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Posts Tagged ‘N.T. Wright’

5.5.  This post is dedicated to the Boston Bruins.  We don’t expect you to win the Stanley Cup, just don’t embarass our city.

5. Monergism has put up 33 lectures from Kim Riddlebarger on Amillennialism for free download.  Riddlebarger is one of the more well known defenders of the Amillennial interpretation around, so I highly recommend jumping on this.  I’m not convinced of the position (though I’ll give these lectures a listen) when it comes to Revelation 20, but have great appreciation for the overall structure of Amillennialism.  While I am beginning to think that the Millennium is the single most overrated theological debate in the church today, eschatalogy is incredibly important so download these lectures and see what you think.  (You can also check these out at Riddlebarger’s church website.)

4. Ben Witherington and Peter Leithart recently had a very interesting exchange inspired by Leithart’s recent book, Defending Constantine.  Witherington was generally appreciative, but had some fairly strong critiques in certain parts.  Here is a helpful roundup of the debate and links.  If nothing else this can demonstrate just how hard a debate can be when you have two very different approaches to Scripture.

3. Some time ago I posted a link to Craig Keener’s notes on Biblical Interpretation (which ended up being one of our most popular posts, interestingly enough).  According to his website, Keener will also be posting Bible study notes that would be incredibly helpful for teachers and Bible study leaders.  He currently has 10 studies on the Gospel of Matthew.  Check it out!

2. Rule to live by: any time someone writes a post with the word “anacoluthon” in the title, you have to link to it.

1. Gotta be honest, I really enjoyed Paul Helm’s takedown of N T Wright.  Keep in mind, I like N T Wright, a lot.  But he has this annoying habit of taking potshots at Americans, especially the American church, for reasons that are a bit confusing and, quite frankly, make him look petty.  In this case, he was asked about the recent controversies regarding hell, then proceeded to find a way to poke at Americans in what is, as Helm points out, a series of non-sequitors and incredibly unfair characterizations.  See also Trevin Wax’s measured critique.

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5.5. This post is dedicated to November 26, the due date for Baby #2, which has come and gone without a visit from the stork.

5. I think everyone and their mother has commented on the recent Evangelical Theological Society meetings, specifically the sessions involving Tom Schreiner, Frank Thielman, and N T Wright on Wright’s view of justification.  As far as I’m concerned, the best thing that came out of it was the clarification of Wright’s view of future justification.  You can see a recent post on Between Two Worlds that ably explains the details of the discussion.  Maybe we can now stop talking about it for a while.

4. Here’s an interesting interview over at Charisma with Gordon Fee regarding his life as a Pentecostal Bible scholar. (HT)

3. I make a vow to you today: if I see Jane Austen in heaven, I’ll be giving her a piece of my mind on behalf of all men.

2. I have been reading John Jefferson Davis‘ new book, Worship and the Reality of God, for review and have been challenged at numerous points already.  Here is a quote from page 64:

The evangelical Protestant tradition has been characterized as generally having a low ecclesiology; the New Testament, however, has a high and ontically weighty ecclesiology, because it has a high Christology.

1. I rarely post about sports here (an amazing feat of self-control, might I add), but I reserve the right to pipe up about it once in a while.  Here are 5 guys who maybe should have made the NFL Network Top 100 list:

  • Steve Largent, WR- set all sorts of records (since broken by Jerry Rice, ranked #1) without a better-than-average QB.  His was the biggest omission.
  • Warren Sapp, DT- Derrick Brooks made the list from the same Tampa Bay defense.  If I had to pick one, I’d pick Sapp.
  • Ray Guy, P- I know, I know, a punter will never make this list.  But considering he’s the best football player whose feet actually touch the ball on a consistent basis, I’ll give him a shout out.
  • Charles Woodson, CB- one of the better defensive players in the NFL for 13 seasons, including winning Defensive Player of the Year last year (granted, it should have gone to Darrelle Revis, but it still counts for something).
  • Ken Houston, S- I realize that most good cornerbacks can become great safeties, but I was still surprised to find only a couple safeties on the list.  Safety is still a legit position in the NFL, and Houston made 12 straight Pro Bowls.

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A conversation over at Marcus’ blog reminded me of a post I’ve been meaning to write for some time.  I’ve wanted to do a list of must-read scholars for a while, but have never been sure how to approach it.  Do I do a list of the best?  Most influential?  Most interesting?  Do I restrict it to OT scholars?  NT scholars?  Theologians?  Do I go completely subjective and list my favorites, or do I include those with whom I’m less enamored?  Will anyone even care about my stupid list?  These are the questions in my mind…

I’ve opted to consider my main audience for this blog: the average churchgoer.  I know people from my church read this blog who are not academically trained but are still interested in learning from Bible scholars.  They may not know Greek and Hebrew, but they desire to glean from the insights of those who do.  So I’ve decided to tailor this list to this (somewhat imaginary) group.  Because of this, I will leave off scholars who have made a major impact on scholarship but are less helpful to the layperson (the Rudolf Bultmann types).  I’m also sticking to my area of “expertise” (if I may be permitted a moment of hubris), which mostly NT & OT scholarship (so no systematic theologians).  The list is presented in no particular order.

Allow me to make a couple other notes:

  • I’m weighing more heavily toward the NT side of things.  This is for 2 main reasons: 1) I know NT scholarship better than I do OT scholarship, and 2) most of my favorite OT scholars have written little for the layperson in mind (I’m thinking of Gordon Wenham and guys like that). 
  • I’ll give a couple reading recommendations for each scholar, in case my reader(s) want(s) to dig deeper.
  • The scholars on this list are invited to mention their inclusion on their resume or CV.  You’re welcome. 
  • If you think this is just an excuse to talk about scholars and books, you know me very well.  =)

(1) Gordon Fee.  Come on, if you’ve been reading this blog for more than 5 seconds you knew Fee was making the cut.  In fact, I’d have to turn in my charismatic membership card if I didn’t include him.  I appreciate any man who writes the book on exegesis, but insists that exegesis is merely the first step in applying the Bible to the life of the church.  I also appreciate any scholar whose lectures are more like sermons.  I heard a line from his daughter, theologian Cherith Fee Nordling, about Fee that sums up what I appreciate about him (paraphrase): my father loves the Lord and loves the Bible, but never in reverse order. 

Layperson reading suggestions:

Academic reading suggestions:

(2) Christopher J H Wright.  It’s funny, 6 months ago I may not have included Wright.  But the more I read his stuff, the more I want to give him a high-five (see my previous post for an indication).  In some ways, he’s an interesting bird- how many OT scholars are also missiologists?  A Cambridge PhD who trained church planters in India and now heads up John Stott’s ministry organization?  This is my kind of guy. 

Layperson reading suggestions:

Academic reading suggestions

(3) Richard Bauckham.  Bauckham has actually written less for the layperson than the rest of the scholars on this list, but I wanted to include him anyway because he’s one of the few scholars refered to as “groundbreaking” that may actually deserve the title.  Mind you, no one is really groundbreaking.  When I mentioned in a class at my church that Bauckham had written a book defending the eyewitness connection to the Gospels, I was met with “no duh” stares.  It’s not his conclusion that is groundbreaking, it’s the manner in which he makes his case that sets him apart from so many others.  Bauckham is the toughest read on this list, but may well be worth the trouble.

Reading suggestions

(4) D A Carson.  This is not Carson’s first appearance on this blog.  There are few scholars who have made so much of their work accessible to the church, as you can see here on his resource page at The Gospel Coaltion website.  This son of a church planter in French Canada has planted churches, travels around the world every year speaking in churches and conferences, teaches and advises students, yet still finds time to write somewhere around a million books a year.  He cranks out a book faster than I write a blog post.  If I had to pick one scholar on this list for the average layperson to read I think Carson would be it, not because he’s the best scholar but because he does the best job of communicating to the audience I’m aiming for.  Note: this list of books is highly selective, there are many more I could include.

Layperson reading suggestions

Academic reading suggestions

(5) N T Wright.  I’ll confess, I’ve been debating whether or not I should include Wright on this list.  If we’re talking about most interesting, he’d easily make the list.  Everything he writes is worth reading, even if he’s dead wrong (note, over 1100 people went to a conference at Wheaton centering on Wright’s scholarship).  Wright is brilliant- sometimes brilliantly right, and sometimes brilliantly wrong.  I’ve put it this way: Wright is a classic pendulum swinger.  He’ll notice an over-emphasis on something, then in attempt to correct this problem he’ll go too far in his emphasis.  If you know that going in, you’ll do well in reading him.  Anyway, I love reading his stuff, but you must always read with discernment.

Layperson reading suggestions

Academic reading suggestions

So there’s my list; maybe on another post I can give my “near miss” category (I’m at 1300+ words already though).  I’d love to hear thoughts from others out there, either about the people on this list or others you think should be included.

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Wright on the Resurrection

Derek at Covenant of Love posted this video this morning.  Thought I’d steal it and post it here. 

Happy Easter!

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I have purposely not written about the current debates on justification, specifically the exchange between N T Wright and John Piper.  It’s not that I have no thoughts on the matter- just the opposite is true.  But I’ve seen the discussion online denegenerate very quickly into name-calling and assertions, rarely involving discussions of actual biblical texts.  While it’s true that controversy attracts readers, it’s not the type of attraction we’re looking for.

But, Brian, my esteemed co-blogger, opened the door last week.  This is no surprise, of course, since Brian is the far more controversial and edgy member of our blogging team.  I walk by the can of worms; Brian rips it open and dumps it out everywhere.  =)

I don’t actually plan on talking about it, rather I’ll offer up a few links for those interesting in reading more on the subject.  The quickest thing to read is a recent post at Christianity Today that compares and contrasts Wright’s and Piper’s views on certain subjects.  It’s concise and well done.  It also shows, in my opinion, that they’re really not that far apart on most things.  That, of course, has never stopped people from fighting over it.

The Christianity Today piece was written by a guy named Trevin Wax, who I have mentioned before as my favorite blogger.  He has a few extremely helpful pieces on the subject over at his blog.  Trevin did a tremendous job working through Piper’s book, The Future of Justification, in an easy-to-read series.  I found this to be the best thing I read on this book, and I’ve read a lot (and yes, I have read the book).  It would help to read Piper’s book first, but I do think Wax faithfully presents Piper’s work.

He has also done a couple interesting interviews with N T Wright.  The first I’ll link to is about one of Wright’s book, but he does deal with Piper’s book (before Wright had read the final draft).  The second is an interview with Wright dealing more directly with Piper’s book.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a quick guide to the debate, I think these are the best places to look.  Enjoy.

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Craig Blomberg has recently written a book review of N.T. Wright’s book, “Justification.”  You may find the shorter review here, and a longer, scholarly review here.  The book under review is the latest in a series of exchanges that are best known to be between Wright and John Piper.  The exchanges concern the proper Biblical understanding of justification, and the consequences of said interpretation.  Even if you are not well acquainted with the debates over what is called the “New Perspecitve” on Paul (I am only lightly read on them myself), I think you will find Blomberg’s review helpful and insightful, per his custom.

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