Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Introduction to N.T. Wright & the New Perspective

There are several ways to be introduced to N.T. Wright, as well as the "New Perspective on Paul." For Wright, you could start by reading some of what he's written. For a broader sweep of the whole of the New Perspective, The Paul Page provides both sides of it. But I don't recommend this.

My own recommendation is Phil Johnson's critique of Wright's popular level book, What Saint Paul Really Said. His critique of Wright is compelling, since he utilizes Wright's own words and bases his critique on Scripture. He also makes some useful distinctions between Wright and other members of the NPP, while at the same time showing what they have in common. Unlike some others, I found his review even-handed and thoroughly Evangelical.

Understand one thing: this isn't just about a bunch of Reformed guys sitting around and trying to defend Luther from modern criticism; it's about redefining the gospel in a way that says that the Bible doesn't talk about how someone gets into heaven, but only about "who belongs at the table." The personal dimension of Justification is erased.

Luther isn't being defended because he is Luther. He is being defended (as it were) because he was the visible proponent of Justification by Faith, the exact tenet that is under attack by the NPP.

More to come...


Kim said...

Well, this just goes to show the size of the rock I live under, because I've never really known much about Wright. I've heard his name bandied about, but I've never really known. Thanks for posting this; I've been checking out the links you provided.

Gummby said...

I think there are a lot of people in your position (not under a rock, but not knowing much about Wright). That, along with an article in a major newspaper (even a business one) by a book editor from the Christianity Today stable is what prompted me to post in the first place.