Friday, June 02, 2006

Right Again - on Scripture - and play it again, church!

I've not read the Freso piece in the latest Themelios yet - it hasn't arrived in the library yet and the copy I've borrowed is still sitting on my desk.

But Dr Field's comments on his blog look accurate and significant to me. And not uncharitable - though I quite like my rhetoric on full blast.

* * *

I have read every word of Wright's Scripture and the Authority of God and as I recall it seemed to be a fine and helpful book. I would give it my Nihil Obstat.

There was a silly review of Wright's book in the Briefing lately. Again, I'm sure write had been misread. The "improvise on the theme of Scripture" stuff could sound worryingly wrong out of context.

It seems to me the Briefing has decided Wright is a bady because he doesnt sound like Luther on Paul.

Maybe the Briefing coould publish and entirely positive article called: "What's Right With Wright? Learning form Scholar-Bishop."

Much depends on Wright's audience, I think. Had he been writing Scripture and the Authority only for a conservative evangelical constituency, he should have said more clearly on page one "look, I believe all the inerrency, plenary verbal inspiration stuff and I love and preach my Bible with all the faithfullness I can - I dont feel free to make it up - but please have a think about this...".

We must not misunderstand the musical metaphor here: the theme set by the original composer really is authoritative and controlling. The theme cannot be changed. Our improvisations will be grounded in what has come before and more or less harmonious with it. The theme anticipates the climax and the composer has already written the final bars.

Wright seems to like his musical metaphors, doesnt he?

Do the Sydney boys ever go to the Opera House, do you think?

* * *

In Churchman in response to Professor Bray, Bishop Tom says "I am a conservative evangelical and I believe in cross and Bible just like you" - even if he is a bit dodgey on women!


Pete said...

Mark, perhaps you could suggest some NTW summer reading for me. I'm hoping to get my head around *his* perspective on justification etc. before we have a look in NT2. Is it best to go straight for 'what Paul really said' or should I start with his 'Romans for everybody'?

Pete said...

I should add that I'm not investigating in order to attempt to repudiate, but to know what questions I want to answer when we look at it in more depth. It sounds to me like some of NTW's justification talk is thoroughly reformed (and helpful on the law) whilst other things I've read by him leave me puzzled - probably indicating I don't fully understand what he is/isn't saying.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete, don't think we've met, although that is a really attractive photo. I'm a friend of Marc's and an Oak Hill escapee.

Personally I wdn't bother with WSPRS, which isn't NTW at his clearest, imo. Check out the NT Wright Page (, and start with The Shape of Justification, followed by New Perspectives on Paul. Then try his Romans Commentary in the New Interpreters Bible (more detailed that Romans for Everyone) but an easy read.


Marc Lloyd said...

Yes, I think I agree with Deacon Matthew, whoes reading of Wright is probably deeper than mine.

I've enjoyed some of his more devotional stuff too: a reminder that he really does believe the same gospel, whcih I think some have doubted when reading him on the articalus stantis et cadensis ecclesia, Justification by Faith (in X) alone.

His big series of books J&TVG, NT&PofG, Resurrection etc are well worth a look, though he hasn't got to Paul yet!

& always distinguish Wright & other new perspectives (e.g. E P Sanders & Jimmy Dunn).

michael jensen said...

I agree with you on Wright's Scripture book. I haven't seen the Briefing review, but if it is critical more's the pity.