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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Yeshua1, Oct 31, 2012.
In that the Church redefined and misunderstood pauline justification past 2000 years?
Wright points out a common mistake and then runs with it to the other extreme.
What mistake does he correct though?
He doesn't correct anything he just muddies the waters in a different direction. Wright errs in that he asserts that Paul's view in Romans has traditionally been solely interpreted as only being about justification by faith.
I reject that. In fact I challenge the honesty in making such a statement. I know of no one who I have ever heard preach the gospel or had discussions with that has ever seen Romans in that singular light. And if his assertion was honest then it makes him very inept.
Wright goes on to head in a different singular purpose with books like Romans and insists
Romans is not singular in either direction. In fact you can clearly see both in Romans. Anyone asserting one way or the other (which almost never happens) is just ignorant.
So he Sees Paul as presenting a theology for Corporate election/salvation of the church, not individuals than?
I have not seen that anywhere.
I love Wright... I'm not sold on all of his views, but he has opened our eyes to the fact that we have greatly misunderstood 2nd temple Judaism and its affects on NT studies. His quest work is 2nd to none, though that is not really the issue you are dealing with. But there is overlap when comparing him as a historian.
My pastor would say that Wright does well w/ the bigger picture stuff. But when it comes to smaller exegetical stuff, others like Piper are better. However, I read Justification and felt like Wright made some good points.
As far as his views on covanental nomism (not his term btw), he would talk more about covenant membership for Gentiles being a big part of justification. I personally don't see his views as being so divisive as other theologians. Most people don't like him b/c he doesn't interpret justification in the terms of imputed righteousness, although he is willing to admit that such a thing exists if we have to have it (he gives some biblical justification).
I think Wright does well to bring out the fact that in Romans Paul is continuing the Israel-story in his letter. That is often missed in evangelical exegetical practices. That view does affect interpretations of Romans.
He also makes the astute point (b/c he is being an honest historian) that the Lutheran understanding of justification was borne much out of the comparison of the pharisees to the RCC. If we are not jaded by that fact, then it is easy to see why justification by faith alone became the central tenet to the gospel around the reformation. Wright points out that that gospel is more comprehensive than that, and that justification may relate more to Gentile/Jew relations rather than a right standing before God (but not less than that).
I also need to mention that I am reading through Piper's sermons on Romans for my morning devotions, so I am getting both sides of the debate in some way or another.
I am one of the "rare" non-cals that enjoys NT Wright. I cannot speak intelligently about most of his positions, but the few papers that I have read of Mr. Wright, I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from his clear, articulate thought.
That is one thing you have to hand the man... he is probably the best, most articulate writer in theology today. And he speaks the same way he writes... absolutely amazing and extremely clear as well as cogent.
No matter how eloquent Wright may be, he errs seriously on imputation. That our faith becomes our justification is different than the imputed righteousness of Christ. One of our former elders starting reading Wright. Not only did it lead him to cross the Tiber, it eventually lead him to atheism. Wright's theological system keeps him from personally swinging to that extreme, but others are not quite as prepared for the rug to be pulled out from beneath them by re-interpreting one of the most foundational doctrines of the Church.
That is so strange because after reading Wright, my faith has only been strengthened.
Also, I do not believe Wright ever says anything to the effect that "our faith becomes our justification." I'm not even sure I know what you mean. As I said, if people actually listen and read Wright rather than those opposing him, they might get a clearer caricature of him and understand his thoughts and teachings.
Oh, I have read him. The total shakeout from Wright and Sanders et. al is that they believe our own faith becomes our righteousness (i.e. justification), not the imputed righteousness of Christ. Christians who know what they believe are less likely to be lead to doubt fundamental doctrines such as imputation. But not everyone is so equipped, and Wright's new Pauline perspective can be unsettling.
Wow... imputation is now a fundamental??? If you have read him, you would know that he does make an allowance for it.
However, and this is where I'm sure you've not only missed Wright but also scholars like Carson and Piper who would speak of a future justification via works, Wright points to passages such as Rom. 2:13 that seem to teach justification through works not faith. Wright wrestles with this (not faith as righteousness but works as righteousness) along with other scholars who advocate imputed righteousness in justification. They pretty much all come to the same conclusion: that our present justification before God which is made by faith will only be confirmed in a future judgment which is declared by works. Thus the concept of future justification of a future judment based on works relates future justification less to a judge's declaration of innocence and more to vindication or validating the past judicial declaration. Works do exactly that for the believer. They validate and vindicate us in the day of judgment. Thus Paul can say that we are justified/vindicated by our works, because he is referring to a future judgment wherein the same God who justified us by faith is the same God who sanctifies us through faith leading to works.
I think you have misread Wright extremely bad since I can't think of one spot where he equates faith to righteousness. Further, you seem to have no idea what Wright understands Paul to mean in the phrase "righteousness of God". So reading Wright is one thing. Interacting and understanding him is wholly another.
I find it extremely offensive to say that Wright's perspective of Paul's justification requires equipping and that it could deconstruct someone's faith in Jesus. I think that example above has much more baggage and issues than were laid bare. To blame Wright is extremely ridiculous because Wright has done much in the way equipping and renewing the orthodox historical Jesus research as well as resurrection research. He has battled w/ the liberals and critics and the like on their level of academic and historical rigor. And many would argue that he has won the day.
My advice, get over the fact that he doesn't articulate imputation the way you would like. I would further advise you to really look into the issue that imputation is a fundamental doctrine. At best, it is only an inferred truth related to something more important, i.e. justification. But he or I could just as easily argue that you have missed the crucial point of Paul's interaction with the Israel story and thus have missed a major part of Paul's message to the Church.
FYI... this is all coming from a person who is on the fence on both sides of the argument. I see valid points from both views. It is rare that I actually find someone who rejects one view that has actually taken the time to read the various views on the other side. I don't want to come down on a particular view until I have had the time and research to formulate a better opinion of all options. But I will defend those who seek to defame a brother and scholar par excellence.
Most of the people around here who don't like Wright have never taken time to read Wright.
Of course that goes from most of the ad hoc rationalizations we see about any number of topics. The NPP (which, btw JesusFan/DaChaser1/Yeshua1 you've asked and had answered at least twice before) is a good field of research. One of the things that is missed by most evangelical and especially the fundamentalist conceptions of soteriology is the corporate aspect of salvation.
We need people like Wright to press us on our particulars. He is the most formative theologian and will be read for generations to come. You just can't dismiss his work by trying to misidentify his understanding of aspects of soteriology. Those who do, generally, have never read Wright deeply.
Romans 2:13 = James 2:18
Would Wright agree? I have not read him much.
How do you know?
How can you tell me what to do when you have not even decided your own position?
You'd be hard pressed to find evidence to convince me that Piper preaches a works justification.
Ditto. I have read most of Piper's books and have never read even a hint of a works based justification.