just because we have changed the primary focus of our blog does not mean that we won’t “slum it” every once in a while and see what the buzz is on our favorite odm sites.  it’s the same fascination that allows me to argue the nuances of justification AND watch shows about people driving badly… or buildings collapsing…

over at crosstalk they are offering this commentary:

Evangelical Church Tattoos Woman on Altar

In the you-just-can’t-make-this-up department, a Seattle church decided to tattoo volunteers during the “live tattoo final” to a sermon series. I predicted tattoo parlors in church some time ago and was jeered at for doing so. I was wrong. They aren’t building parlors to tattoo anyone in church. They’re doing it on the altar. Read more from the Seattle Times.

i particularly like the angst of “They’re doing it on the altar” – complete with shock value and double entendre.

our church has had artists creating works as a form of worship while a pastor delivers a sermon, but we have never had a human as the canvas.  and i’m not sure we would – but that is not the point. the point is the interesting use of the term altar, the use of a sexual double entendre, and the appeal to the slippery slope of sin.

i am not sure why crosstalk uses the term “altar” – particularly since evangelical churches usually do not have them – they do not need them.  and crosstalk ignores a great opportunity for a jab since the linked article uses the term “stage.”   i have a hunch it is used for shock value, and to make an illusion to paganism.

this latter reference, of pagan altars, plays into the use of the sexual double entendre, which i find mildly hypocritical from folks that find this abhorrent when used by others.  remember, christians should not talk about sex in public.  this is a deliberate sexual reference, i believe, because of the popularity of the  “so and so’s do it…” jokes/bumper stickers/etc….  clearly this has not eluded the editors.

the inuendo was clearly seen by truthinator who posted the follow-up comment:

First coffee shops and now tattoo parlors… can the temple prostitutes be far behind…?

i find this appeal to a slippery slope interesting for its sheer grade of the slope; from coffee to church sanctioned prostitution in three simple steps (emphasis on simple).  it seems to slip the mind of truthinator that coffee and tattoos are neither illegal, immoral, nor biblically prohibited (and only quote leviticus 19:28 if you also obey 19:13a, 16-18, 19c, and 27.)

finally, what really mystifies me is why crosstalk (and truthinato) even cares what this church in seattle does – since what they did violated no biblical injunction.  i have a hunch that it is just another objection against folks doing things different – it’s probably not coffee that is objectionable… it’s that it’s not served the way we do it.

[UPDATE: it was pointed out that the newspaper article opened with the use of "altar" - this explains crosswalk's use of the term. i should have seen this in my reading.]

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239 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 25th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I find it personally unseemly to tattoo people during a church service. But my objection to that pales in comparison to the vile stream of self righteous refuse that continues to emanate from the disingenuously named blog called “crosstalk”, which by its name alone qualifies it as an antipode.

I find nothing redemptive at that site at all, and I intend to continue to inform the small band of readers at my site that blogs like that are not Christian in any sense of the word. Just because you are against people and things does not qualify you as “Christian”. It is also a striking example of what can happen when women are loosed to become self appointed divine mouth pieces that screech sarcastic venom at any targets that happen to invade their e-mail alerts.

As Ingrid suggested for Carrie Prejean, I would suggest someone sit Ingrid down and teach her the basics of the gospel and the literal interpretation of male leadership in the New Testament.

Oh yea, I don’t like tattoos especially in church. Did I mention that? And although my oldest son has many, he witnesses more than anyone I have ever known and he will graduate from Liberty University next month and enter medical school to study to be a medical missionary.

I don’t like tattoos. :cool:

2   Joe    
November 25th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

I had a dear old friend who used to say, “Those that scream the loudest about the moral decadence of others are probably hiding the most perversions.” All the tabloid like titles, lies and double entrendre makes me think she might have been right.

3   nathan    
November 25th, 2009 at 9:46 pm

yes, and now we know that if there’s a church doing this it must be an epidemic.

gimme a break, who cares?

4   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 25th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

I didn’t get it on an “altar”, but here’s my tattoo (which I designed):

shema-tat3

5   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 25th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Neil – I would note that the article uses the word “altar” in the opening sentence:

The sight of a woman being tattooed live on the altar accompanied by the sound of a buzzing ink gun provided a startling backdrop to Sunday’s evangelical sermon.

Granted, since it was in a secular source, I doubt they understand the nuance of using “altar” in a church setting – since no Protestant churches have altars. Ingrid, on the other hand, does “get it”, so your point remains true.

6   Neil    
November 26th, 2009 at 1:59 am

Chris L.,

Noted. I saw the reference to the stage, but not the reference to the altar.

7   Aaron    
November 26th, 2009 at 3:33 am

#4 – Neil – That’s a freaking sweet tattoo! I love it! Where did you get it tattooed? I have a large celtic cross that takes up most of my back, though I still need to get it shaded in. I’m very much NOT looking forward to the pain for that. :)

I’ve yet to learn anything about the Hebrew language in my classes yet, what are the red letters highlighted for?

8   Aaron    
November 26th, 2009 at 3:33 am

Errr….I meant Chris L’s tattoo. My bad.

9   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 26th, 2009 at 9:15 am

Your (general) hatred for Ingrid misses the point (again).

It is not about tattoos. It is about what is appropriate in church. My goodness people, since when did the preaching of the Gospel cease being enough?!?!?

10   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 26th, 2009 at 9:16 am

And Neil, having a perverse mind does not mean everything is a double entendre.

11   nathan    
November 26th, 2009 at 9:26 am

why is doing a tattoo in a church service wrong?

i’d like to hear people’s thoughts…

12   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 26th, 2009 at 9:32 am

Aaron -

I had my Tattoo inked at a place in Broad Ripple (Indianapolis) – Metamorphosis. I suppose I could have had it done on stage, Sunday Morning, but I don’t think that was Hebrew tattoo month :)

1) The Hebrew is the shema.
2) The red letters are symbolic of a) the places Christ was wounded; and b) the places the Hebrews purified (washed) each Sabbath – head, heart, hands and feet.

13   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 26th, 2009 at 9:52 am

since when did the preaching of the Gospel cease being enough?!?!?

Sigh – another false dichotomy from Pastorboy. Community worship is not a defined ritual, and (if we are to believe Paul) not simply a weekly reiteration of the gospel. Rather, it is a time for exhortation, singing, celebrating and reading from the word.

The last time I checked, artists and other right-brain types were welcome in the kingdom, and were welcome to worship there, as well. I also do not recall prohibitions on art in corporate worship or other corporate meetings of the body…

14   chris    
November 26th, 2009 at 10:41 am

And Neil, having a perverse mind does not mean everything is a double entendre.

I love how Rob Bell can’t say anything without the ODM’s screeching about “Words have meanings” and “What he really means…” but Ingrid isn’t held to the same scrutiny. Not saying she should be but at least be consistent in your standard of judging.

15   chris    
November 26th, 2009 at 10:48 am

It is not about tattoos. It is about what is appropriate in church.

“I am no music scholar, but I feel I know appropriate church music when I hear it. Last Sunday’s new hymn – if you can call it that – sounded like a sentimental love ballad one would expect to hear crooned in a saloon. If you insist on exposing us to rubbish like this – in God’s house! – don’t be surprised if many of the faithful look for a new place to worship. The hymns we grew up with are all we need.”

This letter was written in 1863 and the song they were concerned about was the hymn “Just As I Am”.

Another letter said:

“What is wrong with the inspiring hymns with which we grew up? When I go to church, it is to worship God, not to be distracted with learning a new hymn. Last Sunday’s was particularly unnerving. The tune was un-singable and the new harmonies were quite distorting.”

This letter was written in 1890 and about the hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”.

Found Here

Also PB you make like those two sites.

Stuff Christians Like and Stuff Fundies Like. You can google them.

16   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 26th, 2009 at 10:52 am

#12 I had mine inked in Broad Ripple also.

It wasn’t in a church, it was a biker tattoo joint.

I witnessed to the artist doing the job while Marilyn Manson blazed in the background.

Still more appropriate than doing that during a worship service while we are supposed to be magnifying God, not artists.

BTW, I was stuck at Barnes and Noble yesterday while my car was serviced. Noted ‘Drops Like Stars’ on the top shelf, ‘christian’ literature, $40, no gospel. Would have been better placed in the art section.

17   nathan    
November 26th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

the Gospel and Christian identity found in most art sections of bookstores tend to be vastly superior to what passes for Biblical and “gospel filled” in your mind, PB.

Happy Thanksgiving.

18   Neil    
November 26th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Your (general) hatred for Ingrid misses the point (again).

please don’t go there pastorboy. this is not about ingrid, i have complete ambivalence regarding her. This is about the post on crosstalk.

It is not about tattoos. It is about what is appropriate in church.

there are two grids that determine appropriateness: scripture and culture. the former is objectively universal, the latter is not. you are confusing the two. the appropriateness of this is culturally subjective.

My goodness people, since when did the preaching of the Gospel cease being enough?!?!?

can you not see the silliness of saying things like this? does your church never use illustrations? that is all this is. besides, there is soooo much more to worship than preaching the gospel.

19   Neil    
November 26th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

And Neil, having a perverse mind does not mean everything is a double entendre.

the comment by truthinator shows that the double entendre was obvious. so obvious it’s incredulous to believe ingrid could be so naive as to not realize what she wrote.

20   Neil    
November 26th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Still more appropriate than doing that during a worship service while we are supposed to be magnifying God, not artists.

pastorboy, you are grasping at straws. why do you think this about magnifying the artist? unless you think anything anyone does in front of the church is intended to magnify that person.

when a singer sings a solo – is that magnifying the artist, not god?

when an organist/guitarist/pianist plays a solo/duet/etc- – is that magnifying the artist, not god?

of course not.

the only difference is, the former examples are things you are comfortable with, the tattoo artisst you are not.

it’s not about what you find comfortable.

would you say that creating any art in front of the church is inappropriate?

21   Neil    
November 26th, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Noted ‘Drops Like Stars’ on the top shelf, ‘christian’ literature, $40, no gospel.

why must something have a gospel presentation to be valid in your eyes?

22   Neil    
November 26th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

for the record, i would not include a tattoo artist in a worship service. i think it too distracting. yet, i am not going to thrust my preferences on others as if my comfort, my criteria for appropriatness were gospel truth.

23   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 26th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

I object srentuously to tattooing in church services. But Nathan made the salient point. Why does magnifying a miniscule element of church practice serve as a ministry?

And Ingrid adds her recent “I told you so” prophetic utterance. I am a prophet and here is my prophecy:

Ingrid will continue to find her brand of Christianity via the secular and evangelical gossip columns.

24   nathan    
November 26th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

rick!

seriously!

you need to be careful. you might start an online gang rape on Thanksgiving!!!

have you no shame?!?!?

;)

25   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 26th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Thanksgiving? What is that? :cool:

26   Neil    
November 26th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

ingrid is not the point. the points are telling others they must worship by your standards and the lame slippery slope from preferences to sin.

27   nathan    
November 26th, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Re: #26

and what’s worse is the sin of elevating one’s own preferences to the level of moral absolute.

and these people say everyone else is a moral relativist, led about by their own desires and wants and agendas…

28   Neil    
November 26th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

to me it’s a missiological question. i have sat in on worship services that included all sorts of things we might think inappropriate – nursing mothers, goats wandering around the church, dancing, etc…

29   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 26th, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Neil – When you put it that way, and juxtaposed against the early church, how much of our worship is “ambiance”? And given that backdrop, how much more offensive is it when people suggest their construct is divinely approved?

(I still do not like tattoos – it’s a personal thing!)

30   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 26th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

#28 there are plenty of goats wandering around in the church today.

31   Neil    
November 26th, 2009 at 10:53 pm

#28 there are plenty of goats wandering around in the church today.

and a few asses as well.

32   nathan    
November 26th, 2009 at 11:15 pm

it’s the “body”…somebody’s gotta be one…

33   Neil    
November 26th, 2009 at 11:29 pm

#29: ambiance can be a great tool, but it can be abused. regarding enforcing constructs, it’s easy to see in history and across cultures… but it’s as destructive within a culture.

34   Neil    
November 26th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

very good nathan.

35   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 12:06 am

there are plenty of goats wandering around in the church today.

Good thing we have the Holy Spirit. Ingrid and Pastorboy to point them out for us…

36   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 10:08 am

Maybe John should change his name from ‘pastor’ boy to ‘whipping’ boy?

I’m gonna get pictures of NT Wright and Eugene Peterson tattooed on my skin…one on each arm and then, when I flex my massive, manly muscles, a little vein on their temples will bulge and make them look angry.

“Don’t mess with the angry pastors/theologians,” I’ll say. Then people will back off.

37   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 10:31 am

I just do not see how this glorifies God, so I will not use it in a worship service any time soon.

I guess when you attract a crowd of 20 somethings, whatever you bait them with, you better not switch it because they will leave. You gotta keep up the stunts. Soon they will have a strippers pole in there and have someone shed the grave clothes as an illustration to John 11…

#36 I was thinking of a similar Tattoo, Jerry, but with John Piper on the right arm, NT Wright on the Left, with the words grace by Piper, works by Wright, and then the whole flexing thing.

38   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 11:22 am

…works by Wright

Pastorboy,

If this is a veiled accusation that Wright believes in salvation by works – stop right there.

If you have a rational statement to make – go for it.

We will allow discussions on the validity and accuracy of a person’s interpretation.

We will even allow accusations and discussion of unbiblical character and theology.

We will not allow blatant false-statements about a person’s basic beliefs.

39   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 11:30 am

I just do not see how this glorifies God, so I will not use it in a worship service any time soon.

nor would i

I guess when you attract a crowd of 20 somethings, whatever you bait them with, you better not switch it because they will leave. You gotta keep up the stunts. Soon they will have a strippers pole in there and have someone shed the grave clothes as an illustration to John 11…

you and truthinator fail at the same spot. face it – you are enforcing your extrabiblical construct on others as if they were universal.

extrabiblical constructs are fine… until you loose track of which lines are biblical and which are of your own creation… and then start judging others by construct that your created.

40   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 11:33 am

#38 – it is statements like those from PB which serve to illuminate either his extreme bias or just plain ignorance.

41   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 11:41 am

Agreed. Wright is so far from works righteousness that he makes Piper look like a works righteousness kind of guy. Piper is so far from grace he makes Wright look like the inventor of grace.

That said, we should not miss the important connexion between grace and acts of righteousness.

42   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 11:50 am

from what i have read the whole piper vs. wright thing is based on splitting some theological hairs.

sure, it’s fun.

sure, we should be as accurate in our language as possible.

but let’s keep in mind both men are orthodox and brothers in christ… even if one wears a purple shirt and a clerical collar.

43   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Neil,

That’s not nearly my point and, to be sure, the debate is not just about splitting theological hairs. The debate is much deeper and involves more than just Wright and Piper.

I think you know that, so I’m not trying to ‘inform’ you of this information. I just wanted to say it for the record.

jerry

44   nathan    
November 27th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

the sad reality is that Wright has a more consistent position of balance and no one could rightly accuse him of not understanding the import of holiness and righteous action…unless they are (a) stupid, (b) deliberately picking a fight, or (c) the worst kind of behavior obsessed ___________ (fill in the blank with the best term of deserved derision).

Give me Wright any day over Piper.

Wright makes me proud to be a Christian…Piper, not so much.

45   nathan    
November 27th, 2009 at 5:45 pm

#35:

be careful Chris L…you might get accused of blasphemy…

46   nathan    
November 27th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

#35:

oh, yeah…or cyber-rape…

47   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 11:42 pm

re 43 – i was thinking of pastorboy’s swipe.

48   Neil    
November 28th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

I guess when you attract a crowd of 20 somethings, whatever you bait them with, you better not switch it because they will leave. You gotta keep up the stunts. Soon they will have a strippers pole in there and have someone shed the grave clothes as an illustration to John 11… – pastorboy

pastorboy, you and truthinator fail at the same spot. face it – you are enforcing your extrabiblical construct on others as if they were universal.

extrabiblical constructs are fine (we all have them)… until you lose track of which lines are biblical and which are of your own creation… and then you start judging others by a construct that you created.

49   Neil    
November 28th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

#36 I was thinking of a similar Tattoo, Jerry, but with John Piper on the right arm, NT Wright on the Left, with the words grace by Piper, works by Wright, and then the whole flexing thing.

wright does not preach justification be works. he preaches justification by faith and faith alone.

pastorboy, i call you to recant and repent of your false comments regarding our brother in christ.

50   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 28th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Why would anyone take anything PB has to say about Wright or Piper seriously? I’d be willing to bet money that he actually hasn’t read anything by either of them.

51   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 28th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I find it difficult to believe that God instructs people to search the internet for the most provocative, the most aberrant, and the most sensational ecclesiastical anomlies in order to draw people’s attention to them. This is not doctrinal confrontational, this is as much of a freak show as the articles to which she links.

Perhaps Ingrid should create a newsletter and offer it at the grocery store checkout line.

52   nathan    
November 28th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

this whiny crosstalk article fails to mention how the church in question also linked in a live feed of someone getting a tattoo removed.

53   nathan    
November 28th, 2009 at 5:53 pm

#51:

well, Rick, everyone else knows that anecdotes and freak occurrences are the worst basis for “trend stories”, but she’s obviously failed to get the memo.

besides, there’s no self-validation in believing the alien stories, and lurid tales of Oprah’s rumored lesbianism.

then again, on the Oprah thing, that might be right up their alley since it’s a chance to hate “the gays”.

54   Neil    
November 28th, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Why would anyone take anything PB has to say about Wright or Piper seriously? I’d be willing to bet money that he actually hasn’t read anything by either of them.

understood.

yet in this thread he misrepresented wright, he misrepresented the purpose of an illustration, and he perpetuated his construct as more than a preference – but universally superior.

55   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 6:10 am

he preaches justification by faith and faith alone.

Reading a great book right now which challenges this construct of justification.

“The Deliverance of God: An Apocalytpic Rereading of Justification in Paul” by Douglas Campbell.

Riveting.

56   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 9:00 am

Wright teaches that all we have in justification is an acquittal in God’s court. And that acquittal is not even the ultimate thing, because it is just an anticipation of an eventual acquittal on the Day of Judgment, when OUR lives will be part of the basis of the final verdict, (p 129, 131).I think Paul did not teach a temporary justification with the eventual ultimate justification resting in any way on our obedience. (it is no wonder a number of his fellow evangelical Anglicans are so dismayed with his doctrine.)

We who are Jews by birth and not `Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. Galatians 2:15,16

Here is a major part of Wright’s system. We have always thought when Paul denied that our salvation was by ‘the works of the law’ that Paul meant by that, any and all good works. Wright insists that justification is not about how one becomes a Christian, but only how to define one. He understands Paul’s strong words in Galatians 2 that we are not justified by the works of the law as meaning simply that we are not defined as Christians by circumcision, Sabbath keeping or kosher food laws. If we take it to mean that we are not justified by any of our obedience to the law, Dr. Wright will say that is not what Paul was talking about. (This has deservedly caught the attention of many evangelical scholars.) If all Paul was warning about was justification by those things and no more, then the door is opened for those who think their faithfulness contributes to justification. Against this radical revision, I must stand with the tradition that Paul in Galatians 2 was talking about not being justified by anything we do.

Wright reduces the warnings in Galatians to smaller matters. Notice how justification is reduced: “Justification, in Galatians, is the doctrine which insists that all who share faith in Christ belong at the same table, no matter what their racial differences…” 120-122. I know that sounds good, but when it dawns on us that Wright is telling us that that is all Paul meant by justification in this epistle, we then see, I hope, that a great deal has been lost. Wright thinks the words “works of the law” refer only to the ethnic badges that identified and distinguished Jews as true Israel, things like circumcision, dietary laws and the Sabbath. So he argues that when Paul speaks against justification by ‘the works of the law’ those ethnic markers are all that Paul has in mind, and not the whole range of moral activity.

HT David H. Linden

57   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 9:02 am

Oh, and I have read works by both Tommy Wright and Johnny Piper.

Most of all, I read my Bible. I recognize a counterfeit doctrine when I see one, no matter the fancy words or the british accent.

58   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 9:09 am

Many of the “works” Paul refers to are inedeed part of the Mosaic Law, but his teachings on justification by faith alone amplifies those teachings to include all works. I just cannot see by your comment where Wright clearly rejects justification by faith.

Please provide a statement from him that is clear, what you provide is actually Biblical. And the British accent swipe reveals your insatiable urge to demean even in the midst of a serious doctrinal discussion. It reminds me of someone else who you fellowship with.

59   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 9:15 am

What’s funny about the things PB cuts and pastes is they have an aire about them that suggests it is more important to defend and uphold man’s theory of justification than it is to engage and interact with what Paul might actually be trying to say to us.

60   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 9:17 am

I love British accents, especially when people are reading the KJV. It is no swipe, really.

I consider Tom a Christian brother insomuch as He seems to have a right understanding of salvation. He is just a little screwy on what justification is. I believe the scripture teaches we have justification by faith alone in Christ alone RIGHT NOW. Tom believes that we have a partial justification NOW and we will receive full justification, based upon our works IN THE FUTURE.

Wright insists that justification is not about how one becomes a Christian, but only how to define one. He understands Paul’s strong words in Galatians 2 that we are not justified by the works of the law as meaning simply that we are not defined as Christians by circumcision, Sabbath keeping or kosher food laws. If we take it to mean that we are not justified by any of our obedience to the law, Dr. Wright will say that is not what Paul was talking about. (This has deservedly caught the attention of many evangelical scholars.) If all Paul was warning about was justification by those things and no more, then the door is opened for those who think their faithfulness contributes to justification. Against this radical revision, I must stand with the tradition that Paul in Galatians 2 was talking about not being justified by anything we do.

61   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 9:20 am

What Paul is not saying is what Tom is interpreting, Chad.

We are not justified based on the works of the law at all. That is what Paul is saying. He is saying elsewhere that if we add anything to the Gospel we are damned (Galatians 1). What NT Wright is saying, within his Anglican construct is that we have some Justification now, and as we live as Christians (including practicing the sacraments within the church) we will receive our full justification in the future based upon how we lived as a Christian.

That is not BIBLICAL. It brings man’s works into it. The glory is now on the man, and not on God.

62   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 9:29 am

PB- that is incorrect

63   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 9:44 am

#62
Which part?

64   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 29th, 2009 at 9:52 am

PB – quit embarrassing yourself.

Everything you’ve said of Wright is a lie, and the sources you quote misquote him.

I don’t have time to give a detailed answer right now now as I’m about to step out the door, but it’s obvious you know nothing more about Wright says than what people who distort his position say about him.

65   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 10:00 am

PB- all of it.

66   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 11:12 am

#64
This is how I read it, show me where I am wrong. Tommy Boy believes in partial justification (lack of a better term) now, and full justification later. In the orthodox view, we are fully justified now, and we will be glorified in the future, all based on the work of Christ accessed through faith alone.

67   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 11:32 am

#66 – If we all will be justified in the end, then who cares about doctrinal chronologies? Doesn’t Wright still teach that it will all come by faith in the end?

68   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 11:39 am

#67 I do not think so, it appears that it will come by faith supported by the works we do. I could be wrong, but that is my reading.

69   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 1:36 pm

#61–as someone who has read many of Wright’s books (which includes books of his sermons), and heard him speak, and read some of his scholarly stuff I can say, without equivocation, that is not what he teaches at all.

Comment 61 is simple, profoundly, wrong.

As someone who has been worshiping with an Anglican church for the past 5 months, and as someone who counts among his closest friends in the world an Anglican Pastor, I can say, without equivocation, that is not what (at least in my experience) not what Anglican’s believe at all.

Some might, but not the ones I have read or worshiped with. Read JI Packer? He doesn’t teach that. Nor does John Stott. Nor does NT Wright.

#61–epic Fail.

70   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 29th, 2009 at 2:56 pm

I’ve read all three of Wright’s books in his The New Testament and the People of God series, plus probably half a dozen of his other books – that’s probably between 3,000 to 4,000 pages altogether, and I can absolutely say Wright does not teach anything close to salvation by works.

What Wright says about justification is this. We are justified by faith alone, but it really would be more accurate to say that we are justified by the faithfulness of Christ alone. From God’s perspective, we are seen as members of the family of God because of Christ’s faithfulness that included death and resurrection on the Cross. Subjectively, we partake in this justification through faith in Christ. Faith is a pure gift of the Holy Spirit, and there is nothing in and of ourselves that we can do to save ourselves.

As far as what Wright says about future judgment, he says that Christians will in the future be held account and judged for what they have done. The things we do for the Kingdom will last, and all else will burn away. This future judgment doesn’t have anything to do with our status in the Kingdom, but rather it is simply God demonstrating His justice.

Where Wright and Piper disagree is specifically about the phrase “imputed righteousness” (a phrase that never appears in Scripture, btw). Wright’s position is simply that righteousness isn’t really something that can be imputed to us because it’s not a word that describes a moral state of people. The Greek work “dikaiosis” is translated both as righteousness and justice, but the connotation the word “righteousness” has taken on in the English vernacular usually is akin to moral purity or innocence. This has roots from the Medieval idea that people could somehow add virtue to their character, and that God kept track of this. This, however, is really a foreign concept from the original meaning of the word.

“Dikaiosis” is really speaking to God’s faithfulness to His covenant – it is God’s answer to those who would say He is not just or that He has forgotten His people. Through Christ, God has proven Himself righteous, and he simultaneously has pronounced a verdict that says we are not guilty of breaking the Covenant. So in conclusion, Wright’s portrayal of justification is based completely in the single narrative of God’s faithfulness to His people starting with Abraham and reaching its climax in Christ.

71   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

You didnt deal with what future justification is in Wright’s wrong view.

72   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

yes he did, PB:

As far as what Wright says about future judgment, he says that Christians will in the future be held account and judged for what they have done. The things we do for the Kingdom will last, and all else will burn away. This future judgment doesn’t have anything to do with our status in the Kingdom, but rather it is simply God demonstrating His justice.

73   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Justification must be all by faith, unless you are Charles Finney.

74   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

The faith of whom, Rick?

75   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

It’s becoming increasingly intriguing to me as to why “faith” is the privileged virtue for attaining salvation vs. other, even more notable virtues (love comes to mind).

Dr. Doug Campbell in his new book, “The Deliverance of God,” argues that the “saved by faith alone” notion that Protestants have used since Luther is wrong and is not what Paul had in mind.

So far in the book (i’m at page 100 of 1200) I am shocked by how much I think I agree with him.

76   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 29th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

You didnt deal with what future justification is in Wright’s wrong view.

As Chad noted, I did.

Our future justification (which is really a misnomer – it’s probably more correct to say our continued justification or guaranteed justification) is simply an extension of what God has already done. Christians can have assurance of their standing before God because of the sealing and work of the Holy Spirit which is really an extension of Christ’s faithfulness. So in essence, what Christ did on the Cross is not only the assurance of our present justification but it is also our assurance that we will be found not guilty (or perhaps more accurately, fulfilling the demands of the Covenant) in the future.

As far as justification by faith alone, again Wright is clear on this point to. It is only through faith that we can become a member of the family of God.

77   nathan    
November 29th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

maybe the lesson is people should have a more accurate understanding of their own reading skills…

or, if the skills are there, learn to recognize where ones assessment of a text is more about parroting the whine critique of others who remain trusted despite their clear lack of reading skills OR consistent inability to grasp issues beyond their comprehension.

78   nathan    
November 29th, 2009 at 6:20 pm

i wonder if PB will admit he’s wrong about Wright now?

79   Neil.    
November 29th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

This is how I read it, show me where I am wrong. Tommy Boy… – pastorboy

now, read this and recant pastorboy:

…all those who are “in him” are “reckoned” to have died and been raised with him, so that from God’s point of view their sins are no longer accounted against them and they stand on resurrection ground, free at last to live as genuine human beings…

…this lawcourt verdict, implementing God’s covenant plan, and all based on Jesus Christ himself, is announced both in the present, with the verdict issued on the basis of faith alone, and also in the future, on the day when God raises from the dead all those who are already indwelt by the Spirit [end note: see Romans 8:9-11]. The present verdict gives assurance that the future verdict will match it; the Spirit gives the power through which that future verdict, when given, will be seen to be in accordance with the life the believer has lived. Justification, N. T. Wright, (pg 251)


here you are proven wrong
when you say wright believes in works.

here you are proven wrong when you say he teaches our present justification is partial.

here you are proven wrong when you say wright teaches our future justification is based on works.

here it is clearly shown that our current justification is based solely on faith in jesus christ… and that our future justification is made sure by our present justification. in fact, here wright teaches the very opposite of what you say he teaches.

since you said “show me” – i have. YOU ARE WRONG when you say “Tom believes that we have a partial justification NOW and we will receive full justification, based upon our works IN THE FUTURE.”

80   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

if you use the pejorative “Tommy Boy” again I am gonna call for you to be put on moderation.

81   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

“with the verdict issued on the basis of faith alone”

Game, set, match.

#80 – Not something to get that upset about.

82   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

And the British accent swipe reveals your insatiable urge to demean even in the midst of a serious doctrinal discussion.

…and if this does not, the “Tommy Boy” swipe certainly did. this is as unacceptable as referring to mac arthur as JMac or Johnny Mac.

83   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Re 81 – there wsa a place were wright even wrote “faith alone in Jesus alone” – or something like that… but i could not readily find it.

84   nathan    
November 29th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

when’s the last time somebody referred to J-Mac as, well, j-mac?

juuuuuust kidding…

;)

85   nathan    
November 29th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Could John Piper be “Jo- Peeps”?

We should make up “rapper” names for all of ‘em…

bell, mclaren, piper, etc…it would be funny.

they could be battling rap posses…

yo, yo, yo. I got this. my theology, you can’t top this. my commentaries rain down incessantly.you can’t mess with me. they be heavier than any Nooma film short-eeezs…I’m J-Mac and I write books that attack. Yeah! Reformed Gangstas in the house! Ain’t no stoppin it.

86   nathan    
November 29th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

:D

87   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

nathan – it has been a while. but just like we would not let pastorboy demean rob bell by calling him rob baal, we should not tolerate demeaning terms like tommy boy either. and to be consistent, that applies both ways.

that said, i readily admit i react to these things quicker than most.

88   nathan    
November 29th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Neil,

i still think the battling rap posses would be awesome

89   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Jo-Peeps is pretty good.

90   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 8:41 pm

John “Snoop Dog” Chisham.

91   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 8:50 pm

I am less offended by tattoos at the altar than I am a blog which elicits comments like this one:

“At the White House outdoor “Thanksgiving” photo-op, Hussein Obama pardoned a 45lb Jaindl turkey to live forever more in Disneyland. The symbolism is eery. Why? Shades of the concentration camp commander in “Schindler’s List” who practiced pardoning in a drunken state, but resumed shooting inmates from his balcony. Too harsh, you protest? Not really. Just imagine those jive turkeys as you and I. With an outstretched hand, Obama will give a thumbs up or thumbs down, Nazi style, to pardon you to live forever more in his secular Disneyland where there is no right or wrong except as he defines, or he will condemn you to a forgotten world of irrelevant indignant religiosity, and/or death at the hands of the executioner.”

Hate is powerful and contagious. I will let you guess which blog embraces hate like this.

92   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 9:08 pm

actually “snoop” could serve as a pretty good name for some of the ODM’s…

93   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

91 – WOW… no paranoia there! :rolleyes – don’t all presidents pardon turkeys? i cannot imagine approving such stuff.

94   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 9:23 pm

I am sure the Holy Spirit grieves over such hatred exhibited in the name of Christ. That blog is a training ground for hatred on many levels.

95   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 10:25 pm

I call John MacArthur JMac alla the time. I happened to be watching Tommy Boy last night, so I gave the nickname to Tom Wright.

Those quotes you provided are compelling, Neil, However, he still states that He believes that we are justified in the future by works. As a former Episcopalian who has Anglican ties, the works that he may well be referring to are those works which identify us as part of the covenant, such as church attendance, covenant baptism (infant), taking part in things like communion and marriage within the church etc. In other words, the works may identify them as part of the covenant people.

This is not such a bad way of approaching things, however, I do not believe that we await a verdict, the verdict has already been rendered. If Tom believes in grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as a means for salvation, I would consider him a brother, but one whom I feel the scripture disagrees with about justification.

96   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 10:26 pm

My old nickname when I rapped was ChizDogg….

look up fabdogg and fabpro on the net you might find a lil sumpin.

97   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 29th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

PB,
You are an idiot. Honestly.

I don’t know any other word for someone who when shown plain facts about something simply refuses to believe them. You have not cited anything Wright has actually said. You have simply again and again stated what you think he says, which has been proven again and again to be wrong.

It is a waste of time and pixels dealing with your willful ignorance.

98   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Well, I will whip out my NT Wright, and my book of common prayer and the years I spent in the church learning doctrine, and the catechism that He holds to and I will show you that as an anglican bishop, he subscribes to and supports works based doctrine!

Look, you cannot point to Rob Bell’s narrative theology and say see- he is a part of that church therefore he believes this, and then turn around and say a bishop in the Anglican church does not hold to what his church teaches. It just does not pass the smell test.

So, Phil, come off of your Bell standard which says he holds to his narrative theology despite what he writes or teaches means we have to assume he is a Christian, or else admit that Wright, an Anglican Bishop, holds to His Church’s catechism and theological underpinnings.

He does state that he believes in future justification as the final test a Christian must pass. Sounds works based to me. But, of course, you will state that I am wrong even though I quoted earlier from his book Justification.

99   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 10:42 pm

And Phil, it is offensive that you call an elder and a Pastor an idiot. I have not stooped to do that to Tom, or to you, so you should at least act in love.

100   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Ha Ha I got to 100 first

101   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 29th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

And Phil, it is offensive that you call an elder and a Pastor an idiot. I have not stooped to do that to Tom, or to you, so you should at least act in love.

Idiot
–noun
1. an utterly foolish or senseless person.

c.1300, “person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning,”

You have repeatedly proven yourself incapable of ordinary reasoning. Either you’re being purposely dishonest, or you’re unable to understand what we’re talking about. For your sake, I hope it’s the latter.

Also, you are not my pastor nor my elder.

102   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Look, you cannot point to Rob Bell’s narrative theology and say see- he is a part of that church therefore he believes this, and then turn around and say a bishop in the Anglican church does not hold to what his church teaches. It just does not pass the smell test.

comparison FAIL!

whenever i point to the doctrine of mars hill it is to clarify something bell has said.

in the case of wright we have plain clear statements from him that clearly and plainly declare his belief in justification based on nothing else than our belief on jesus christ and that it is applied to us by faith alone in christ alone.

103   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 11:00 pm

He does state that he believes in future justification as the final test a Christian must pass.

if this is true than he contradicts himself given the quotes i provided that show he says our present justification is the basis of our future justification.

now, who should i believe:

what wright clearly says he believes

or

or what you say he must believe (contra his clear statements)?

******************************************************************************************

so you have gotten to the point of denying what he actually says because you know better what he really believes.

104   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 11:02 pm

I believe Chris L’s “moron” opened the door for adolescent “I know you are but what am I” interaction.

105   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 11:04 pm

maybe i missed it… but shortly after pastorboy said “show me” we did.

has pastorboy shown any direct words of wright to back up his statements?

106   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

clearly pastorboy is not so dim as to be unable to comprehend the sections of justification by wright that i quoted.

it’s not lack of intelligence, so it must be lack of willingness to learn… to be corrected… to not dislike someone outside his construct.

107   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 29th, 2009 at 11:09 pm

I generally refrain from using those types of terms, but I honestly am at a loss for what else to say. PB might as well be saying, “quit trying to confuse me with the facts!” He hasn’t offered one single quote from Wright to support his accusations, but somehow he claims to know what Wright believes.

108   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 11:09 pm

If you hold Wright to the baotismal regeneration standard as proof of works justufication, will you also hole Chris Rosebrough to the same standard?

109   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 11:18 pm

If Tom believes in grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as a means for salvation

** sigh**

John Piper, and the tradidtion he represents, have said that salvation is accomplished by the sovereign grace of God, operating through the death of Jesus Christ in our place and on our behalf, and appropriated through faith alone. Absolutely. In agree a hundred percent. There is not one syllable of that summary that is would complain about. – Justification, N. T. Wright (pg. 10)

not that i expect you to believe a direct simple quote that is against you construct.

110   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 11:22 pm

He hasn’t offered one single quote from Wright to support his accusations, but somehow he claims to know what Wright believes.

agreed… although i don’t think it a matter of intellect or comprehension. it’s a matter of stubbornness. he holds to his construct of what he thinks wright believes – even when confronted with clear statements by wright to the contrary,

i will admit, when we talk about bell i have to give him a lot of benefit based on his church’s statement of faith – but with wright there is no ambiguity.

111   Neil    
November 29th, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Re 107:

this is why i find trying to discuss anything with pastorboy so frustrating. he is not stupid – if he were i would not bother… just like i do not bother talking deep theological topics with a 2 year old.

112   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 7:01 am

#110 – Statements of faith are nothing but doctrinal museums if there are no living examples. Statements of faith without corresponding teachings are dead. (Unless you are willing to give someone a “lot of benefit”)

113   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 8:56 am

And Phil, it is offensive that you call an elder and a Pastor an idiot

HUH?

You think that just because you wear the title “pastor” that this makes you immune to the charge of being an idiot? I know plenty of pastors who are idiots. You are no exception.

What is confounding (and perhaps due to your idiocy) and hypocritical is that you would have the nerve to assume your office ought to, out of necessity, be respected when you make it your living to attack and malign pastors and elders at every turn.

Perhaps you justify this with a little mind game. If in your mind you can convince yourself that someone (Rob Bell, Wright, Warren, Pagitt, or the pastors on this site, etc) is not really a “pastor” than you can treat them however you like, call them anything you like and even label them as heretics.

Perhaps Phil doesn’t really see you as a pastor and therefore has no problem calling you an idiot?

114   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 9:11 am

Paul called himself a fool. They called Jesus “that fellow” and “Beelzebub” and we scurry to protect our “reputation”. Would to God I was completely relieved of the burden of my reputation and was free to be a complete fool for Jesus Christ.

(I am ordained, does that impress you?)

115   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 9:22 am

God help us if we have to use our office to demand respect. Not only did Paul call himself a fool but also the “least of the apostles” (granted, this was later in his ministry after earlier calling himself the first. This only to highlight that a life of ministry ought to humble, not exalt, oneself).

To me, the irony is that PB will insist the office of “pastor” is in some way important and ought to be respected while he will at the same time take sides with Ingrid, a woman, who in his worldview can’t hold that office nor instruct a man (let alone judge or ridicule a man).

Odd.

116   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 9:37 am

This is where John Piper comes in. As the pastor of a big church in
Minneapolis, he has watched with increasing concern as young people, dazzled
by the intellectual brilliance of Bishop Wright, have bought into his logic
without adequate critical reflection upon it, and who seem to have used it to
reject what they had been taught in church and Sunday school about
justification by faith alone. Determined to get to the bottom of this, Mr. Piper
took several months of sabbatical leave in 2006 and dedicated himself to
reading everything of Bishop Wright’s that he could lay his hands on. He had
never met Tom Wright in the flesh and knew little about him beyond his
published writings, but he did enter into correspondence with him, asking for
clarification of his views so that he could make sure that what he said about
them was accurate. Bishop Wright was good enough to make a lengthy reply,
which doubled the size of Mr. Piper’s book and clarified his thinking on any
number of points great and small. Having done all that, Mr. Piper came to the
following conclusion:

My conviction concerning N. T. Wright is … that his portrayal of the
Gospel—and of the doctrine of justification in particular—is so disfigured
that it becomes difficult to recognise as Biblically faithful. It may be that
in his own mind and heart Wright has a clear and firm grasp on the Gospel
of Christ and the Biblical meaning of justification. But in my judgment,
what he has written will lead to a kind of preaching that will not announce
clearly what makes the lordship of Christ good news for guilty sinners or
show those who are overwhelmed with sin how they may stand righteous
in the presence of God (p. 15).

These are fighting words, and Mr. Piper went on to support them by a lucid
examination of what Bishop Wright has written and a demonstration from the
New Testament text that what he has to say does not fit with the overall
teaching of Scripture. Why not?

117   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 9:43 am

Why not?

Um, cause Piper is not God, is not objective and has his own theological axe to grind.

Piper is as mistaken on this as he was about the tornado happening in Minneapolis a few months ago.

118   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 9:43 am

“Justification, at the last, will be on the basis of performance.”

N.T. Wright, Romans, NIB 10 (Nashville: Abington, 2003), 440.

119   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 9:45 am

“Present justification declares, on the basis of faith, what future justification will affirm publicly… on the basis of the entire life.”

[2] N.T. Wright, What Saint Paul Really Said (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 129.

120   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 9:48 am

Whatever doubt there may have been about Wright’s view of future justification, his book justification is abundantly clear: in the end, believers face a

“judgment according to works.”

Tom Wright, Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision (London: SPCK, 2009), 160.

121   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 9:55 am

120: PB- do you deny that believers will be judged on their works?

Scripture is quite clear that we will be.

What you seem confused about is the purpose of judgment.

122   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 9:58 am

I have read some interviews by Wright, and although I find no convincing evidence of a works salvation, I do find many more words than are necessary to communicate some clear and simple truths. All the rest always seems to be confusing erudtion and verbal obstacle courses designed so as not to be pinned down.

123   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:03 am

Whatever doubt there may have been about Wright’s view of future justification, his book justification is abundantly clear: in the end, believers face a “judgment according to works.”

Yes, and that is extremely Biblical. We will be judged according to our works. That judgment will not determine whether we are in or out, but it simply means that things of God will last and things that are not will not.

You still haven’t proven anything PB. You’ve only given a few brief sentence taken out of context. You simply are proving that you don’t understand what Wright is saying.

The ‘faith’ in question is faith in ‘the God who raised Jesus from the dead’. It comes about through the announcement of God’s word, the gospel, which works powerfully in the hearts of hearers, ‘calling’ them to believe, or indeed (as Paul often puts it) to ‘obey’ the gospel (Rom. 1.16f.; 1 Thess. 1.3f., 2.13; 2 Thess. 1.8). This faith looks backwards to what God has done in Christ, by means of his own obedient faithfulness to God’s purpose (Rom. 5.19; Phil. 2.6), relying on that rather than on anything that is true of oneself. For Paul, this meant refusing to regard the badges of Jewish law-observance (’the works of the law’) as the decisive factor (Phil. 3.2-11). And it looks forward to the final day: because this faith is the first sign of new God-given life, it is the appropriate anticipation of the final verdict, which is guaranteed by the same Spirit who inspired faith (2 Cor. 1.22; Phil. 1.6). (from here)

All Wright is doing is properly separating the term justification from salvation, and he’s placing assurance of salvation in it’s proper context. Our future justification is based on the same thing as our present justification – God’s faithfulness. There is not anything we can do to earn it.

Justification in the present is based on God’s past accomplishment in Christ, and anticipates the future verdict. This present justification has exactly the same pattern.

124   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:05 am

#121
Not in the same way that non-believers will be judged.

The scripture is clear where Tom Stumbles- Romans 2- to put it simply for you Chad, is written to those (Jews at the time) who place their trust in their good works will be judged according to those works. No matter what you think, Chad, the Bible declares those people GUILTY and they are sent to HELL.

We who are believers will be judged based on the works of Christ- and declared NOT GUILTY- and those, and only those people who have been reborn and regenerated through the work of God will be accepted into eternal life in HEAVEN.

The former will meet God as Judge; the latter as Father. The former will reap the benefits of God’s JUSTICE the latter, the benefits of His MERCY.

125   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:06 am

#122
In my readings of Wright, he muddles the justification and sanctification aspect of salvation together, making simple minded people like me go HUH?

126   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:07 am

Not in the same way that non-believers will be judged.

Again, PB, you are an idiot.

This is why Wright says that BELIEVERS will face a judgment based on their works.

He makes the same distinction you do.

Duh.

127   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:08 am

Words mean things, Phil, and the word anticipates is the wrong word.

guarantees would satisfy my need. Present justification guarantees future.

128   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:10 am

Well, you are a fine christian Chad. Thanks for the personal attack, I wear it as a badge of honor.

129   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:12 am

guarantees would satisfy my need.

Well, sorry, PB, but no one is going to bow to your needs. Get over yourself.

“anticipates” is the proper virtue. Who are you to claim any “guarantee” about anything? Anticipates embodies humility and suggests that judgment is for God alone, not us.

Your desire for “guarantees” is a convenient way for you and others like you to establish on earth who the goats and sheep are.

130   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:15 am

#122
In my readings of Wright, he muddles the justification and sanctification aspect of salvation together, making simple minded people like me go HUH?

Well, then you’re not reading the same Wright I’m reading. What Wright says is that our assurance of being found “not guilty” in the future is the same as being found “not guilty” now – Christ’s work on the cross. Wright does not say we get saved through faith and stay saved by works. On the contrary, he says that the Holy Spirit is the seal or the guarantee on the people of God, and that because of this, the people of God will naturally bear fruit. It is not confusing.

I do not buy the idea that just because there is an interpretation of Scripture that is simpler to understand, but wrong, compared to one that’s a bit more complex, but correct, that we should simply stick to the simpler one for simplicity’s sake.

131   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:16 am

The ironic thing is that is that in the quote I posted, Wright did use the word “guarantee”…

132   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:19 am

#129 Guarantees is what the Bible says Chad- it does not use the word anticipate. The english also uses the word surety- that is the future is assured. It is not anticipated. The seal of the Spirit is a guarantee….a surety!

Also, Chad…Jesus Himself made the same guarnatee as He is the Good Shepherd, who knows His own, and the Father has given His sheep to Him, and NO ONE will snatch them out of His hands…sounds pretty much like a guarantee to this idiot.

133   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:22 am

Personally, I wish Wright would emphasize works more than he does. I think justification theory pays too high a price when insisting salvation is based on “faith alone.”

Campbell writes:

From a very early point, the theory [Justification Theory] launches a scathing attack on ethical behavior. This attack, which provides such effective leverage on the unsaved individual, also condemns empty “religion” and potentially oppressive ecclesial institutions. But its initial rhetorical advantages come at a price. After reducing the condition of salvation from ethical perfection to faith alone, the theory cannot then consistently expect self-interested individuals to undertake further ethical behavior! Their sins are forgiven and they are saved, so no further leverage on them can be generated through self-interest (which previously came principally from the prospect of hell, but that problem has now been resolved). Moreover, such individuals are accustomed to condemning ethical performance and to perceiving repeated failure in relation to it as a healthy thing. Indeed, to deny this is to be hypocritical – one of the worst sins.

-Deliverance of God, 81.

134   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:24 am

Right John. IF that is what you came away with from Wright, then you have either not read Wright or not read right. Because that is not what he is saying or writing.

135   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:25 am

Wright uses the word “anticipates” simply because the future judgment hasn’t happened yet. It’s not complicated. Actually, the way I see it, “anticipate” connotes an event that’s assured to happen more than one that might happen. I would suspect the word to connote expectation of an event that may happen is “hope”.

136   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:28 am

Phil, I was just about to say the same thing.

“Anticipate” captures the spirit of what Christians are meant to embody (our ought to embody) — HOPE.

The whole cosmos stands on tip toes, groaning, anticipating (HOPING) for the return of Christ.

Anticipation is not about angst or worry or fear. It’s about looking forward to judgment, when God sets the world to rights.

Nothing wrong with that.

137   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 10:29 am

I find the finer points of theology tedious and without a real purpose in everday lives.

138   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 10:31 am

What must you do NOW to be guaranteed a postive outcome in the FUTURE??

There, simple question.

139   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:43 am

What must you do NOW to be guaranteed a postive outcome in the FUTURE??

Why worry about tomorrow? – Jesus.

Simple answer.

140   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:48 am

Rick,

That’s why Write wrote the book–because people like Piper, Driscoll, et all, have obfuscated that question. All Wright is doing is showing the absurdity of their argument, position, and exegesis, and writing polemic against their charges that he is a heretic or, worse,–a ‘Christian’ in some mangled sense of the term.

I’m sure Bishop/Pastor Wright would much rather be writing sermons, tending his sheep, or writing a book about the glories of resurrection than debating what you call the finer points of theology. But like I told Neil the other day, this is NOT a finer point nor tedious.

What he is writing about IS every day life and how we go about the exercise of our faith in Christ and live out the fullness of Christ’s faithfulness. Reading his work helps understand that.

jerry

141   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:57 am

There is something about what Wright writes that creates a profound sense of humility in the reader and the christian. Not so with what his opponents write. Theirs creates a sense of privilege and pride. What Wright says creates a sense of ‘wow, I’m part of something much bigger than I had imagined’. We see God’s kingdom expanding. Not so with his Calvinistic opponents whose theology shrinks God’s kingdom and God’s vision.

In my opinion, that is every day living and far from tedious.

142   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 30th, 2009 at 11:02 am

There is something about what Wright writes that creates a profound sense of humility in the reader and the christian. Not so with what his opponents write. Theirs creates a sense of privilege and pride. What Wright says creates a sense of ‘wow, I’m part of something much bigger than I had imagined’. We see God’s kingdom expanding. Not so with his Calvinistic opponents whose theology shrinks God’s kingdom and God’s vision.

That’s very true, Jerry.

Our theology will shape the way we think about everything, really. I have never gotten the idea from reading Wright’s books that he’s writing simply to prove he knows more or for simply academic reasons. I really do feel that he is all about the rubber meeting the road.

143   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 11:11 am

re 116

pastorboy, who are you quoting?

and why must you continually ignore what wright himself says just to copy and paste what others say about him?

wrights words in #109 are sufficient

144   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 11:13 am

As he points out in his book, almost mocking Piper, he is writing as a pastor. That’s pretty important, I think. (He says this because, if I understood properly, Piper challenged him at this very point. I guess Piper wrote something to the same effect in his book.)

145   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 11:14 am
“Present justification declares, on the basis of faith, what future justification will affirm publicly… on the basis of the entire life.”

[2] N.T. Wright, What Saint Paul Really Said (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 129.

exactly – our future justification is based on our present faith and is affirmed publicly by a life lived.

you seem to misunderstand that “affirmed” is not “earned” -

146   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 11:17 am

re 119 & 120 –

please provide greater context. because i do not trust you to quote one sentence in the way the other intended it.

147   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 11:20 am

In my readings of Wright, he muddles the justification and sanctification aspect of salvation together, making simple minded people like me go HUH? – pastorboy

this is just ridiculous.

more stabbing in the dark hopping to find SOMETING to accuse the man of…

he is clear.

we have shown clear statements.

and you have the nerve to make stuff up like this?

148   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 11:22 am

#139 – Out of context answer. The New Testament is full of admonitions to prepare and anticpate His return. The verse you quote is about worrying about God’s ability to provide for His people.

149   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 11:23 am

I find the finer points of theology tedious and without a real purpose in everday lives.

i find it tedious when men use it dishonestly – as pastorboy has shown here – trying to confuse an issue instead of explore and clarify.

even arguing would be less tedious with out the dishonesty.

150   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 11:27 am

John Piper, and the tradition he represents, have said that salvation is accomplished by the sovereign grace of God, operating through the death of Jesus Christ in our place and on our behalf, and appropriated through faith alone. Absolutely. In agree a hundred percent. There is not one syllable of that summary that is would complain about. – Justification, N. T. Wright (pg. 10)

pastorboy, this is as orthodox and evangelical and clear as it gets. if this were written by silva, you’d be agreeing and posting it in bold-face.

151   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 30th, 2009 at 11:28 am

That’s why Write wrote the book–because people like Piper, Driscoll, et all, have obfuscated that question. All Wright is doing is showing the absurdity of their argument, position, and exegesis, and writing polemic against their charges that he is a heretic or, worse,–a ‘Christian’ in some mangled sense of the term.

The one thing that I have seen that’s near universally true about Piper and Driscoll is that the people they are critical of are much more charitable towards them than vice versa. I guess that is the one thing that always ticks me off about many Calvinists. They really do manage to turn everything about that specific theology into a major point.

I guess part of that is simply because of the “house of cards” or “row of dominoes” nature inherent in that theology where if one point falls, they all do. When it comes down to it, you can’t really reject one point of TULIP without rejecting them all.

152   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 11:39 am

“The works in question will not earn their performers their membership within God’s true, eschatological, covenant people; they will demonstrate that membership.”–Wright, Justification, 146

153   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 11:40 am

RE 120 – pastorboy –

can any find the quote pastorboy uses and ascribed to wright? pastorboy gives us this quote

“judgment according to works.”

and this notation

Tom Wright, Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision (London: SPCK, 2009), 160.

i cannot find that quote on that page in that book.

154   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 11:43 am

i realize that the judgment of which paul speks is different than the justification of which paul speaks – we all do.

including pastorboy i am sure.

but it goes to the point of showing his stubbornness and his dishonest means of argument when he willingly confuses two very distinct topics just to use the word “works”

which i cannot find find that page anyway.

155   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 11:47 am

one thing that always ticks me off about many Calvinists.

You become, in many respects, like your Master.

No one here expects PB to take all of this evidence to heart and to then say he was wrong, mistaken, or whatever, and apologize.

he is just like Calvin in this respect.

Calvin updated the Institutes a number of times. As his knowledge grew, so did the volumes. But not once (to my knowledge) did he ever retract or recant anything he said earlier, even though his theology changed. Rather, he just wrote more, expounding on what was in error before, adding to it to the point where the error before is forgotten. This was a common practice of the day.

156   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 11:47 am

#153 you must have a different version then. On that page, it is stated that way once, and throughout as well, look on 162 and 163 as well.

Charitable reading does not mean blind reading.

157   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 11:47 am

“The works in question will not earn their performers their membership within God’s true, eschatological, covenant people; they will demonstrate that membership.”–Wright, Justification, 146

(sarcasm)but jerry… how do we know this is really what wright means – he is, after all – anglican.

and i am not satisfied with this statement. it is not clear enough.

he should have said that works will “never earn salvation.” instead he talks of membership and covenant people… it’s all too unclear.

as i read it, he leaves it open to a works salvation sometime in the future.(/sarcasm)

158   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 11:49 am

I am not a Calvinist, for the last time.

I am a Christian- born again, God honoring, Bible believing (including Genesis 1-3) Christian.

159   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 11:51 am

Driscoll is such a conundrum. A grungesque, hard charging, hard language type of relevant preacher who insists on being doctrinally profound.

160   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 11:51 am

I am not a Calvinist, for the last time

Why should we believe you, PB? Written statements are not enough. Sorry.

161   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 11:51 am

Charitable reading does not mean blind reading.

i must be blind, then. i have read page 160 three times and no where do i see him use the phrase “judgment according to works.”

i will read it again.

i assume though, that you do understand he is not talking about justification or salvation at this point. so it is moot to your accusation.

162   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

ok – clearly we are reading different books.

i have reread pages 160 – 163, from justification; god’s plan & paul’s vision, by n. t. wright, Inter-varsity Press, 2009.

i see no references to salvation or justification by works.

i see no use of the phrase “judgment according to works.”

163   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Bottom line:
on page 10 we have a clear and orthodox statement of how salvation is appropriated when wright writes:

John Piper, and the tradition he represents, have said that salvation is accomplished by the sovereign grace of God, operating through the death of Jesus Christ in our place and on our behalf, and appropriated through faith alone. Absolutely. I agree a hundred percent. There is not one syllable of that summary that is would complain about. – Justification, N. T. Wright (pg. 10)

and on page 146 he clearly denies any requirements of works (present or future) for justification when he writes:

The works in question will not earn their performers their membership within God’s true, eschatological, covenant people; they will demonstrate that membership.”–Wright, Justification, 146

OK - that issue is settled... let’s get back to arguing about imposing OUR cultural constructs on others as standard of judgment.

164   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Not to derail (yet again) the OP, but since it’s slow I have a pastoral question and would love some feedback (and it has to do with what we do around the altar).

I women’s group in my church paid to have the carpets in the sanctuary cleaned a few weeks ago. They look great. In their last meeting they brought up some concerns to be passed on to me. They are:

Since the carpets are now clean, could we either switch to the little individual cups for communion (we do Intinction) or if not that could we put out a piece of plastic like a shower curtain to prevent the carpet from getting stained?

How would you respond? I’ll wait before sharing how I have already responded.

165   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

i think plastic would look tacky. if i thought it was a real concern and might create an issue (something i do not face very often) i’d look into a matching/coordinating throw carpet to catch spills.

also, i might try varying the manner in which communion is distributed. we do it various ways.

my $.02.

166   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

#155 – Those who are predisposed to like Calvin may not even norice any inconsistencies. That phenomenon exists today as well and with a variety of different men.

#164 – Two possible responses.

* Perhaps gently reminding them that communion is more important than carpet, but we will try harder to be careful.

* Go with the cups and use it as an object lesson about what’s in the cup being more imporatant than nthe cup itself. (earthen vessels, etc.)

167   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

you have carpet in the sanctuary? How very modernist of you!

Same problem, different concern at a church I used to serve at. People would bring doughnuts and coffee in the sanctuary. After carpet cleaning, people were concerned about stains etc. I was very proud of the head Pastor who said I would rather have coffee and doughnuts in the sanctuary and stains on the carpet than potentially denying one person access to the Gospel!

Of course, at your church, that does not seem to be a concern, Chad, because everybody gets saved anyway.

;)

168   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Chad–I personally would not let a group of ladies pay for anything in the church. I wouldn’t let anyone in the church pay for anything that doesn’t go through the board or vestry. trust me when i say, from hard experience, that people who give designated money end up controlling the money they gave.

i can give the address of a church who makes that a core value of their ‘christian’ ‘faith’.

Seriously. I feel badly for you. Now they have you over a barrel.

169   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Oh, Neil, I think John might be referring to this statement on page 160: “All this is then set (because otherwise one might wonder how an apostle, faced with this awful vocation, could bear to continue) within the larger eschatological framework which Paul everywhere assumes and only occasionally spells out. Present life is lived in the light of the coming fact of resurrection, which itself is set in the context of the coming great day of judgment (1 Corinthians 5:10). Then everyone, not least apostles themselves, must stand before the Messiah’s judgment-seat, so that each ‘may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.’”–160

But I hardly think that justifies what John is asserting.

Either that or John is reading from the version of the book published by IVP UK and we are reading the version published by IVP USA. The pagination might be different.

Still, John is taking that quote out of context because Wright is not talking about works justification. And Scripture clearly teaches that our works will, in fact, be judged.

170   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 30th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

That actually is very good advice, Jerry.

Too often when people give more for a specific area or item, it comes with strings attached.

The best analogy I’ve heard for talking about people giving an offering is getting people to think of their offering in a similar way as a burnt offering. Those sacrifices were offered to the Lord, and they were totally consumed. The person had no say over it once it was given.

171   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Of course, at your church, that does not seem to be a concern, Chad, because everybody gets saved anyway.

seriously pastorby, cannot you not make one comment without being an…?

172   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Chad–I personally would not let a group of ladies pay for anything in the church.

our church has a similar policy. no one can give to a particular need. one problem is what jerry pointed out, the other problem is ministry needs becoming a beauty contest.

173   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

#171 But I left a little smiley!

174   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

RE: 169.

it may be true jerry, that pastorboy was referencing wright’s quote of corinthians on page 160.

but that leaves this problem:

pastorboy quoted wright as saying “judgment according to works.” – a direct quote with notation – and i cannot find that statement anywhere on page 160, or 161, or 162, or 163…

and this problem:

the context of those pages does not refer to justification or salvation by works. it’s all about a life lived that attests to the same.

175   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Thanks for the feedback, most of you.

I ended up sharing with them that their concern is a valid one while also highlighting a deficiency on the part of pastors (self included) of properly teaching the significance of the Lord’s Supper (most of these women have decades in the church and ought to know better).

I got to explain (again) why we don’t use individual cups (and won’t). We partake from a common cup thus signifying our unity with Christ and with one another. The Lord’s Supper is a sharing in the life, death and resurrection of One Lord, and the one loaf and cup point to that unity, as well as anticipate the unity we will one day share around the heavenly banquet.

I told them that while I would not have a piece of plastic brought out which is a)distracting and b) suggests that the state of our carpet is of more import than the meal we are about to receive, I said I’d be happy to allow them to purchase a dark, solid colored rug that would be a permanent fixture in front of the altar where I serve.

But I also added that I would not mind if the carpet were stained. It would give me AND them an opportunity to point to those stains and say to people, “Look, we meet Jesus here every week – and it leaves a mark.”

Jerry – those are valid concerns your raise. Fortunately I am a Methodist which means I can’t be released because I stick to my theological guns. There are some hills I can do battle on – this is one I knew I’d have the full support from Bishop on down.

176   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I said I’d be happy to allow them to purchase a dark, solid colored rug…

woo hoo – i win!

although i do like the comment about the significance of any stains.

177   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Yep. I get that too. I searched too and I didn’t find that quoted comment he put up. I guess I was just giving him the benefit of the doubt.

I agree with you that pages 160ff have nothing to do with what he is suggesting. We’re OK.

178   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

#171 – That is just one more example of PB speaking out of his ???

He knows no more about what I teach than he does N.T. Wright.

179   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

That’s cool Chad. It must be nice to be afforded that luxury. That has always been one of my problems with the COC: we are so independent that most preachers have no formal backup whatsoever. We are on our own and it really makes it tough to get anything done. I’m glad you don’t have to face that sort of pressure daily!

Maybe someday there will be a church for me again to preach in, to, at, and with. Maybe I need to give serious thought to my current pastor’s idea that I seek ordination in the Anglican church and become a parish pastor/preacher.

Ha! Can you see me vested!

180   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Jerry –

I have many colleagues who fact those same dilemmas. I feel sorry for them (and you in yours). I can’t imagine taking the pulpit each week being worried about pissing the wrong group off.

I can see you vested :) Maybe you should take their advice. If not Anglican, the UMC would love to have you in their ranks.

181   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

I just started “Justification” last night. And I am eagerly looking forward to getting into it.
Did anyone else find Mr. Wright’s metaphor about the sun revolving around the earth a brilliant picture for so much in Christendom, not just the doctrine of justification?
It even applies to the cultural dogma addressed in the OP where the issue is not a Biblical one, but it’s just not how we’ve always done it.

182   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

**yawn**
Anglican would be a great way to go, Jerry. I have full confidence that you would be a guy that would take that excellent theology and teach it and live it well.

Imagining you in a vestment saying to the old parish priest..ya know the difference between you and me? I make this look GOOD…..

183   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 6:40 pm

pastorboy,

would you please post the first five words and the last five words as they appear on page 160 of your copy of justification by n. t. wright?

i want to settle this question one way or the other. it must be one of three scenarios:

1) you are quoting from a differnet version of the book – different pagination/different book, or

2) you made up the quote/misquoted, or

3) i missed it all four times i read page 160 and those that follow.

184   andy    http://www.carm.org
November 30th, 2009 at 8:59 pm

you should look in the british version, as pb noted it is on page 160

185   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 9:31 pm

So long Charlie Weiss. Bring back Sweet Lou!

186   Neil    
November 30th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

you should look in the british version, as pb noted it is on page 160

that is why i asked him for the first five and last five words on his page 160, to see where the quote falls in my pagination.

187   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 30th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

The funny thing with PB having a problem with the phrase “judgment according to works” is that it’s a direct quote of Romans 2:6. So perhaps PB’s problem is actually with the Apostle Paul rather than Wright.

I’ve actually looked in my copy of Justification to see what PB is actually quoting, and from what I can tell, it may be Wright’s discussion of Romans from pp. 182-193. Wright unpacks what Paul is saying, but the long and short of it is that our works are not something that earn us anything. He is abundantly clear on that.

Actually, this article, which is a review a panel discussing Wright’s book addresses this very issue.

At some times I am not sure if the panelists read the whole book. Their claims that Wright is a moralist, synergist, or Catholic are absolutely absurd in light of some of his direct claims in the book. This is absolutely clear in Wright’s chapter on Romans:

“The point of future justification is then explained like this. The verdict of the last day will truly reflect what people have actually done. It is extremely important to notice, in line with that sense of sudden anxiety in 2.15, that Paul never says Christians earn the final verdict, or that their ‘works’ must be complete and perfect.” (Pg. 167, Bold mine).

188   Neil    
December 1st, 2009 at 1:17 am

22 pages seems like more than pagination differences.

it’s not like i have time to reread the whole book looking for one quote.

189   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 1st, 2009 at 7:52 am

Can anyone see the obvious distinction/tenison between justification and judgment? A believer will have both while an unbeliever will only have judgment. But even a believer will endure some kind of judgment of his life, but that will not overide his complete justification.

Only God knows how someone can be completely and eternally justified and yet still face a judgment of his works. I guess it would be like my son being my flesh and blood son but yet facing my judgment as to something he did or did not do.

I am sure Wright includes some as believers that I probably would question, so I cannot in any sense hear him constructing a works salvation. I am somewhat amused by “Calvinist leaning” people who get all up in arms that someone might be teaching a works salvation or even easy believism, which by their theology, changes nothing.

And some act as if Wright impacts the entire evangelical community. The percentage of people who have heard or even know about Wright is miniscule compared to the American preachers. What is baffling is that Bell endorses him, yet if you peruse Bell’s teachings you would be hard pressed to see clear evidence of that. If you think Wright is a little hazy, Bell is a complete fog…or maybe very clear.

190   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
December 1st, 2009 at 8:23 am

Bell endorses Wright, in my opinion, for the simple reason that Wright takes the Bible very seriously. And contrary to what some may say, when you listen to Bell’s sermons every week, he clearly loves God’s Word.

191   Neil    
December 1st, 2009 at 11:18 am

Can anyone see the obvious distinction/tenison between justification and judgment? A believer will have both while an unbeliever will only have judgment. But even a believer will endure some kind of judgment of his life, but that will not overide his complete justification. – Rick frueh

i believe we all see the distinction, including pastorboy. although he is willing to blur the lines in an effort to inject “works” into wrights argument.

192   Neil    
December 1st, 2009 at 11:19 am

And some act as if Wright impacts the entire evangelical community. The percentage of people who have heard or even know about Wright is miniscule compared to the American preachers.

true. i find him refreshing because of his depth of thinking and his lack of “american evangelicalism” baggage.

193   Neil    
December 1st, 2009 at 7:00 pm

re 183: i guess not then.

not sure what to think, although i can easily narrow it down to just two options.

194   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 1st, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Sorry, Neil, been preaching open air all day, didn’t have time to show you exactly where. You remind me of the young man Solomon I spoke with when he asked “where exactly does it say in the Bible that we deserve Hell?” I can fax you a copy of the page from which I took the quote, but like I asked Solomon, if I showed you that would you actually repent and believe the Gospel” and he said no…so I wonder if my time and effort for it will be worthwhile.

I read what he says on 160 in my version and it says that. Clearly. Sorry, without faxing or scanning it I cannot show you where. I suppose I could count words and paragraphs, but would it really matter?

Wright believes in two different justifications. One, when you are ‘brought into’ faith, which, as an Anglican, begins at Baptism, and is confirmed after catechises. In other words, it is about becoming part of the covenant people, the body, the church.

The second justification is the justification where you are judged by the way you lived your life between the first one and the second one, when you are judged based upon the way you lived your life, or, functioned as a part of the church. that, my friend, no matter how you slice it, is works.

The difference between that view and Biblical Christianity is that we are justified by faith in the FINISHED WORK of JESUS CHRIST not based upon our works, but based upon FAITH in the finished WORK of JESUS. When we are justified, we are declared not guilty, and the judgement for our sins PAST PRESENT and FUTURE are all atoned for in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Not one of my GOOD WORKS nor any of my BAD WORKS will ADD TO or TAKE AWAY from salvation in Jesus Christ. It is by GRACE ALONE through FAITH ALONE…not by any works that I have done but by HIS MERCY…He saved us.

Tom Wright is Wrong if he holds to 1. Anglican theology
2. The fact that we are not completely justified when we are Born Again.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is more than enough evidence for the former, and VOLUMES of evidence for the latter.

195   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 1st, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Tom Wright is Wrong if he holds to 1. Anglican theology
2. The fact that we are not completely justified when we are Born Again.

Out and out lie. Amazing.

You will go and ask people on the streets if they’ve ever broken any the 10 Commandments, but yet you been doing it continuously here… simply astounding.

196   nathan    
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:04 am

ah, yes…the whole of Anglican Theology in it’s manifold expressions and multiple voices can be swept away with a single assertion…

197   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 1:33 am

You remind me of the young man Solomon I spoke with when he asked “where exactly does it say in the Bible that we deserve Hell?” – pastorboy

this is an interesting pattern, when you are challenged, you compare us to unbelievers.

all i asked for were ten words from page 160 in your version – the first five and the last five.

i cannot find the quote you provided. and to be honest, based on what i have seen you do before – i do not trust you.

show me where wright says justification is based on works. show me the source of that alleged quote.

198   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 1:40 am

Not one of my GOOD WORKS nor any of my BAD WORKS will ADD TO or TAKE AWAY from salvation in Jesus Christ. It is by GRACE ALONE through FAITH ALONE…not by any works that I have done but by HIS MERCY…He saved us. – pasrtorboy

and this is exactly what wright says. he would agree with you and i have shown clear and definitive statements by him to the same.

i find your refusal to accept what he has said he believes mind-boggling.

it scares me that you have authority over people. it scares me that you refuse to accept the clear statements of a brother in christ. it scares me the damage you may be doing to people who think you are honest in your research.

this is no longer a matter of reading vague things differently – like we have done with bell.

wright has made statements that are absolutely clear, evangelical, and with which you would agree if they were made by piper – yet you cling to a construct that you have decided MUST be true against all evidence to the contrary.

i can come to know other conclusions than you are either completely blinded by your self-deception or you are a liar.

199   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 1:55 am

n. t. wright on salvation:

salvation is accomplished by the sovereign grace of God, operating through the death of Jesus Christ in our place and on our behalf, and appropriated through faith alone.

pastorboy on salvation:

Not one of my GOOD WORKS nor any of my BAD WORKS will ADD TO or TAKE AWAY from salvation in Jesus Christ. It is by GRACE ALONE through FAITH. ALONE

200   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 8:35 am

I guess the main argument is his views, as in the NPP, about justification. He argues that justification is not about how you get into God’s family; it’s proof that you are in. It’s God’s declaration that you are, in fact, part of His covenant family. He thus questions the doctrine of imputation.

I am no liar, this is my reading. I am with him on the quote, (#199) I have not questioned his salvation, but I have issue with the idea of infused righteousness and the idea that somehow, someway, based on our life (what we do) justifies us.

You can attack my person and my reputation all you want, it does not change my reading of the text.

201   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 9:27 am

I guess the main argument is his views, as in the NPP, about justification. He argues that justification is not about how you get into God’s family; it’s proof that you are in. It’s God’s declaration that you are, in fact, part of His covenant family. He thus questions the doctrine of imputation.

Which is a point that I brought up a long time ago. Imputation, as John Piper and other Calvinists present it, is simply not a concept that the Apostle Paul would have really understood. Righteousness was not really a quality that God could impart on someone. That idea is really a holdover from Medieval theology that found its way into the Reformer’s thoughts. It’s ironic that those who are supposedly so dedicated to sola scriptura are so committed to an idea that isn’t really found in Scripture.

I am no liar, this is my reading. I am with him on the quote, (#199) I have not questioned his salvation, but I have issue with the idea of infused righteousness and the idea that somehow, someway, based on our life (what we do) justifies us.

You can attack my person and my reputation all you want, it does not change my reading of the text.

Your “reading” consists of posting a fragment of the text with no context, and when questioned about where this was in the actual book, you can’t even provide us with the context. My actual guess is that you don’t really own the book and that you are simply copying and pasting these quotes from some other whackjob blog.

If this were a court case, your supposed “evidence” would be thrown out. Heck, if this were a Junior High Social Studies class, a teacher wouldn’t accept it.

No one here is doing anything to attack your reputation. You are doing a good enough of destroying it yourself.

202   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 10:04 am

Like I said, Phil, I am not going to fax a copy of the page. I cited it, it is for you to read, thats all I need to do.

You are as blind about NT Wright as you are about Bell. Nobody is perfect (not even John Piper) which is why we should study the scripture by the power of the Holy Spirit and come to a right understanding ourselves.

Justification is an immediate act by God where the criminal is declared NOT GUILTY on the basis of the fine or the wages being paid on the criminal’s behalf. Sanctification is the process by which we become more like Christ. This is demonstrated by works, but not accomplished by works. As with justification, it is the gift of God. Glorification is the immediate reality when we die that we will be with Christ, and we will be like Him, and we will see Him as He is. Again, not based upon our work, it is based upon His work. Glorification is not final justification; it is not justification PLUS works. From beginning (justification, redemption)
to end (glorification) Salvation is a gift from God.

203   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 2nd, 2009 at 10:53 am

Alert: John Piper’s conference speaker named Mark Driscoll will be joining Rick Warren for a conference about Christian “radicals”. Sometimes the targets get blurred!

204   M.G.    
December 2nd, 2009 at 11:24 am

PB,

A moment of honesty. Is this where yo obtained the cite, as opposed to the book itself?

http://www.reformation21.org/articles/five-arguments-against-future-justification-according-to-works.php

Please be honest.

205   chris    
December 2nd, 2009 at 11:46 am

Of course PB doesn’t own the book. He perused at the local BnN or is cutting and pasting from somewhere.

206   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 11:48 am

I am no liar, this is my reading. I am with him on the quote, (#199) I have not questioned his salvation, – pastorboy

granted, you have not questioned his salvation. but you implied he advocated a works salvaiton based on you contrasts in comment 194.

and he does no such thing.

207   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 11:53 am

#206
He believes in a judgement based upon works for final justification. Now thats works no matter how much perfume you pour on it.

208   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 11:59 am

….but I have issue with the idea of infused righteousness and the idea that somehow, someway, based on our life (what we do) justifies us. – pastorboy

point a) i grant you this is a new perspective. and i am not completely sure how he addresses the imputation passages – i have not got that far yet.

point b) but you are, again, incorrect when you say he bases our justification on works… or our life lived. he has clearly stated that any future justification is based on our present justification and affirms a life lived – why you refuse to see the difference, how you can continue to argue otherwise is reprehensible.

209   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I started to write another longish reply, but at this point is any more evidence needed that PB simply refuses to believe the truth? Either he’s an idiot (as noted earlier) or he’s a liar. It’s not worth my time arguing with either.

I really regret that I’ve wasted so much time and energy into him here. It’s no use investing in trying to argue with someone who refuses to learn.

I think I understand why Wright himself seems palpably frustrated in his book. It would get old refuting people who are constantly telling lies about you. It reminds me of some of my relatives who constantly insist to me that Obama is actually a Muslim… You just can’t argue with such entrenched ignorance.

210   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:07 pm

point a) i grant you this is a new perspective. and i am not completely sure how he addresses the imputation passages – i have not got that far yet.

Actually, he does a very good job of dealing with the supposed “imputation” passages. Basically imputation is not really a concept that the Apostle Paul would have understood. Righteousness is simply not something that could be transferred from one being to another – basically simply because it describes an ongoing action (God’s covenant faithfulness) more than a quality. It be sort of like saying I could impute my faithfulness to my wife to another person. It just is a concept that doesn’t make sense once you define the terms correctly.

211   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:08 pm

pastorboy on justification:

Justification is an immediate act by God where the criminal is declared NOT GUILTY on the basis of the fine or the wages being paid on the criminal’s behalf.

n. t. wright on jusrification:

…all those who are “in him” are “reckoned” to have died and been raised with him, so that from God’s point of view their sins are no longer accounted against them and they stand on resurrection ground, free at last to live as genuine human beings…this lawcourt verdict, implementing God’s covenant plan, and all based on Jesus Christ himself, is announced both in the present, with the verdict issued on the basis of faith alone, and also in the future, on the day when God raises from the dead all those who are already indwelt by the Spirit

both speak of an immediate declaration.

both speak of the law court metaphor

both base is soley on the finished work of christ.

wright simply adds the eschatological step on including the resurrection as well.

212   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Actually, he does a very good job of dealing with the supposed “imputation” passages.

i expect he does, i just have not gotten that far yet.

213   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:12 pm

202 – why you keep harping and repeating what no one is denying is annoying.

there is nothing you assert in comment 202 that i have seen wright deny or argue against… or argue an oppossing or contradictory position.

214   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:17 pm

One can have legitimate disagreements with Wright about any number of things, but he seems very clear on justification by faith alone. And when we attack things that have no clear basis we lose our credibility if not our Christian witness as well.

I am not intelligent enough to parse out and nano-divide theological issues, all I know is that when a sinners believes on Jesus he stands justified completely before God. And if that saved sinner wins 1 billion souls to Christ, prays 15 hours a day, and feeds the poor all over the world, he will stand justified before God solely upon his faith in the finished work of Christ.

I have read nothing that makes me believe Wright does not believe the same thing.

215   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Neil,
Don’t you get it yet? PB is omniscient and knows what Wright thinks even if it contradicts what Wright wrote. Obviously PB, a CMA pastor, knows more about Anglican theology than an Anglican Bishop, I mean, duh!

216   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Phil,

the risk that you and I and Neil, and Tom take in putting things down in written form (blogs, books, etc.) is that the reader may or may not interpret the words you write the way in which you intend them to interpret them. They bring different perspectives.

I am aware that I bring a more reformed and orthodox mindset to what Tom is saying here. You may not agree with my reading, but it is uncharitable to say that @ I am an idiot or b) I am refusing to learn. I have read Tom Wright’s writings on the subject and I am satisfied with my assertion, Piper’s assertion, Dr. Horton’s perspective, et.al that Tom, with his New Perspective on Paul, is at least intimating that works have something to do with justification, and that justification is about identification as a people as opposed to an individual and judicial declaration of not guilty on the basis of Jesus’ finished work.

Many respected (and disrespected) people have stated and proven to my satisfaction the Biblical basis for the debate against Tom’s view.

I believe he is wrong. I did not call him an idiot, or one unwilling to learn. He is just wrong on this topic. Case closed in my book.

I could say the same about you, Phil (you are an idiot, a liar, unwilling to learn) because of your perspective. I have not. I have simply lined out the CLEAR biblical refutation of what Tom teaches. You can take it or leave it, I will not call you and idiot or a liar.

*Rob Bell was not mocked in this post, Neither was NT Wright

217   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:22 pm

You can attack my person and my reputation all you want, it does not change my reading of the text.

i only question you ethics in siting someone’s work. you quoted wright as saying believers will face a“judgment according to works.” yet, this statement is not to be found where you sya it is.

of course it is ultimately moot, since this is a a true statement, even if it is not an accurate quote.

218   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:23 pm

#215
I was raised an anglican, baptized an anglican, received religious training as an anglican, have the book of common prayer in my library, know the catechism, my mother is a cathedral canon and ordained in the anglican church, I studied anglican theology in college,

I really don’t know how much more I need to be qualified to say what Anglicans- ESPECIALLY an Anglican Bishop, believes.

219   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:25 pm

re 215:

Phil,

i understand that wright’s comments are not in line with what one would expect from an anglican bishop. the outrageous comment from sprong would be more like it.

i guess i (and others) are willing to give him the benefit of believing what he actually writes and says – instead of assuming some gba based on what his greater affiliations may teach or hold.

seems barth suffered a similar fate.

220   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:28 pm

#215
And yet I have VOLUMES of tapes, videos, written works on Bell which at the most charitable OBFUSCATE what his ‘narrative theology’ teaches, and you say that since his narrative theology is ‘orthodox’ we should assume he is a christian pastor DESPITE everything else he writes.

So which is it: Do we hold NT Wright as one who signs on the the Anglican Confession, and do not take into consideration his works? Or do we judge him according to his written works?

Remember, to be consistent we must judge Bell, Hipps, Pagitt, Jones, and McLaren the same way- as well as Piper, MacArthur, Driscoll, et.al.

221   M.G.    
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:29 pm

PB,

Just out of curiosity, but any response to 204? Is that where you got your Wright quote?

222   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Many respected (and disrespected) people have stated and proven to my satisfaction the Biblical basis for the debate against Tom’s view.

it is one thing to disagree with his view of imputation or even his belief in a future justification.

it is disingenuous (and in moments of sheer frustration brings our calls of idiocy or lying) when you continually harp about justification and/or salvation based on works.

something wright clearly argues against.

if we could just discuss the finer points, without addressing these false tangential comments – this might be fun.

you’d think wright
s comments on page 10 (cf. # 163) of his book would put those false tangents to rest – i am sure that is why he included them…

223   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:34 pm

PB,
I am not denying that there are points that can be legitimately debated on, and that actual scholars have debated them. But to have an honest debate about these points requires that those debating stick to the rules and standards of the debate. Simply putting forth assertions with no evidence or not having an answer when presented with evidence that refutes your point is unacceptable in any type of scholarly or just normal debate.

You have given no evidence that you have actually read any of Wright’s books in their entirety. As far as I can tell, you are simply cutting and pasting from others’ reviews. And, honestly, as someone who read a great deal of what Wright has written, I will always trust my opinion on something I have read above yours on something you haven’t.

224   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I really don’t know how much more I need to be qualified to say what Anglicans- ESPECIALLY an Anglican Bishop, believes. – pastorboy

[insert comment 219]

225   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I was raised an anglican, baptized an anglican, received religious training as an anglican, have the book of common prayer in my library, know the catechism, my mother is a cathedral canon and ordained in the anglican church, I studied anglican theology in college,

Appeal to authority fallacy

226   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:48 pm

#225
No, wrong fallacy.

I actually asked if it were enough….Apparently not.

227   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Chris,

even beyond the potential abuse of that fallacy, pastorboy refuses to grant wright’s own words credence.

228   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:56 pm

So which is it: Do we hold NT Wright as one who signs on the the Anglican Confession, and do not take into consideration his works? Or do we judge him according to his written works? – pastorboy

i say his works take precedent. just like they would with anyone. and if those are vague (e.g. bell) we appeal to other sources.

fortunately, with wright, his works are clear.

that said, we also remember the context in which he lives and breaths and has his being – and given that context – i am even more impressed.

because – [insert 219 again...]

so instead of saying “he’s an anglican, therefore he must mean… instead of….”
i say
“wow! he’s an anglican and says… how refreshing!”

229   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Actually, even in the 39 Articles, salvation by works is denied.

11. About the justification of Humans

We are accounted righteous before God, only because of the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not because of our own works or because of what we deserve. So the doctrine, that we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and full of comfort, as is expressed more fully in the Homily of Justification.

The Reformed doctrine of justification describes how God declares us to be righteous. The Council of Trent described justification not just as the forgiveness of sins but as the renewal and sanctification of the inner person by receiving God’s grace and gifts. That is, justification meant becoming holy in practice. (This teaching confuses justification – God’s declaration that we are righteous, and sanctification – the process of becoming holy in practice).

The Anglican Article rejects the teaching of Trent. It says that justification means to be accounted as righteous by God. The basis for it is the work of the Lord Jesus, especially his death. It is not based on how good we are, or on what we do. The way we receive justification is by faith in the work of Christ.(from here)

230   chris    
December 2nd, 2009 at 1:03 pm

I actually asked if it were enough….Apparently not.

You actually said:

I really don’t know how much more I need to be qualified to say what Anglicans- ESPECIALLY an Anglican Bishop, believes.

You were asserting your knowledge based on an appeal to authority.

I actually asked if it were enough….Apparently not.

Borderline
Appeal to pity

231   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 1:10 pm

it is kinda funny… when it comes to bell pastorboy says:
i don’t care what his church doctrine states – look at what he says.

but when it comes to wright pastorboy says:
i don’t care what he says, looks at what his church teaches.

232   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 1:52 pm

it is kinda funny… when it comes to bell pastorboy says:
i don’t care what his church doctrine states – look at what he says.

but when it comes to wright pastorboy says:
i don’t care what he says, looks at what his church teaches.

That does seem to be the case, but as I noted earlier, even the official Anglican position doesn’t seem to contradict what Wright is saying.

Of course there are individual Anglican/Episcopalian congregations or ministers who are off the mark, but that can be said of virtually any denomination.

233   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 4:33 pm

#231
Well which one shall we do? Because if we hold Bell to the Wright Standard, he is not a Biblical Christian.

If we hold Wright to the Bell Standard, He believes in works.

So lets please be consistent.

234   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 2nd, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Well which one shall we do? Because if we hold Bell to the Wright Standard, he is not a Biblical Christian.

At what point should we give up dealing with your specious aspersions?

First off, with Bell: Your primary mode is to quote Bell and then take the absolute least charitable view of what he’s said (like expecting a gospel exposition full of approved Christian ‘buzz words’ in a setting where it is assumed the audience is primarily Christian), filling in the gaps with your own uncharitable interpretations. So, it is only natural to point out his church’s doctrinal statement, which “fills in the gaps” you’ve chosen to fill with skubala of your own making.\

Next, with Wright: Your primary mode is to seek individual church doctrines/interpretations and treat them as Wright’s. Unlike Bell, Wright is heavy with exposition, filling in any “gaps” with his own words and explanations. In this case, you (again) assume the most uncharitable position in direct contradiction with Wright.

Your basic problem seems to be with a) reading comprehension; b) logic; and c) taking your own base assumptions and altering the facts to fit them. Much like the IPCC CRU and the “proof” of “global warming”…

235   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Well which one shall we do? Because if we hold Bell to the Wright Standard, he is not a Biblical Christian.

not neseccarily, since in the bell case it’s an issue of vagueness – the church statement can be used for clarity.

in the case of wright, his statements are clear in themselves.

    the bottom line is -

re bell: the conundrum he is – as rick said. and assume somewhere in there is a guy who agrees with the biblical statements made by the church.
re wright: no reason what so ever to question his belief in salvation and justification based on faith in christ alone.

236   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 5:07 pm

ok – what chris l. said in 234…

237   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 5:08 pm

instead of saying
“he’s an anglican, therefore he must mean… instead of….”

say

“wow! he’s an anglican and says… how refreshing!”

238   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 2nd, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Also, Bell and Wright are two very different positions. Bell is a teaching pastor who’s messages are crafted primarily to people in his congregation or the people watching his Nooma videos. These audiences are generally Christians, and Bell isn’t trying to present something like an academic work.

Wright, on the other hand, is someone worked at a university for many years and who writes on the academic level. If anything, Wright gives much more information than the average person would ever want to know. As far as I’m concerned, Wright’s position is abundantly clear to anyone who wants to see it. PB just refuses to acknowledge the truth.

239   Neil    
December 2nd, 2009 at 5:25 pm

i can see a bit of pastorboy’s point when it comes to bell… (only in that) bell likes to be provocative and stir up stuff. that said, what chris said in 234 is true regarding pastorboy’s reading of bell.

but with wright i am at a complete loss as to why this is even an issue. sure, he has a different perspective on justification – but there is no vagueness, no reason at all to argue he advocates a role for works in justification or salvation.