October 22, 2017

Recommended: Dialogues with Tom Wright

By Chaplain Mike

As we drove around Chicago last week, and then home to Indy on Sunday, we had the privilege of listening to some of the messages from the recent Wheaton Annual Theology Conference—“Jesus, Paul and the People of God: A Theological Dialogue with N.T. Wright.”

If you would like a good overview of Tom Wright’s perspectives on Jesus and Paul, the messages he presented in Wheaton would be a good start. Clink the link above and you can download them, as well as other talks from the conference that interact with this premier NT scholar.

Wright has never said an uninteresting sentence, and you will find his teaching stimulating and spiritually encouraging. In my view, his greatest contribution has been to “re-Israelize” the New Testament. No scholar I’ve read or heard has explained the Biblical story in as coherent a narrative as the one Tom Wright has set forth. I am convinced that he has done the church a great service in helping us know the real Jesus of the Bible, rather than a Jesus of our own making, one who so often arises from our own conceptions and traditions. Likewise Wright’s presentation of the Apostle Paul and his theology.

(Yes, I know Wright is a lightning rod. Yawn. Don’t bother casting stones in your comments unless you’ve read his writings or listened to these talks and can show intelligent interaction with his actual teaching, rather than with the caricatures that abound.)

In days to come, I will be listening to the talks given by other participants. You will receive reports on it all.

Comments

  1. Mike,

    I have no doubt youknew I was going to respond to this.

    I would love to hear what your thoughts are on N.T Wrights advocacy of a ‘New Perspective on Paul [NPP]. It is a silly label made by Dunn I know but what it teaches is just plain wrong and an attack on justification by faith (a foundational doctrine, that I believe you hold to….maybe….).

    I see it, as does any “reformed evangelical”, as a incorrect view of justification.

    • Matthew, listen to him or read something he’s read (with an open mind)- Bishop Wright is quite clear that justification is by faith, but he does define his terms a little differently than you might be used to, and he dislikes the term imputation. But if you can bring yourself to listen/read with an open mind, putting aside for a moment what you *think* you know he’s saying, you will find that the idea that Wright teaches salvation by works rather than by grace is a misunderstanding. He might be coming at it from a different angle, but he’s not the heretic you think he is.

      • I agree, Jenny. Matthew, my overall perspective is that Wright has not taken away anything from the traditional doctrine of justification. Instead, he has added a whole, rich historical context in which to understand it.

        Have you read his books? Because if you haven’t, I can’t and won’t carry on an argument about his positions with you.

        • As someone who at first refused to read Tom Wright seriously I have had to rethink how I understand Paul and the gospel in some powerful say since I began to read him. Everything within me has reacted against this since I was quite “sure” I already had the most basic truths figured out well enough, thank you. Then I allowed Bishop Wright to come into my world and I began to read him with great care. Chaplain Mike, your response to Matthew is thus correct but I do understand how Matthew feels and why he says what he does here. I tried to address this myself in an April 28th blog on the N.T. Wright Conference at Wheaton at http://www.johnharmstrong.com. Wright is NOT denying the gospel but he is challenging how we have understood and used the idea of imputation, which is not itself the gospel. The problem with this is rather simple. I was one of those who insisted that the very heart of the gospel was found in this idea of imputation. I believe Wright answers this idea very well if you really bother to read him. He never denies the essential message of saving grace in Christ the Lord received through faith and repentance, not works or any other means. Wright, in other words, is a friend to the gospel. I have a friend who was at the Wright event who is no longer Protestant. He said, after it was over, “I never realized how deeply Protestant Tom Wright really was until this event.” That is a very revealing comment since Wright’s greatest enemies are some Protestants. Wright models the Protestant view of Scripture with incredible effectiveness. This is why so many of us have learned so much from him because he takes us right to the message of the Bible itself, not to some strange or odd theology rooted in culture or modernity.

          • Thanks for your valuable contribution, John. What I fear most in talking about Wright is that we will get a boatload of responses from people with strong opinions but who have never actually listened to Wright.

    • IMO, reformed evangelicals need to examine and revisit dikaiosunê and pistis christou. So do Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. I’m glad that Wright and others have caused attention to be drawn to these terms. Even if one finds that one’s position does not change, reading the arguments is time well spent. Reading Paul in the original Greek will also cause one to ponder these things.

    • For his view on justification, read his book, Justification. Excellent and informative!

  2. Dan Allison says:

    After walking away from Christ for 15 years, it was Bishop Wright’s “Simply Christian” that brought me back — by the grace of God — and taught me what Christianity and the Church are truly supposed to be. I had walked away precisely because of the legalism and schizophrenic theology so rampant in American churches today. Bishop Wright conveys the JOY of walking with Christ, and he does it infectiously, in marked contrast to the hair-splitters who insist on arguing militantly about the tiniest theological points.

    Anyone looking for an antidote to toxic American fundamentalist dispensational theology should read “Surprised by Hope,” and you will be. The Bishop is a great gift from God to His church in this generation, and Wright’s nay-sayers and critics — as far as I care — can just go sit in the corner, sulk, and wonder why their churches are shrinking and their children are leaving the faith.

    • Agreed. No Biblical scholar has been so refreshing to my mind and spirit as Tom Wright.

    • I read SBH two years ago. I didn’t really get it. I do always enjoy Pastor Doug Wilson (Blog and Mablog) constantly riffing Wright (tag: NT Wrights and Wrongs)!

      The one line in that whole book that stuck out to me was:
      “As far as I can see, the major task that faces us in our generation, corresponding to the issue of slavery two centuries ago, is that of the massive economic imbalance of the world”

      That is just nonsense. Wilson does a much better job of deconstructing it than I could ever do…

      • Jonathan Hunnicutt says:

        Hmmm.

        I guess the savior did not teach us to pray “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Except of course Jesus meant spiritual debts, right? He could not have meant regular debts. Even though that is the most literal reading.

        I guess the savior did not turn the tables of the temple over. You know what the Greek word for bank is? “Table.” And the Temple functioned as the central bank of Judea. Nah, Jesus was just mad because they were selling religious trinkets, and his action in the temple isn’t really connected to the rest of his ministry or his death.

        I guess Pilate who ordered Jesus to be crucified wasn’t a procurator, a Roman treasury title, who’s main job was make sure the tax money flowed in, and it was his duty to get rid of anyone who got in the way of that.

        Perhaps, just perhaps, Nedbrek, when a scholar who has spent his lifetime studying the scriptures in the original languages and context says something that seems like nonsense, you might pause and at least wonder what caused him to say such “nonsense.”

        • The major task which faces our generation is the same one that has faced every generation:
          the preaching of sin, the Savior, the Cross, and the Resurrection.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            As a New Order Redeeming and Perfecting the entire Cosmos?

            Or as just “Ees Party Line, Comrade”?

          • I don’t believe the Church can perfect anything. That will require the coming of our Lord. Postmillenialism was a perfectly valid hypothesis – one which has been disproven by history.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            And replaced by an “It’s All Gonna Burn” Premillenialism that went just as far out-of-balance in the other direction.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Further thoughts re Pre/Post-Mil:

            At least Post-Mil encourages long-range planning and striving for a goal. All too often Pre-Trib Pre-Mil is just sit there clutching your Fire Insurance/Escape Ticket keeping your nose squeeky-clean to pass the Rapture Litmus Test, and waiting for God to beam you up. When “The World Ends Tomorrow” and “It’s All Gonna Burn”, don’t expect any daring of great things or long-term goals.

            From an optimistic Bright Future to a pessimistic Dark Future; you’ve seen this happen in the American mainstream as the Post-WW2 optimism of The Fifties gave way to the pessimism we’ve been marinating in ever since. Like the trend in Lit-SF, from Bright Future to Dark Future to No Future. A process which usually ends in insanity or Nihilism. Christian coat of paint or not.

            You also see this difference in the Post-Mil Social Gospel which lost the concept of personal salvation and its Pre-Trib Pre-Mil successor, a Gospel of Personal Salvation and ONLY Personal Salvation.

            The tipping point seems to be the trauma of World War One. Before, you had Victorian Post-Mil optimism; as Chesterton put it, “The Victorians thought history ended well, because it ended with the Victorians.” Then that Post-Mil optimism got slaughtered in the trenches of WW1, compounded by all the other fallout WW1 set into motion — the Great Depression, WW2, the Cold War, Xtreme Islam, etc — and everybody just gave up completely, It’s All Gonna Burn, Let It All Burn, I’m just waiting for God to Airlift me to Fluffy Cloud Heaven any minute now. (Any minute now… Any minute now…)

        • To specifically address your point (and Wilson does it much better, I heartily recommend him):
          We are to forgive _our_ debts. For the Church to pressure others (especially unbelievers) to forgive _their_ debts is nonsensical. Why should they listen to us on this matter, when they will not obey on weightier matters (like salvation).

          The problem of third world debt (and it is a huge problem) is wrought with sin. Sin on all sides. Justifying the poor man’s sin is not helping anyone. Punishing the rich man is not helping anyone.

          From an economic point of view, enforced (or pressured) forgiveness of debt is only going to worsen the problem. Future lenders will attach additional risk to any loan (they might be pressured to forgive again). That will drive up the cost of money.

          His solution is wrong in every way – Biblically (the far more important one – both in what our focus should be, and how we should go about it) and economically.

          • Jonathan Hunnicutt says:

            First, my comment last night was bit too snarky. Sorry.

            Again, I don’t know Doug Wilson all that well, so perhaps you can correct me here. But, I find it humorous that Doug Wilson is arguing against debt forgiveness. Isn’t Doug wilson part of the group of reformed theologians who think that Mosaic law should be the law of the land? Perhaps I misunderstood him, but if so, how can he consistently argue for the application of the Mosaic law for all of our lives and argue against Jubilee? ( I will admit, I thought Doug’s critique of Wright’s “Justification” on his blog was probably the best from the reformed camp. He seemed to actually understand Wright, but disagree and make some good exegetical critiques as well.)

            What it comes down to is this: does salvation have an economic aspect? Or is salvation only “spiritual?”

            Here’s an analogy: Most liberal theology acts as if Jesus went to Jerusalem to die during the festival of Hanukkah, when the Jews rose up and set themselves free from their pagan oppresors and instituted a just society (Sorta). Thus Jesus expected his death do something similar, and we are supposed to follow in his footsteps.

            On the flipside, conservatives are obsessed the atonement aspect of Jesus’ death, how Jesus death makes us right with God. Conservatives act as if Jesus chose to die on Yom Kippur. Thus, the most important thing is “getting right with God.” Salvation has been defined as at-one-ment with God. (Ironically, English is the only language with the word “atonement.”)

            But Jesus didn’t choose to die on Hanukkah or on Yom Kippur, Jesus chose to die on the Passover, and at his last supper used passover imagery to explain what his death would mean. Jesus expects his death to be like the Exodus, a salvation that is political, economic, social, and yes (of course!) spiritual.

            Again, try to connect the dots. Why did Jesus come preaching a kingdom? Why did Jesus tell his disciples to forgive debts? Why did Jesus turn the tables/banks over in the Temple (the central bank of Judea)? Did Jesus’ ministry have a coherent focus, and the various parts of it were interconnected?

            If salvation all about getting right with God, then why didn’t Jesus choose to die on Yom Kippur, but instead chose to die on the Passover?

            Again, extending my analogy, most reformed folks sense that Wright is not acting like Jesus died on Yom Kippur, so they assume that Wright is acting like Jesus died on Hannukah like the dirty stinking liberals, when Wright is in fact observing that Jesus died on the passover, and wondering what it might mean.

          • I personally don’t think this particular passage has anything to do with economics in the first place—“forgiving debts” is just a reference to the OT law for releasing from debts or slavery every few years. It’s a metaphor for liberation from sin or spiritual bondage.

          • I agree that conservatives tend toward radical individualism. Christ died for the Church (collectively) not for individuals (although the Church is made up of individuals, and grows incrementally by individual conversions).

            I don’t agree with Wilson on everything. His idea that Jesus is “Lord of all nations – right now!” is very confusing to me. How can unbelievers manage God’s kingdom? I find it makes a lot more sense to see that Jesus’ reign comes after the end of the current age.

            I think we have very different angles… I see the forgiveness we give to other as an expression of grace (a reflection of God’s grace).

            God’s kingdom is not like the kingdoms of the world, but consists of servitude and suffering.

            The overturning of tables is not reformation of the world system, but condemnation of those who do not put God first. The bold preaching of the truth – of sin and repentance and faith.

        • Quixotequest says:

          Well said, Jonathan.

          From listening to Wright’s speeches, it seems you are highlighting what he would say is evidence of the disconnect between Kingdom and Cross. I liked how Wright developed the critique that pragmatically it usually plays out that Christian faith communities emphasize one or the other, but not the interplay of both.

  3. Go to the “Soul Sort Narratives” discussions on Jesus Creed throughout March and April of this year.

    I will cut to the chase. Justification, in many instances, has been turned into a law, just the opposite of its intention. This is no new revelation by contemporaries. You have turned it into an act of will and accepting right belief. It’s like trading bondage in the world for bondage in the church. Only devotion to truth(“I am the ……”) will do. Being able to give the doctrine a restatement to convey its meaning may not sound right to you because your too churchified.

  4. amazing grace says:

    thanks Dan for the book suggestion. I am one of those who hasn’t walked completely away from Christ, or rather I prefer to say, ‘the church’. In reality I have nothing against Christ but I have to be honest and say that I’ve always struggled with the church and I’ve been to many kinds & denominations. Even a couple of years ago I decided to give it another try and quit being so hard on it because as many christians like to say, ‘no church is perfect’ so I thought it was just me. But sadly I’ve gone from cynicism in the beginning, to maybe-just maybe if I change my attitude it will be alright, to where I am now and that is despair and hopelessness that things will ever change. I just don’t feel like I can go along with acting like the way we are doing things is fine and this is the way it’s supposed to be done. My hopes is that by reading some of Wright’s books that I will not completely abandon the faith.

  5. Josh T. says:

    There are two contemporary writers that I started reading in 2007, both of which resonated with me on similar and different levels–Michael Spencer and N.T. Wright. I’m very thankful for the influence of both of these brothers in recent years.

    I like the big picture of the Lordship of Jesus that Wright presents, elevating Jesus beyond merely “MY Lord and Savior” to be shown as the world’s true Lord. I like how Wright’s–he would argue Paul’s–definition of God’s righteousnes is not just about moral perfection, but it is intimately connected to God’s faithfulness to his promises to save the world through Israel, so that God’s love and his goodness are not separable attributes, but are forever intertwined. I find his arguments for recognizing Jesus of Nazareth as the God of Israel refreshing.

  6. I’m kinda new to Wright. Saw a couple youtube clips of him and was very impressed. Anglican theologians have been extremely influential on me recently as I’ve been up to my eyeballs in Robert Webber, C.S. Lewis, and J.I. Packer. I was raised in a fundamentalist Calvary Chapel type of evangelicalism, and and currently in the SBC, but the perspectives of the Anglican church on evangelical theology are always refreshing to me. I find it to be liberating, empowering, and all those little adjectives that describe what it’s like to rediscover how wonderful it is to belong to Jesus.

    Thanks for the links, I will listen to it. Hopefully I can get to those Wright books on my reading list a little sooner than later.

    BTW, not to be divisive, but I’m also a Piper fan. Could somebody explain for me a summary in BRIEF on what Piper’s beef with Wright was all about?

    • Andrew Cowan says:

      In brief, Piper understands justification to be a declaration that one is in the right with God because they are united to Christ by faith and thus have their sins forgiven and Christ’s lifetime of perfect obedience imputed to them. At the final judgment, the believer’s good works serve as the evidence that one truly had faith and thus possesses Christ’s righteousness.

      Wright understands justification to be a declaration that one is truly a member of God’s covenant people. Faith is the initial evidence of covenant membership (which God brings about through what Paul terms the “call” wherein one is brought by God from unbelief to faith), and in the final judgment, the believer’s good works serve as the evidence that one truly possessed God’s Spirit and thus is a true member of God’s covenant people.

      The crux of the dispute is the nature of the divine court-case. Is it a case determining which people are truly God’s people (Wright) or a case determining whether or not one possesses the requisite moral credentials for acceptance by God (Piper)? Wright claims that Paul’s doctrine of justification is a re-worked version of the Jewish expectation of vindication in the civil trial Israel v. the nations over the claim that they are the true people of God; Piper claims that Paul’s doctrine of justification has to do with the criminal case of God v. humanity wherein humanity is charged with crimes against divinity (Vanhoozer’s lecture explains this fairly well).

      I hope that was brief enough.

      • Thanks Andrew, that was helpful.

        My first reaction is, “can’t it be both?” It looks like both of these understandings could be connected if one made the effort.

        • Josh T. says:

          I think that’s correct, to some extent. The interesting thing about this issue to me is that some (most?) of Wright’s arguments are not against the truth of these particular doctrines (as stated, for example, by Piper) per se. What he does seem to be doing is saying that the theological terms we use (e.g. “justification”, “righteousness of God”, etc.) are not used the same way by the biblical writers, particularly Paul. I have heard him say he agrees with certain ideas, but that you cannot get to those ideas by using scripture the way many people traditionally do.

          In other words–in my opinion–I think at least some of the disagreement with Wright that some teachers express is not because Wright clearly disagrees with a particular point of their theology, but because he’s undermining their method of arriving at said theology or perhaps demonstrating that there has been a misfocus on one particular aspect of theology over and against other ideas of equal or higher biblical importance.

          A few of examples:

          -Wright’s focus on corporate/covenantal aspects to God’s redeeming work as the starting point for talking about personal salvation (not the other way around).

          -Wright focusing on Paul’s definition of “the gospel” as not the same thing as “justification by faith”, but as the announcement that “Jesus, the crucified and risen Messiah, is Lord”, or abbreviated, “Jesus is Lord” (Wright’s arguments from both Jewish and pagan use of the term “gospel” is quite interesting). This announcement (as a call to allegiance) is the means by which the Holy Spirit inspires faith in the hearers. So “the gospel” itself is not the explanation of how one attains personal salvation, but the proclamation/presentation of the Savior himself.

          -By separating out “justification by faith” from the Pauline gospel, Wright says that justification by faith is what has happened to the person who finds him/herself believing the gospel announcement about Jesus, so that justification is the effect of the Gospel announcement, and not the Gospel itself (Romans 1:16).

      • Wow thanks! You just saved me 1300 hours of reading 😛
        It does seem, at the surface, an extremely minute difference. Both men are very insightful and have taught me much, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be at a theological level to even decide between those two, or, perhaps siding with Sean, decide if a decision is even necessary.

      • Andrew Cowan says:

        On the question of whether they can both be right, it depends on what you mean and to what degree. They cannot both be right about the question under consideration in the divine trial, nor about what Paul means when he uses words like “righteous.” If you get into their exegesis of the key passages, you can see better where they differ in ways that cannot be harmonized. Nevertheless, at the theological level, there is little that one says positively that the theology of the other automatically rules out. To reach a harmony, however, certain points would have to be given up by one party or the other. On this score again, I highly recommend Vanhoozer’s lecture at the Wheaton Theology Conference available at the link in the original post. I think that his way of putting things together takes the best insights of both and holds them together in a biblical way. Unfortunately, given his 45 minute slot, Vanhoozer did not have time to develop his suggestions at the exegetical level with any depth, but I think that his proposal opens the right doors to the way forward for those who deeply appreciate both Piper and Wright.

  7. Jennifer says:

    The conference was great, and Wright’s talk on Friday night on Jesus was incredible. (Also, Kevin Vanhoozer and Jeremy Begby were terrific.)

  8. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    “Re-Israelizing?”

  9. I’ve nearly finished listening to Wright’s talk, and it sounds like John Wimber wrote the sequel to it with his book Power Evangelism (1986). I.e., the church is to proclaim and demonstrate the reality of the Kingdom by “doing the stuff” that Jesus did.

    “For this reason the Son of God appeared: to destroy the works of the devil.”

    • And interestingly (contra D.A. Carson and others), he argues for the distinction in meaning between phileô and agapaô in John 21. I.e., Wright says it shows Jesus “coming down” to meet Peter at the level at which he was capable of following Jesus – the philos level vs. the agapê level.

  10. Quixotequest says:

    “Surprised By Hope” in particular was a powerfully transformative text to me, helping me to celebrate Easter Hope by grounding my belief and “expectation” in the present-but-not-yet reality of a redeemed-and-yet-redeeming creation. If you can work through some quirky English idioms and the need for a better copy editor I think I would recommend “SBH” as an amazing place to begin growing by way of the gift God has given us through Tom Wright.

    One of my favorite moments was the reorienting my perspective from us needing to “do” God’s work, but rather that God is doing His work — which often happens to include us. It’s caustic to popular Evangelicalism while still being profoundly Evangelical.

    Another one of his perspectives that really shaped me was an essay in which he helped dismiss the popular “Bible-as-a-paper-God-of-final-authority” to persuade how God is our final authority who uses the Bible to shape us through a progressive narrative like the acts of a play, where the final act is the post-Biblical-yet-grounded-in-the-Bible act in which we presently live. But that’s one of many wonderful essays to be found at http://www.ntwrightpage.com

  11. I like how he talks about holding together the Kingdom and the cross. This idea that the crucified one is also our king is what defines Christianity.

    He gets a lot of flack for his views on justification, but I think he offers a more complete picture of atonement.

  12. KF Peters says:

    Here’s a link to a Michael Heiser lecture on Jesus and the Old Testament.

    http://vimeo.com/8070319

    worth the time if you want a 1st century Judaic reading of Christ

  13. David Cornwell says:

    I’ve been listening to Wright’s Wheaton lectures. He is very challenging in more ways than one. It takes me some time to digest what he’s saying therefore loath to comment quickly for fear of making a fool of myself.

    That was a wonderful conference and so good to be able to download, listen, and watch.

    • Quixotequest says:

      Wow, I loved these three lectures. I’d like a transcript, especially the Paul one, that I could read thru several more times and mark it up with notes. I’d be happy to dig deeper into the Jesus lecture, too. I love to listen to Tom speak, and I think he speaks even more enthusiastically engaging than he writes — though I’m not gonna stop reading his books — but there is still a lot of denseness of information that is not easy to internalize by just hearing his lecture spoken.

  14. Two things caught my attention. The first was the idea that Pauls writings, instead of being theological treatises, were simply and primarily letters advising people how to do church. This ties in nicely with some recent studies of my own, which are leading me ever more to the relational aspects of the scriptures, and especially the gospels, and away from the dogmatic.

    The second thing that jumped out at me had to do with Paul’s use of Roman terminology, especially having to do with the idea of citizenship. We treat the idea of having citizenship in heaven as meaning we are looking forward to going there. But the illustration of the retired troops, who were spreading Roman culture by relocating to other cities, is compelling, and ties in nicely with Jesus’ comments about being salt and light.

    All in all a most interesting little talk. My only regret is that the book he’s working on, on which the talk was based, is probably about 2 years out. Oh well, good things are certainly worth waiting for.

  15. This dichotomy between the atonement and the kingdom is interesting in various contexts, and he comes from his own background, also. However with Luther there is not this split. I enjoyed the talk but to some degree Wright with his bridge-building is being vague about both the atonement and what kingdom living looks like. I listen very hard for him speaking about forgiveness of sins and I don’t hear him talking about it much.

    I think Luther has it very nicely in the catechism, which we are to ponder daily, starting with the ten commandments and then the creed, the sacraments, etc… commandments, sin, forgiveness, trying again, living under Christ in his kingdom, meeting him here and now in the sacraments, etc. Read the whole thing, but the centerpiece is the explanation to the second article of the creed:

    “I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death,

    that I may be His own and live under Him in His KINGDOM and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.”

    No split here. Just real forgiveness of sins for real sinners and I life under Christ according to the commandments… coming back daily to the forgiveness of sins.

    The way he deals with the “for me” could be more helpful. Many people do understand how Christ’s death is for them. As an emotional response this would be insufficient. As he complains lots of people have all kinds of emotions. Christ’s death is “for me” because of his word and assurances and indeed his death; why else would he die for the world, if it were not for me. The “for me” should not be glossed over.

    There was an interesting discussion about justification and Wright, that many might have seen:
    http://www.sbts.edu/resources/chapel/chapel-fall-2009/panel-nt-wright-and-the-doctrine-of-justification-2/

    I think this discussion is relevant.

  16. Wright also speaks about Luther’s two kingdom theology. I think he is totally in left field with this.

    Uwe Siemon-Netto wrote a good book about this: The Fabricated Luther.

    An important document related to this is: On Temporal Authority and to the extent to which it ought to be obeyed. (Luther). This is where the theology is at. The State should not meddle with the church. The church should not expect to set up an utopia on earth via the state. The individual Christian of course is a member both of Christ’s kingdom and the state and gets put into awkward positions at times.

    http://tquid.sharpens.org/Temporal%20authority.htm

    There is a lot of good stuff in Wright, but some things he could learn to understand better.