[up to p.37]
Okay, so I haven’t gotten much farther, but I do have more to say.
Style and Method
This book is one of the most understandable and readable and pleasant books I have ever picked up in theology. Wright is always a master of extended metaphor. His understanding of the way that Paul writes comes out in the way he himself writes, always drawing in narrative, always alluding to controlling narratives.
As to method, I just intend here a comment about the question “Will Wright cut to the chase?” It seems that Wright is being direct, and intensely clear about his views. He is also keeping the gloves off and not pulling any punches. While I never see Wright being mean, he is not putting on pleasantries in order to converse in a friendly way at a dinner party. Wright is doing what he needs to do at this point. He is actually saying, “So and so theologian gets x wrong and misses x passage.” So my hope, up through page 37, is that the book will continue to speak so plainly.
When I was first encountered Wright in 2000-2003, I kept wondering “Is he not aware of what people are saying about him over here, in America?” I wondered this because, most times when I heard a fellow reformed christian criticizing Wright, the criticism was about works-based salvation [which, make no mistake, he thoroughly repudiates and denies]. But I never seemed to read him saying anything about it. The fact that it wasn’t a concern for Wright to deal with such a matter just seemed to fuel many fires and make people say that he was in fact a gospel-denier – a works preacher….
But, like Augustine retracting his disbelief in miracles after many miraculous proofs, I have now heard and seen Wright speak about this so many times I have to say “He absolutely is not what they all think he is.”
Now, Instead of wondering whether he knows that they are blaming him of Pelagianism, I wonder, “Does anyone know that Wright has answered this question satisfactorily MANY times?
This book should only make that answer louder and more accessible to the public.
I intended to just sit down for a couple of pages, really just a few before going to sleep. I read 17 pages – up through page 30 – and just couldn’t stop reading. Of course, it isn’t into the meat of the book at all yet. But the writing is so good, and Wright is so interesting, that it is just a real pleasure to read.
I am terrible about book reviewing, and I happen to be reading several (many) other books right now. But this Wright book takes an important priority, as its historical moment of discussion is upon us.
—I am happy to see that Wright is indeed expecting to get done his Book 4 in the Christian Origins and the Question of God – the big book on Paul!—
Sometimes Christians mistakenly think that the Old Testament saint was saved by keeping the law. This is a destructive mistake, because it makes us separate ourselves from the Old Testament based on a false claim. I review Psalm 130 to show that grace, not works is the way of salvation in the OT.
See Winepress Films!
Fantastically well stated. Thank you, John Piper, for being courageous.
This is a question hoping to receive comments:
How do you think Christians should or should not go about using satire? I think sometimes it is clearly written to teach, but sometimes it is mainly written to hurt.
I have been reading some Christian doctrinal satire lately that is so funny I end up crying. But I am afraid of redirecting readers to it, because I don’t want to share in any offense that the authors might give. I find the particular site I am reading to be TREMENDOUSLY educational – however, it is EXTREMELY polemic.
What do you think?