I don’t know of anyone who agrees with Bishop N. T. Wright at every point. Not a single person. But the hysterical reaction against some of his views on the part of some “Reformed” and evangelical leaders has been nothing short of disgraceful. Here’s a man who is getting a hearing around the world — who actually believes in Sola Scriptura and in a literal resurrection and sincerely believes the finished work of Jesus is absolutely necessary for salvation (and on top of all else, is a self-professed Calvinist!). You’d think that the “Reformed” and other evangelicals would be dancing in the streets. But instead, they have fallen over one another to see who can be the most extreme in their denunciations. It’s been nothing short of amazing.
In other (more sane and faithful) times these men could never get away with these sorts of shenanigans. But in a time when “orthodoxy” is proven more by the list of people you denounce rather than by what you profess, this is what you get.
Are there legitimate grounds to disagree with some of the things Bishop Wright teaches? Sure (and, he is the first to acknowledge that, by the way). Are there things on which I will probably never agree with him? Certainly. Do I think that all of these issues are insignificant? No, I don’t. But none of them are so serious as to provoke me to denounce him as a heretic or “wolf in sheep’s clothing” or false shepherd or denier of the gospel, or any of the other ridiculous charges that have been thrown his way by some.
Anyone who has heard Bishop Wright speak or who has spoken with him, knows that he’s quite willing to interact with those who disagree and has never been surprised by the fact that not everyone thinks he’s got everything right. But this is not sufficient for our valiant “Defenders of the Faith and Enemies of all Error.” For them, these are the days of miracles and wonder, their own special “killing time,” and they are giddy drunk with the excitement of getting to shoot at those who dare to think differently or who presume to meddle with their hallowed definitions.
It’s been a shameful spectacle.
Which brings me to this post from Jim Jordan. Jim points out some of the factors provoking the reaction against Wright and gives us some very important perspective. Please read it.