Friday, August 20, 2010

DA Carson on NT Wright

Murray reports on Carson at Ridley College, according to Murray Carson had this to say about NT Wright and justification:

"Issue is, N.T Wright sees justification through an ecclesial lense and not through the justice of God. As the debate has developed over the last 30 years Wright’s theology has shifted. He takes note of criticism and footnotes them in his following works so as to make point that he does believe in PSA and that he does think of justification in justice terms. However he hasn’t changed his basic argument. Doug Moo says as Wright, ‘he foregrounds his backgrounds and backgrounds his foreground’.

Wright is not wrong in what he always says, but he misses so much – i.e wrath of God.. For Wright , the work of the cross is external, whereas  600 times in the OT alone God ‘s anger is mentioned. Wright has a christus victor theology. He doesn’t see the heart of the offence."

Parish land is a long way from the ivory towers of the Academy so I don't really know if Carson is right about the state of the New Perspective, but according to Murray he seems to be sounding its death knell.


ewingfam said...

Actually, if you read Jesus and the Victory of God, Wright's point on the atonement is precisely that God's wrath is what is dealt with on the cross. This seems to confirm what I've long suspected: that Carson hasn't seriously read and understood what Wright is saying.

ewingfam said...

Wright's own words:
"The evangelists stresses the theme of judgment on present Israel, but they certainly did not invent it. Jesus seems to have adopted the theme from John, who predicted 'the wrath to come'..." -JVG, 323

"...Jesus therefore...took upon Himself the 'wrath'...which was coming upon Israel..." -JVG, 596

If there's still any doubt, here's his take on Romans 3:25-26:
"Third, Jesus' self-giving faithfulness to death, seen as the act of God, not of humans operating toward God, had the effect of turning away the divine wrath that otherwise hung over not only Israel but also the whole world." -Romans Commentary, 477

Carson is simply incorrect. He, like many others, has misrepresented Wright.

Andrew Bowles said...

I'm not sure how it could be a criticism of Wright that he takes note when people critique his views and alters them accordingly. And if he is able to do so while still maintaining the integrity of his position then all the better for him. Acknowledging criticism doesn't mean you have to accept the entirety of the critics' position. Have those who disagree with him brought ecclesiology more into their formulations of justification, or are Wright's points just 'footnoted' and then ignored? Come on, we can do better than this.