Day: June 16, 2009

the New Perspective’s pretty Reformed, Wright?

It’ll end up taking us back into Catholicism! I presume you’ve heard this accusation levelled against the New Perspective on Paul and N. T. Wright specifically (actually, the common pairing of ‘Wright and the New Perspective’ doesn’t have heaps to recommend it, if you take Wright’s own self-positioning at face value).

What’s interesting is that people who’ve read a lot more Tom Wright than I have keep suggesting that far from turning us all into Roman Catholics, he’s fundamentally Reformed — maybe even too Reformed!

Ben Witherington III says as much (h/t to Matt), and doesn’t pull any punches:

[A]t the end of the day, Wright is taking a very traditional view of the doctrine of justification, namely that Paul, when he uses the dikaios/dikaiosune etc. word group is largely referring to forensic righteousness, right standing with God established by grace and through faith in the dying and rising Messiah Jesus. Further, in very Reformed fashion he wants to argue that in Romans and elsewhere what the phrase ‘the righteousness of God’ refers to is God’s covenant faithfulness to promises he made. Sounds like a good traditional Reformed reading of Paul to most of us.

I wouldn’t necessarily endorse every detail of Witherington’s account or his criticisms (I prefer Bird’s typically incisive comments).

The internecine nature of the dispute perhaps explains why there’s so much heat being generated for so little light…

an invitation

A number of people commented on the ‘density’ (I think that’s a nice way of saying ‘incomprehensibility’) of my Issues in Theology presentation on the doctrine of providence and climate change. I certainly found it difficult to condense my material — and leave lots of it on the cutting-room floor.


In view of this, I’m inviting you to help in hammering out a more well-founded opinion, as I try to lay out my case in a more leisurely and comprehensible way. But rather than hijacking this blog — which Natalie and I share — I’ve created another space devoted to opening up a conversation exploring the shape and texture of a genuinely evangelical environmentalism.

Thus [drumroll please], let me unveil … my new ‘side blog’, An Inconvenient Invitation. You can see the titles of the most recent posts in the top right-hand corner of the main page. Why not join the conversation?