Discuss Theology



Justification and Drivenness

May 28th, 2007

Wow, it would do some of our brethren well to listen to Tim Keller speak about the relationship of sabbath to justification.  A lack of understanding about justification leads to drivenness.  If we don’t know we are justified, we will be driven people looking for significance in what we accomplish.

“Luther on Christ’s death and substitution”, Trinitarian Theology, N. T. Wright

March 20th, 2007

I have been re-reading Luther on Galatians.  I read this the other day as he comments on 2:20:

“Faith also must be purely taught:namely, that you are so entirely joined to Christ, that he and you are made as it were one person; so that you may boldly say, I am now one with Christ, that is to say, Christ’s righteousness victory and life are mine.  And again Christ may say, I am that sinner, that is his sins and his death are Mine, because he is united and joined unto Me, and I to him.”

More theology from Mars

March 3rd, 2007

A good friend sent me this link.  This reminds me of my undergrad days studying under post-bultmannians.

Resurrection not essential? (More of Those Wacky Academics!)

by Dan Phillips

Remember the lively discussion we had about whether being able to wave around a doctoral sheepskin entitles one to a “pass” from the First and Second great commandments? (I argued for the “No” position.)

Today, I’m really wondering how those leaning in the opposite direction will, mm, “explain” the latest emulation from everyone’s favorite oil-and-water man, the Bishop of Durham, the Right Hon. Rev. Dr. Nicholas T. Wright.

Offered yet another opportunity to sound the trumpet with a clear and hard-hitting witness to the waiting world, here’s what Wright told The Australian (h-t James White), emphases and bracketed comments added:

“I have friends who I am quite sure are Christians who do not believe in the bodily resurrection,” he says carefully, citing another eminent scholar, American theologian Marcus Borg, co-author with Wright of The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions.

“But the view I take of them – and they know this – is that they are very, very muddled. They would probably return the compliment.

“Marcus Borg really does not believe Jesus Christ was bodily raised from the dead. But I know Marcus well: he loves Jesus and believes in him passionately. [My advice: don’t even try to make sense of those two statements. That way lies madness.] The philosophical and cultural world he has lived in has made it very, very difficult for him to believe in the bodily resurrection. [In other words, Jesus and Paul were both wrong: some folks really do have a legitimate pretext for unbelief (John 9:41; 15:22-24; Romans 1:20; 3:19).]

“I actually think that’s a major problem and it affects most of whatever else he does, and I think that it means he has all sorts of flaws as a teacher, but I don’t want to say he isn’t a Christian. [Well, I guess if you don’t want to say something, and you’re an academic, you don’t have to… is that it?]

“I do think, however, that churches that lose their grip on the bodily resurrection are in deep trouble and that for healthy Christian life individually and corporately, belief in the bodily resurrection is foundational.” [But they can still love Jesus and believe passionately in Him… while calling Him a liar about arguably the central vindicating event of His earthly ministry.]

With our other recent discussion of Dynamic Equivalent versions fresh in my mind, I guess I have to allow that perhaps the good Bishop is reading out of a DE version of 1 Corinthians 15:14 that reads, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is not as helpful as it might be, but still healthy and foundational; and your faith is in deep trouble, though you can still love Jesus and believe in Him passionately.” Perhaps it also re-envisions verse 17 as really meaning, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith may still be passionate, and you can stop worrying about your sins.”

One must seriously ask the question: if Wright has a view of Christianity that pencils in the bodily resurrection of Jesus as an optional add-on, and embraces Marcus Borg as a “passionate” lover of Jesus… can there possibly be any doctrine that isn’t optional?


N T Wright watch

February 8th, 2007

The Anglicans are reeling from recent statements Wright made about the church of England.  It is amazing that virtually anything this man says, sets someone alight.

Most Recent N T Wright Post

January 23rd, 2007

Bill Wilder (who made a helpful series of lectures on N.T. Wright a year or so back) writes a WTJ article on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, arguing for a position that closely approximates to that of James Jordan. Wilder arrived at his position independently of Jordan, but cites Jordan favourably in the footnotes.  [from http://alastair.adversaria.co.uk]

More on Christianity Today, Trinitarian Theology and N. T. Wright

December 18th, 2006

I am somewhat stunned that more has not been discussed about Wright’s statement concerning Jesus ignorance of his own Deity.  To find it in a letter to an editor in Christianity Today is disturbing at best and a much broader statement about where we are in theology in the church today.

Christianity Today, N. T. Wright and trinitarian theology

December 16th, 2006

Mid-December 2006, letters to the editor of Christianity Today highlighted something for me  that to  this point was unknown about Wright. Randy Newman of Christian Leadership Ministries’ Academic Initiative wrote of his disappointment with James Sires’ review of Wright’s book “Simply Christian”.  Newman’s main criticism was aimed at page 119 where he addresses Wright’s statement, “I do not think Jesus knew he was divine..in the same way that we know we are cold or hot, happy or sad, male or female.”

Wow, that says it all doesn’t it.

Bonhoeffer and N. T. Wright

December 6th, 2006

I remember speaking with a German friend in seminary in the early 1970’s.  We agreed that there was a Dietrich Bonhoeffer cult in seminaries at that time.  In many ways, rightly so.  After all, Bonhoeffer was a martyr– a man worthy of respect, emulation and high regard.  N. T. Wright represents the contemporary example of this in some ways.  There are two differences however: 1.Wright is still alive and  not a martyr 2.History has not passed its verdict on Wright [and his thinking] yet as it has done with Bonhoeffer.  As I write this though, it is somewhat surprising to see that good evangelical seminaries are so quickly jumping into the parade to follow the Wright band wagon.  No question, Wright is a giant.  He is the contemporary theological Bonhoeffer–whether this is right or wrong depends on ones perspective of the parade.

Jesus, the Gospel of John and 2nd temple Judaism

November 29th, 2006

Working through John again reminds me of how different Jesus was in showing them that he really was the fulfillment of so much of what they held dear.

N. T. Wright and the New Testament Book of Hebrews

November 17th, 2006

I taught Hebrews recently in Canada.  I found an interesting discussion by Wright in The New Testament and the People of God on the hero list in chapter 11.  He states that the book of ben Sirach had a similar list exalting the high priest.  Interesting that the high priest is exalted in ben Sirach and Hebrews tells us that we have a better High Priest forever.

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