N T Wright – Justification – post 2

2009 April 29

[up to p.37]

Okay, so I haven’t gotten much farther, but I do have more to say.

Style and Method

wrightThis 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.

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N T Wright – Justification – post 1

2009 April 28

justificationYesterday, on my birthday, I was really excited to get a gift in the mail via Amazon.

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!—


Easter – Video: Resurrected Children and Passover

2009 April 12

My new video about Paedocommunion-


Did you see Stephen Colbert interviewing N T WRIGHT about the RESURRECTION?

2008 August 6

Stephen Colbert has N T Wright onto the Colbert Report to discuss his book “Surprised by Hope” on June 19, 2008.

Click the pic of the show to watch it at Comedy Central Dot Com.


Ron Paul on Religion, Ethics, Government, Pope John Paul II, War, Life

2008 January 23

“THEOLOGY NOT POLITICS”

by, Rep. Ron Paul, MD

Members of Congress from both political parties outdid themselves last week in heaping praise upon Pope John Paul II in the wake of his passing. Many spoke at length on the floor of the House of Representatives, and some even flew to Rome for his funeral.

I’m happy to witness so many politicians honoring a great man of God and peace. The problem, however, is that so few of them honored him during his lifetime by their actions as legislators. In fact, most members of Congress support policies that are totally at odds with Catholic teachings.

Just two years ago conservatives were busy scolding the Pope for his refusal to back our invasion of Iraq. One conservative media favorite even made the sickening suggestion that the Pope was the enemy of the United States because he would not support our aggression in the Middle East. The Pontiff would not ignore the inherent contradiction in being pro-life and pro-war, nor distort just war doctrine to endorse attacking a nation that clearly posed no threat to America – and conservatives resented it. September 11th did not change everything, and the Pope understood that killing is still killing. The hypocritical pro-war conservatives lauding him today have very short memories.

Liberals also routinely denounced the Pope for maintaining that Catholicism, like all religions, has rules that cannot simply be discarded to satisfy the cultural trends of the time.

The political left has been highly critical of the Pope’s positions on abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, feminism, and contraception. Many liberals frankly view Catholicism as an impediment to the fully secular society they hope to create.

Both conservatives and liberals cannot understand that the Pope’s pronouncements were theological, not political. He was one of the few humans on earth who could not be bullied or threatened by any government. He was a man of God, not a man of the state. He was not a policy maker, but rather a steward of long-established Catholic doctrine. His mission was to save souls, not serve the political agendas of any nation, party, or politician.

To the secularists, this was John Paul II’s unforgivable sin – he placed service to God above service to the state. Most politicians view the state, not God, as the supreme ruler on earth. They simply cannot abide a theology that does not comport with their vision of unlimited state power.

This is precisely why both conservatives and liberals savaged John Paul II when his theological pronouncements did not fit their goals. But perhaps their goals simply were not godly.

Unlike most political leaders, the Pope understood that both personal and economic liberties are necessary for human virtue to flourish. Virtue, after all, involves choices. Politics and government operate to deny people the freedom to make their own choices.

The Pope’s commitment to human dignity, grounded in the teachings of Christ, led him to become an eloquent and consistent advocate for an ethic of life, exemplified by his struggles against abortion, war, euthanasia, and the death penalty. Yet what institutions around the world sanction abortion, war, euthanasia, and the death penalty? Governments.

Historically, religion always represented a threat to government because it competes for the loyalties of the people. In modern America, however, most religious institutions abandoned their independence long ago, and now serve as cheerleaders for state policies like social services, faith-based welfare, and military aggression in the name of democracy. Few American churches challenge state actions at all, provided their tax-exempt status is maintained. This is why Washington politicians ostensibly celebrate religion – it no longer threatens their supremacy. Government has co-opted religion and family as the primary organizing principle of our society. The federal government is boss, and everybody knows it. But no politician will ever produce even a tiny fraction of the legacy left by Pope John Paul II.

April 12, 2005

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

[This essay was copied with trepidation from Lew Rockwell’s site. I KNOW he is possibly the ghost writer of the HORRIBLE comments attributed to Ron Paul. I NEITHER SUPPORT NOR CONDEMN LEW ROCKWELL since I DON’T KNOW IF HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COMMENTS BLAMED ON RON PAUL. But this essay by Ron Paul above is worth reading regardless].