Paul's Passing Thoughts

NT Wright Has Two Things Right, Plus One

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 1, 2013

ppt-jpeg4“Now, in what time I was able to invest in this, I find two challenges by NT Wright against the traditional Reformed narrative absolutely exquisite and dead-on.”

I haven’t jumped into the whole fray between the minions of Plato’s Protestant Reformation and NT Wright. At the behest of some PPT friends I have perused some of NT Wright’s stuff and find him a little more philosophical than I prefer. Furthermore, he seems to be coming from the European mindset that discusses systematic theology from the viewpoint of a linear gospel or the “golden chain” construct.

Once again, his name came up to me in regard to Al Mohler et al having their panties in a bundle over this guy. I was sent a couple of videos and one in particular incited me to dig a little deeper. The second video, seething with pompous Platonist arrogance, made me wonder what exactly it was about NT gramps that worries these guys so much, so I downloaded the book that irritates them the most on my Kindle and read the chapters on justification.

Let me pause here to remind you of something. These guys that are on the Southern video know how to present themselves in a way that makes everyone listening to them feel small. But be sure of this: when they stand before the Lord to give an account of their false doctrine we will be reminded in no uncertain terms that they sit down on the toilet and take a dump in the exact same way we do. Moreover, if you listen carefully, much of what they espouse is not even worthy of toilet paper. Mohler, in the video, is incredulous that NT has the “audacity” to question an anti-Semitic murdering mystic despot; namely, Martin Luther. Mohler then describes Plato’s Protestant Reformation as “the gospel.” At the end of this post, I have embedded a video that speaks to this aptly in my opinion.

Here, I will focus on what seems to irritate these guys the most about NT gramps. Doctrinally that is, their displeasure that NT takes away from the number of people they can control notwithstanding. When I watch the Southern video, I just see nicely dressed and well-spoken wolves whining about the mutton that they are being deprived of. Then there is a cub that they always have tagging along for training in the form of Denny Burk.

Now, in what time I was able to invest in this, I find two challenges by NT Wright against the traditional Reformed narrative absolutely exquisite and dead-on.

First, the idea of Christ’s righteousness being perpetually/progressively imputed to the believer for justification. NT is not dogmatic about this, but the wolf pack cannot even tolerate any semblance of this idea because it is the core of their false progressive justification gospel. They find a challenge here by a scholarly heavyweight most threatening.

Secondly, one of the elements of NT’s New Perspective on Paul; ie., the Reformers read Paul wrong in regard to the Pharisees; specifically, their idea (supposedly from Paul) that the Pharisees were “legalists.” Oh my. If not for the width of the Atlantic and my precious Susan, I would kiss this guy right on his bearded face. In the video, Mohler, shifting around in his throne-like chair because his panties are in a bundle (probably pink), reiterated the Reformed idea that the Pharisees were the legalistic personification of mankind’s fetish for “justifying themselves.”

This is not true at all. First of all, “legalism” is a word that does not appear anywhere in the Bible. It’s not a biblical concept. I have eradicated the concept from my mind because it is not a biblical concern. The Bible is primarily concerned with the traditions of men and antinomianism. That’s God’s truth replaced with the traditions of men in an anti-truth endeavor. And that’s exactly what the Pharisees were. They weren’t professionals at attempting to obey the truth of God’s word for justification as posited by the Reformers, they were rank antinomians inside and out who replaced God’s truth with their traditions.

The Reformers, past and present, have replaced that fact with their own narrative because they are the Pharisees on steroids. Luther was constantly accused of being an antinomian by medieval theologians, and the likes of John Piper (among others) have stated that the accusation of antinomianism is an indication that you are preaching the true Reformation gospel. The Reformation coined the term “orthodoxy” which is Reformed creeds, confessions, and councils that have replaced the truth of God’s word. The Reformed crowd is the epitome of the Pharisees and NT Wright is dead-on in his assertion that the Reformers misrepresent the Pharisees (see chapter 2 of  “The Truth About New Calvinism” available on Amazon and this ministry).

NT is right about one more thing in my book. Though I wonder about his concept of “final justification” and what seems to be the “golden chain” approach to justification, I work hard at this ministry and deserve a few sinful pleasures accordingly. Therefore, I like him because he annoys the wolves and causes them to howl irrationally. The video and the screaming thereof like alley cats in the night was music to my ears. When justification is a chain with sanctification links in the middle, the wrangling over what is works and not works are inevitable. NT’s approach to that seems to be novel and not Catholic or Reformed.

Beats me, I choose to like him for now because of the reasons stated. And though I am on a diet, I am eating pizza tonight, and at least one slice will be in NT’s honor.


7 Responses

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  1. […] NT Wright Has Two Things Right, Plus One. […]


  2. A Mom said, on August 2, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    I was in stitches laughing at your appropriate comments in this post!

    True, true. NT Wright is worthy of money well spent, a production, a gathering, a video, a declaration of heretic. He is worthy of their effort, concern, attention.

    He is a bona fide threat. These guys want to neutralize him. Their jobs are at stake.

    Their arrogance, disdain & belittling remarks are juvenile. They seem to think much of themselves. I have lost respect for them. And it’s as if since they agree, then the matter is settled. For everyone.

    Well, as much as it may anger them, God wants us to think for ourselves. And I will be thinking for myself.


  3. james jordan said, on August 2, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    “They weren’t professionals at attempting to obey the truth of God’s word for justification as posited by the Reformers, they were rank antinomians inside and out who replaced God’s truth with their traditions.”

    That’s absolutely how the the gospels portray them, as what I would call loop-hole-artists. Don’t want to honor your father and mother anymore? Ok, just give a little money to the temple. That’s not ‘legalism.’


  4. james jordan said, on August 2, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Lol. What does Mohler mean in the video saying “I think in the British meaning of the word clever” — clever doesn’t mean the same in American as in British English? I think Mohler needs to buy a dictionary and quit trying to be so clever (in the British meaning) himself.


  5. Lydia said, on August 2, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Yeah, glad you saw this. A panel discussion on Wright at SBTS? He must be quite the threat. And he is for many reasons. He is smart, an NT scholar, a pastor who is irenic and relatable. He has written a ton of books and not when he was a 30 something know it all but later on after serving in the trenches gaining wisdom. He is someone worthy of listening to even if you disagree. He makes a case. He does not insult or demean in doing so.

    The message Wright has that is so threatening to them but is resonating with so many right now is that we are to “be the kingdom NOW”. That won’t work when one is being taught “Gospel navel gazing and making dates with satan to go deep with our sin”.

    Piper really went after him a few years back. Wright is very irenic and that has not helped them at all.

    BTW: Listening to Wright not long ago and he made a point about the “historical Jesus” that is so important. Each generation tends to create their own Jesus prototype. By ignoring the historical Jesus, for example, the Germans could be “Christian” and Jew haters at the same time. Luther did the same thing by ignoring the fact that we could “repent” and believe. Calvin, too.


  6. papadeocho said, on April 21, 2015 at 11:38 PM

    ”The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Seems like NT Wright is good to you because he opposes the New Calvinists. Is he not a paedo-baptist? Does he not also speak condescendingly towards those he despises?
    Read his ”Farewell to the Rapture” for a sample. Pope John Paul II was prolife and rebuked Bill Clinton to his face. This however did not result in an endorsement of his ”Christianity” from me.


    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on April 22, 2015 at 7:02 AM


      Right, I figured if he drives Al Mohler et al nuts, and he does, that I was for him. At the time of that writing, I was still hopeful there was somebody in Christian academia that can be looked to for guidance. Finally, I am resolved to believe Christianity is a laity movement. And by the way, Wright holds to the same progressive justification as all of them. Again, denominationalism is just quibbling over how to get from salvation point A to salvation point B. Where there is religious authority, there is the idea that salvation is not finished. If it is finished, what do we need them for? The PPT moderator reads all of the comments, so I will take opportunity here to tell her to pull down the Wright posts wherever she may find them as she administrates PPT.


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