Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fighting over Paul's legacy

NT Wright is currently involved in something of a scrap with those defenders of protestant orthodoxy. It is always interesting watching people fight over an issue by publishing books, usually a year or more after the one which they are taking issue with. This video is the promo for Wright's latest book, mainly in response to John Piper's critique as well as his other critics. But these are by no means the only people involved in the debate. Personally I think this is a highly inefficent way of doing things. They should hold a big conference and get together and thrash the whole issue out over a week or so over some quality tea and scones. Failing that you can always follow other people's conversations about it, for instance this, or this, or this, or even this. Which reminds me that I need to finish my conversation with this blog community's own defender of protestant orthodoxy Phil Baiden soon. So I'll try and fit that in this week. But back to the video, great words from Wright, appalling cheesy sound track (why oh why???), and the whole thing is totally undermined by soft focus video fade ins of the Anglican faithful going about their business somewhere old in Britain. But here is my question for the defenders of protestant orthodoxy, does it honour the reformers more to cleave unerringly to their doctrines or to honestly search the scriptures they held to be the final authority even if that risks disagreeing with them occasionally? Second question, who gives a rip about honouring the reformers anyway? God didn't send a theologian, God sent Christ; God didn't give one systematic theology to his people to follow, he gave the Holy scriptures (yes, plural!) to them. Anyway this waffle is over :-), peace out!


  1. Oh... my... goodness... that... soundtrack...

    how do things like that happen???

  2. I know it is amazing how people can have so much critical discernment in one area of their life and ZERO in another!! :-)But then i guess we all have our blind spots...

  3. What does anyone really know about Paul?

    It is all conjecture.

    And what does "Paul" have to do with anything whatsoever?

    Especially the fact that you are suffering and hell-deep full of fear---fear of death. And the fact that the body-mind that you now identify as "you" is going to disintegrate and die.

    In fact you could die in the next moment.

  4. Thanks for that contribution Anon, I think you have got me wrong. But if you want a serious answer to those questions then by all means email me and I would love to chat about these things.

  5. It's interesting how we always read something through the lens of a paradigm that we are comfortable with - or for that matter, just one that we've always been told. Reading the epistles through a Reformation/Enlightenment lens is very popular in protestant circles, but this doesn't make it completely right.

    I can understand the rise of post-modernism as a swing the other way. Interestingly, the church often seems to have a lot of inertia to new/radical ideas. It's good to challenge one's paradigms from time to time, and - at the risk of sounding emergent - engage in the conversation.

  6. Defender of Protestant Orthodoxy? Gulp.

    I've posted something about how equipped I am for that role on my blog, Jon.

    It's not an attack on you, just a clarification meant in a brotherly spirit.