Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wright on Time...

This will be my last post for a while. Getting ready to begin my sabbatical and I think that will also include a great absence of blogging.

I thought this was interesting.

My friends at Westminster Bookstore published a suggested reading list compiled by Tim Keller. I was troubled to read his carte blanche approval of NT Wright's, "Surprised By Hope."

Keller writes,
"It's always a little dangerous to recommend a book I haven't read yet, but I suggest it because it is basically a shorter and more accessible summary of his bigger classic The Resurrection of the Son of God (see below), which is wonderful but very long and academic."

The new 9Marks Journal came out today and includes a review of the same book by Tom Schreiner. His conclusion?

"Wright appeals to many because he is brilliant and fascinating, and some of what he says is helpful. Nevertheless, his failure to emphasize the centrality of the gospel is troubling, and pastors who find his work illuminating need to be careful that they do not veer away from their central task of proclaiming the good news to a lost generation." (read the rest of the review for other concerns)

Schreiner hits the nail on the head. Wright can be wonderfully helpful in places... and, in my opinion, winsomely dead wrong in others. It is not pastorally wise to commend his work - especially when you have not read it yet!*

*Keller does say he has read the larger work upon which Surprised by Hope is based.


  1. I'd agree. I just happen to think that there are for more and more significant areas where he is "wonderfully helpful" than "winsomely dead wrong." As for the non-centrality of the gospel in Wright, I can't imagine anyone who's ever read anything by Wright making such a statement. The gospel, that the crucified and risen Jesus is Israel's Messiah and therefore the Lord of the world and therefore demands our believing alliegence, perpeates each and every page of Wright's work, and his scholarship as a whole.

    I've posted something regarding on a particular theological/eschatological issue pertaining to Wright HERE. Thought you might find it interesting.

    Grace and Peace,
    Raffi Shahinian
    Parables of a Prodigal World

  2. Have a great sabbatical. Get rest. Enjoy your family. Read, read, read.
    I am glad for you - and fighting the envy.

  3. I thank the Lord for your ministry, Paul. I pray that He greatly blesses you during your sabbatical.

    In repentance and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.
    Isaiah 30:15

  4. Comment #1 - have a great sabbatical. Milk it! Enjoy it. Rest and pray and read and visit others for counsel. I'm very glad your church has given you this time, and pray that it pays huge dividends for the Kingdom!

    Comment #2 - thanks for the comparison between Keller's and Schriener's views of Wright. I had seen Keller's recommendation and was surprised by the unqualified nature of it. Keller is very valuable to read and study but I also believe there are some weaknesses that ought to be discerned and avoided. I'm 40 pages away from finishing the reason for God and have really benefitted, but some things stand out as weaknesses and others as outright dangerous - see Challies' review for the latter.

    Anyway, have a great time. You work like a dog for the glory of God. This 'other work' should be more restful and refreshing. See you in the fall, Lord willing.

    In Christ, Ian

  5. Ian Vaillancourt said - "but some things stand out as weaknesses and others as outright dangerous - see Challies' review for the latter."

    I just reread Challies' review of Keller's Reason For God and didn't see anything that he PERSONALLY warned about as "dangerous", but what "some" might view as dangerous. Did I miss something?

  6. Wright's New Perspective doctrine leads to heresy vis a vis justification by faith alone.

  7. Dear Burly,
    Quick note as I start my day - you are right - come to think of it Challies pointed to three things that people might find disturbing, but didn't necessarily speak for himself. I guess I'm one of those people, though - the lack of mention of justification by faith alone through grace alone in Keller's definition of Christianity was disturbing, though he is making up for it in his exposition of the cross, etc. Also, his ecumenicism, is a bit too broad in my opinion. Anyway that's all I can recall right now. I do value the book and am very thankful for it. It's just that I wish he'd go a bit further at times.
    P.S. thanks for the correction

  8. Have a nice break, Kerux. Be refreshed.

  9. Lucky duck! How often do you get a sabbatical and for how long?