Wright's "Paul and the Faithfulness of God"



Well, N.T. Wright's "big book on Paul" is finally out. Long awaited. Certainly destined to be reckoned with by biblical scholars for as long as I'm around. I grabbed it as soon as Lifeway got it in. People are often surprised/mad about my enjoyment of Wright. Perhaps in another post, I will write about why this lover of [most] all things Luther is excited about Wright's work. For now I should say that I agree with many who have noted that the so-called "new perspective" is not so much wrong in what it affirms as much as in what it denies (see this superb lecture by KJV). Furthermore, Wright is not Dunn. More drastically, nor is he Sanders. The more Wright writes, the more Reformational his exegesis is. Alas, he is arguably the most influential living theologian of our day and we ignore him to our detriment. Much more should be said, but for now I want to post a link to a recent review by Doug Moo, and a recent interview by Jonathan Merritt, where, among other things, he asks which parts of the book will make John Piper most upset. Here are a couple excerpts:

"I offer a holistic reading of Paul in which the different emphases many have seen, between ‘juristic’ or ‘lawcourt’ thought and ‘participationist’ or ‘incorporative’ thought, are reconciled; in which what some call ‘apocalyptic’ and what some call ‘salvation history’ are brought together in a larger framework of a new-covenant theology;"

On Piper: "I am sorry he and I have never met; we share so much–a commitment to the great Reformed tradition, a commitment to the cross as the center of everything, a commitment to scripture and to the faithful and patient investigation and exposition of it. . . . . I would expect that a Reformed theologian like Dr. Piper would welcome a “covenantal” reading of Paul. Perhaps he yet may. Of course, he has said many times before that he thinks my reading of Paul screens out “imputation” in his sense, and he’s right: Paul doesn’t say what that theory wants him to say. But the underlying meaning Dr. Piper and others are seeking in that theory are, I believe, not only retained but enhanced in the larger and more textually grounded reading which I have offered."
Don't miss this older interview by Trevin Wax.