Posts Tagged ‘N T Wright’
Guy Prentiss Waters offers a historical, exegetical and theological assessment of N. T. Wright’s latest work on justification. Here is his conclusion:
Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision is the most comprehensive and current statement of N. T. Wright on justification to date. Justification is largely a restatement of Wright’s views, with some amplification and rhetorical refinement. It is not a detailed textual and theological interaction with his Reformational readers’ concerns and objections. To the degree that Justification summarizes and synthesizes nearly three decades of Wright’s publications on justification, the book is useful to the student of Wright’s work. To the degree that Justification has failed to engage criticisms of Wright’s formulations on justification in such a way as to advance the discussion, the work is a missed opportunity. What is clear from Justification is that the fundamental concern of Wright’s Reformational readers remains unallayed and firmly in place: Wright’s views on justification have parted company with the teaching of the apostle Paul.
Professor Waters has been at the forefront of addressing the flaws in Wright’s argument in recent years, and the whole thing is worth reading carefully (although it is, to me, the sort of piece that is easier to read on the printed page than in the distracting environs of the interweb).
There are a couple of things out and about at the moment about the New Perspective.
At Reformation 21, J. R. Daniel Kirk’s attempt to synthesize the NPP and the historically Reformed perspective in his book Unlocking Romans is reviewed by Guy Waters. Waters concludes:
Unlocking Romans is a striking piece of the post-NPP academic landscape. This book serves as a reminder to the church that we may never assume or take for granted the exegetical foundations of our teaching and preaching. In each generation, these foundations must be articulated and rearticulated in the face of new questions and fresh challenges to biblical teaching. If readers want to see how a scholar attempts to synthesize the NPP and Reformed theology, then a study of this work will repay the effort. In the end, Kirk’s efforts do not rescue the NPP from the charge that the NPP’s understanding of Paul’s doctrine of salvation compromises Reformed theology.
Scott Clark reminds us of Charles E. Hill’s review of N. T. Wright’s What Saint Paul Really Said. Was Paul of Tarsus the Real founder of Christianity? Hill states at the end of his review:
The whole coherency of justification as meeting the problem of the wrath of God against sin, and therefore as being absolutely grounded in the substitutionary atonement by Christ which diverts that wrath from us, is lost or obscured in the membership interpretation. These things may not yet be denied by Wright, but there is no intrinsic connection between them and justification, as I see it, in Wright’s view.