional revision project (which he obviously is not) --which from the quote doesn't seem to be Perrin's point at all. From that quote it doesn't seem that Perrin is denying that, at least at some points, NPP is unconfessional; just that Waters failed in identifying what those points actually were.
Or am I the one misreading stuff?

[Edited on 8-30-2006 by py3ak]
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Originally posted by py3ak
Does Waters not misread Perrin here? To me it sounded like, if Waters is quoting Perrin at all fairly, that Perrin could be paraphrased:
If J&NPP had paid attention to what the NPP actually said he could have come up with some accurate information on how it relates to and in some cases subverts the confessional understanding
And Waters seems to take that as a fundamental misreading of him,
Ruben,
I think Waters' parenthesis is simply Waters' comment at that point in the synopsis. Namely, that Perrin wrote as though "any truly fair-minded person would be sympathetic with us as we seek to use the past and even challenge it as inadequate and in need of revision at key places," when Waters' was obviously desirous to defend the integrity of certain past formulations. The implication being that ,"the reason Water's is critical is because he isn't fair." If this is indeed what Perrin states, Waters rightly recognizes this as "poisoning the well" tactic. Perrin appears to be trying to preempt criticism from anyone who doesn't buy into the fundamental approach he and others like him are promoting.

Tha's how I read it anyway.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
Thanks, Bruce. That seems like a charitable and respectable way of reading Waters at this point, that I had not thought of.
Although I guess that means I have to uncharitable towards Perrin! I shall suspend judgment until such time as I have more materials to form an opinion withal.
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
In May I had the pleasure of attending a conference north of London where GPW was speaking on the NPP issue. Having spent that time plus 5hrs in a car with him driving down to the conference I can say without hesitation that GPW knows his stuff!!

As for NTWright...for the past 4.5 years I have been living in Newcastle which thankfully is not under the yoke of NTW! The NPP is simply that...new, a novelty. Steer clear.
 

tewilder

Puritan Board Freshman
You can find it here: http://alastair.adversaria.co.uk/?p=309#

[Edited on 8-12-2006 by Romans922]
Everybody "misrepresents" Wright. When a liberal anthology of critical essays was put together Wright said he was misrepresented. At this year's conference of, I think it was the Society for Biblical Literature, Wright was again complaining that the scholars there were misrepresenting him.

So why does Wright get "misrepresented"?

Easy. He writes a huge amount of hasty material, some of it semi-popular, in which his expresses himself ambiguously, vaguely and inconsistently. Further, he lacks the background in some disciplines such as the history of theology to really know what he is doing.
 

KenPierce

Puritan Board Freshman
How can you trash the patron saint of the "evangelical" highbrow intellectuals?

Why, he's an Anglican! He's a bishop! And he believes in the resurrection!

:lol: :lol: :rofl: :lol: :D :lol: :rofl: :D :rofl: :D ;)
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Dr. Carl Trueman very much disagrees with NTW.

Now, he once was giving a paper at some scholarly shindig and so was NTW (and many others of course). They were put together in the same hotel room. I think he'd be the first to tell you that NTW is no dunce. Wrong, but no dunce. And he'd probably not want to be going off with the "heretic" blasts either.

In another of his Ref21 posts, he spoke about another time he was over in Germany for something similar, and spoke with some German liberal. Now that old guy--CRT would probably question whether he was saved, given his theological committments. However, that old historical theology scholar thinks NTW has no idea what "St. Paul Really Said."

The liberals know their Bibles, and don't believe them.

The evangelicals don't know their Bibles, and have a theology to match.
 

tewilder

Puritan Board Freshman
In another of his Ref21 posts, he spoke about another time he was over in Germany for something similar, and spoke with some German liberal. Now that old guy--CRT would probably question whether he was saved, given his theological committments. However, that old historical theology scholar thinks NTW has no idea what "St. Paul Really Said."
The Germans don't believe that NT Wright has done the detailed exegetical work to justify his interpretations.
 
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