Tonight at the annual meeting of the ETS (Evangelical Theological Society) Tom Schreiner gave a helpful paper entitled “Justification: The Saving Righteousness of God in Christ,” on N. T. Wright’s view of justification.

Schreiner explained that he wanted to avoid two dangers in evaluating Wright’s scholarship—uncritical adulation on the one hand and uncritical denigration on the other.

He began by listing a significant number of areas of appreciation, including:

  • his “creative yet faithful, provocative yet conservative” work on the historical Jesus
  • his insistence on proclaiming the unity of the biblical story, not missing the forest for the trees
  • his work on exile and restoration
  • some aspects of the New Perspective
  • some aspects of his work on justification

With regard to justification—the focus of this paper and ETS in general this year—Schreiner summarized his concern with Wright as follows: “Tom tends to introduce false dichotomies, presenting an either-or when there is a both-and instead. To put it more sharply, even when he sees a both-and, he at times puts the emphasis in the wrong place, seeing the secondary as primary and the primary as secondary.” (This echoes a sentiment by Doug Moo that Wright often  backgrounds what the NT foregrounds, and foregrounds what the NT backgrounds.)

Schreiner then identified three false polarities in Wright’s thought.

  1. Wright wrongly says that justification is primarily about ecclesiology instead of soteriology.
  2. Wright often introduces a false polarity when referring to the mission of Israel by saying that Israel’s fundamental problem was its failure to bless the world whereas Paul focuses on Israel’s inherent sinfulness.
  3. Wright insists that justification is a declaration of God’s righteousness but does not include the imputation of God’s righteousness.

After working through each of these points, quoting from Wright’s writings, and explaining why he thinks the Bible resists these polarities, Schreiner concluded in this way:

We can be grateful on so many fronts for the scholarship of Tom Wright. His innovative scholarship has helped clarify biblical teachings and rectified wrong notions. My hope is that this paper will be received in the spirit in which it is intended, for like so many I stand in debt to his outstanding scholarship. Nevertheless, in my judgment Tom’s view of justification needs to be both clarified and corrected, for our sure hope for eternal life is the righteousness of God which belongs to us through our union with Jesus Christ.

It was a helpful paper—an example of critique expressed in a careful and charitable way.

I’ll let you know when the paper is published.

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Comments:


46 thoughts on “Tom Schreiner on Tom Wright at ETS”

  1. Josh Manley says:

    Do you have a synopsis of Wright’s presentation by chance?

  2. Justin Taylor says:

    No, he and Thielman don’t present until Friday.

  3. Brent Hobbs says:

    Schreiner’s paper looks very helpful. The summary posted here is as well.

  4. Brian Park says:

    Thielman is presenting tomorrow (Thurs) afternoon. NTW will present on Friday, followed by a panel discussion with the plenary speakers.

  5. Andrew Moody says:

    “Thankful for the active obedience of Christ…no hope without it” – J. Gresham Machen just before his death.

    1. pduggie says:

      nice slogan!

  6. Brian Hedges says:

    Excellent.

    Are audios of these talks being recorded?

    1. Justin Taylor says:

      Yes, but only for sale (unfortunately).

  7. Man I wish I was there.

  8. Mediator says:

    I think he really made a great point. Will definitely take a look at the original article.

  9. Dane says:

    Thanks for this helpful summary Justin. It was a wonderful address–kind, courageous, clear, thoughtful, and mindful of Christ himself.

  10. Stephen says:

    Michael Horton’s paper is worth noting too. He takes on Wright and also has some gentle critiques of the Schreiner/Piper position.

    1. Where can I read Horton’s?

      1. Eric says:

        Michael, you can read it in the new book, Justified, available through whitehorseinn.org/justified. You can get 50% off through tomorrow with the discount code, XFPM89VW.

  11. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

    “Tom tends to introduce false dichotomies, presenting an either-or when there is a both-and instead. To put it more sharply, even when he sees a both-and, he at times puts the emphasis in the wrong place, seeing the secondary as primary and the primary as secondary.”

    I think Schreiner’s point here about Wright is illuminating.

    1. Brian MacArevey says:

      I’m not really sure that it illuminates much more than Schriener’s already well known disagreement with Wright…hopefully he set out to defend these thoughts exegetically in the rest of the presentation. His assertions alone are not helpful in the slightest.

      Arguments like this will not be terribly convincing to anyone, except for those who are already in agreement with Schriener. For those sympathetic to Wright, his comments only prove that he still has not comprehended very well what, exactly, Wright has been saying.

      1. JMH says:

        But then, Wright and his fans tend to reply to every critique with “they haven’t understood what I’m saying.” If you can’t acknowledge any legitimate critique, at some point you have to ask whether you’re either wrong or you’re just not communicating very well.

        In this case, men like Schreiner, Carson, Duncan, Horton, and Piper might be wrong, but they’re not stupid. If none of them can “understand what you’re saying,” the problem might not be with them.

        1. Brian MacArevey says:

          You could very well be correct, but the point was not “who is at fault for the miscommuinication”, it is that any critique that is built upon a misunderstanding can hardly be considered legitimate in any sense of the word. You must come to terms with the fact that many scholars just do not find the arguments of these men very convincing, and even less so in light of the fact that they fail to comprehend Wright accurately.

      2. Jean says:

        I agree to you Brian, Schreiner’s claim on it here is more theological than exegetical. I agree to Schreiner in theology-wise, but exegesis-wise I feel that Schreiner doesn’t appeal that much.

  12. telos104 says:

    Wow…awesome.
    I really wish some of these groups like ETS were more open with their content and open in participation. It’s like a secret society…What are they hiding? hahaha

  13. BJ Walters says:

    Classic Tom Schreiner. Kind, reasonable, faithful to Scripture.

  14. Shawn says:

    Is Tom Schreiner encouraging Evangelical involvement in Historical Jesus research by commending N.T. Wright (which, by the way, is not his first public commending of Wright on Historical Jesus research)?

    The third search has included the most Evangelical involvement (DTS, TEDS, SBTS, Denver, etc.). But what is not understood, when we speak of the “Historical Jesus,” he is not the Jesus portrayed accurately in the Gospels. Rather, it is the efforts and products of Historical-Criticism applied to the Gospels. A criterion of authenticity is applied to the Gospels (i.e., embarrassment, multiple attestation, Aramaic influence, etc.) to determine authentic Gospel material. Therefore, the Gospels can only be spoken of giving probable or possible historical accuracy.

    I fully, yet respectively, disagree with Dr. Schreiner’s commending of Wright with regard to Historical Jesus research.

    1. Kyle says:

      Simply because a secular criterion is taken to the gospels in the pursuit of the “Historical Jesus”, does not make the pursuit worthless. It is a field of scholarship, concerning the character of Jesus, the center of our religion. Why would we not be active in that field? Wright has shown that this field of scholarship can yield fruitful results and a positive, God honoring influence.

      It is admirable of Christians to engage in public debate concerning the nature of history and Jesus. In fact, it is even a form of love. One could say that Wright has stooped to the secular criterion of historians and shown them a Jesus that is very compelling historically and very conservative theologically. Worthless? No. Should Christians engage? Yes.

      1. CLB says:

        I say most of this with a desire to learn and even be corrected but my biggest concern is theological method and it seems there are two combative methods at work in the evangelical world. Historical-critical approach vs. a canonical approach. I am trying to reconcile them in my mind but I am left curious about the historical-criticism utilized; or critical-realism rather. This approach seems to treat the NT as a coloring book with pre-drawn lines that needs coloring. The coloring then becomes the real NT. Where is the color coming from?

        A purely evangelical approach, would be in line with Vanhoozer, who working off of Childs, says the “literary meaning” is the literal meaning. The color is in the literature. This to me is taking the text very serious and playing by the rules of the literature of the bible. Attending to the literary genre represents the reality we are intended to indwell and constantly challenges our worldview. That is the Jesus we want to deal with, seeing as he saw the OT scriptures as a canvas witnessing to his glory. The rules of history differ from the rules of literary genre. In other words, the historical stuff, though valuable for apologetics perhaps, is missing the thick bright colorful descriptions of literary genre and opting for thin, watery (colorful yes!), but ever to change descriptions that are more concerned with getting behind the text.

        Pastorally speaking, a canonical reading of the text puts the text in the peoples hands. I want my people reading the bible, not historically reconstructed works that become lenses for the bible. A historical-critical approach too often suffers from a gate keeping disease.

        1. Dan says:

          I couldn’t agree more CLB. The text is inspired not the events behind the text. Get rid of the ever changing historical reconstructions and stick with the interpreted history of the biblical narrative.

  15. Gavin O. says:

    I think Schreiner has an incisive point about Wright’s tendency for false dichotomies. I remember reading through Surprised By Hope and noticing that again and again.

    Thanks for the summary.

  16. John Thomson says:

    Justin

    Thanks for summary. There are areas I certainly disagree with Wright and on most issues I am more likely to share the page with Schreiner – bet that’s a relief to him. :)

    Where I am more with NTW than TS is on imputation. Neither deny imputation, both simply construe it differently. That is why I am surprised at the following quotation.

    Nevertheless, in my judgment Tom’s view of justification needs to be both clarified and corrected, for our sure hope for eternal life is the righteousness of God which belongs to us through our union with Jesus Christ.

    I would have thought NTW subscribes to this.

  17. pduggie says:

    Good summary. I’d probably defend wright the most against Schriener on

    “Wright often introduces a false polarity when referring to the mission of Israel by saying that Israel’s fundamental problem was its failure to bless the world whereas Paul focuses on Israel’s inherent sinfulness.”

    I think Galatians 3:7-9 is good evidence for the kind of inherent sinfulness that Israel had.

    “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”

    Romans 4:13-15 too

    “For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.”

    Israels inherent sinfulness is a problem because they have a promise to inherit the world. But they can’ inherit it asa failed system (failed because of sin)

    I hope Schreiner deals with that.

    1. Jp says:

      Dr. Schreiner said:
      “Nevertheless, in my judgment Tom’s view of justification needs to be both clarified and corrected, for our sure hope for eternal life is the righteousness of God which belongs to us through our union with Jesus Christ.”

      While I agree with the first half his above statement about Dr. Wright’s view of justification, I would appreciate some clarity on the second half of Dr. Schreiner’s statement.

      Can someone parse, or point me to a specific source or two where Dr. Schreiner explains what he means means by the terms: “righteousness of God” and “union with Christ” as they relate to the justification of the ungodly?

      “The righteousness of God” is a pretty abstract term and “union with Christ” isn’t simply one aspect of the ordo.

      Thanks

      1. Justin Taylor says:

        JP, maybe the most accessible place would be Schreiner’s new book, 40 Questions on Biblical Law. He is referring here to the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to believers via being united to Christ.

        Hope that helps.

  18. mark mcculley says:

    John Fesko writes: Richard Gaffin tries to argue, on the basis of the grammar involved in a similar Pauline statement, that works are not the ground of judgment: “It is not for nothing, I take it, and not to be dismissed as an overly fine exegesis to observe, that in Romans 2:6 Paul writes, ‘according (kata) to works,’ not ‘on account of (dia),’ expressing the ground, nor ‘by (ek) works,’ expressing the instrument” (By Faith, Not By Sithgt [Carlisle: Paternoster, 2006], 98-99; similarly, Venema, Gospel, 266). Though Gaffin’s comment concerns Paul’s statement in Romans 2:6, at the same time we find the same prepositional combination with the accusative in John’s statement in Revelation 20:12e, the only difference being in the use of the singular and plural pronouns (cf. Rom 2:6). Gaffin argues this point because he wants to preserve sola fide in the judgment of the works of the believer. Relying upon the analysis of Ridderbos and Murray, Gaffin’s finer point is that the judgment kata works is “in accordance with” the works, and such works are synecdochical for faith in Christ (see Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology, trans. John Richard de Witt [1975; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992], 178-81; Murray, Romans, 78-79).

    Yet can such a fine distinction be supported by the grammar alone? The use of “dia” with the accusative means “because of, on account of,” and the use of “kata” with the accusative means “in accordance with, corresponding to” (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996], 368-69, 376-77). One must ask, what difference exists between the two? In fact, when we delve more deeply into the significance of “kata” with the accusative, we find that “often the noun that follows kata specifies the criterion, standard, or norm in the light of which a statement is made or is true, an action is performed, or a judgment is passed. The prep. will mean ‘according to’, ‘in conformity with’, ‘corresponding to.’ This use is common in reference to the precise and impartial standard of judgment that will be applied at the great Assize (Matt. 16:27; Rom 2:6; 1 Cor 3:8; 2 Tim. 4:14; 1 Peter 1:17; Rev 2:23)” (Murray J. Harris, “Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament,” in NIDNTT, 3:1200). Pace Gaffin and Venema, their argument apparently fails to account for judgment kata works for the wicked. This point seems to be borne out by Paul’s own use of kata, as he says, “He will render each one according to [kata] his works” (Rom. 2:6), but this rendering kata works is for both the righteous (v. 7) and the wicked (v. 8). According to Gaffin’s interpretation, are the wicked judged according to their works, but are they not the ground of their condemnation (see 2 Cor. 11:15)? Again, note how Paul uses kata: “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due [to de ergazomeno ho misthos ou logizetai kata charin alla kata opheilema]” (Rom 4:4; see also Brian Vickers, Jesus Blood and Righteousness [Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2006] 95; Yinger, Paul, 21-26, 89-90, 135-136, 175, 182, 186). Judgment therefore is indeed kata (in accordance with, or on the basis of) works – the evil works of the unbeliever and the good works, or righteousness, of Christ.

    “Justification: Understanding the Classic Reformed Doctrine” p. 315

  19. Drew says:

    I was at the ETS conference for all sessions, including Theilman’s, Wright’s, and the panel.

    Why hasn’t there been any postings by JT on Theilman’s or, more importantly, Wright’s presentation and the Panel discussion? I was hoping to find his helpful summary of it all.

    I thought that the panel discussion was very insightful. It was more light than heat, which is great – all of the scholars conducted themselves with grace, professionalism, and collegiality but without obscuring their fundamental differences, which ETS President-Elect Arnold noted was essentially a difference of emphases.

    For Schreiner, the main thrust of Paul is soteriology (i.e., “What must I do to be saved?”), with eccliesiological implications. For Wright, the main point is ecclesiology (i.e., “Who are the people of God?”) with soteriological points throughout.

    The common ground of all panel scholars was found on Eph. 2, with verses 1-10 focusing on soteriology and 11 and following focusing on ecclesiology.

    Also of importance – N.T. Wright asked Theilman where the phrase “the righteousness of Christ” shows up in Scripture…to which Theilman replied, “Well, you’ve got me on that one.”

    Wright is not ultimately opposed to the imputation of Christ’s righteousness…he is just concerned about how one arrives at the conclusion. For Wright, the classic texts that have been used to support this doctrine (Esp. 2 Cor. 5:21) speak to something other than the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, and he wants to be sure that we hear the texts for what they teach, not on what we wished they teach.

  20. mark mcculley says:

    II Peter 2:1 –“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

  21. John Thomson says:

    2 Peter 2:1 is an interesting text. Firstly, it is Peter not Paul. Secondly, it speaks not of righteousness imputed but faith granted. Thirdly,its concern is ecclesiology more than soteriology. Fourthly,
    interestingly none less than John Owen the great champion of imputed active obedience did not interpret this text in terms of imputation. He wrote,

    In 2 Peter 1: 1, the saints are said to obtain ‘precious faith, through the righteousness of God.’ It is a righteous thing with God to give faith to them for whom Christ died because thereby they have a right unto it. Faith, being amongst the most precious fruits of the death of Christ, by virtue thereof becometh their due for whom he died” (Works of John. Owen, D.D. Goold’s ed., X. 468).

    Owen may be right but the context suggests that, for once, Wright’s ‘covenant faithfulness’ may be nearer the mark. The context is faith as the result of divine promise.

    1. mark mcculley says:

      1. Of course, there are other texts in Paul which speak of the righteousness that Christ obtained by His obedient death. Romans 5:18–“one act of righteousness leads to justification”. While that text does not speak of the righteousness being imputed, neither can “the righteousness” in that verse be reduced to the idea of God’s attribute of faithfulness or to God’s faithfulness to His promise to save His elect.

      Romans 5:18 is not only saying something general about God: it is contrasting the disobedience of Adam with the obedience of Christ. So your attempt to contrast God’s righteousness with Christ’s righteousness will not work.

      2. You should not discount the witness of II Peter 2:1. Shall we contrast the exegesis of John Owen with that of Robert Haldane?

      I am very serious when I challenge your contrasting things, since you assume a false antithesis. Since II Peter 1:1 is about God’s promised donation of faith to the elect, you seem to think that proves that it is NOT about Christ’s righteousness. But the verse is not only about both truths, but makes a connection between the two truths. Faith is promised and given through the righteousness. That is why Owen, Haldane and many others taught about the gift of faith being earned by Christ.

      3. Unless you are a Socinian who denies that a gift can be earned by Christ’s work, then there is no need to contrast the saving promised mercy of God with the satisfaction of God’s justice (when God reconciled sinners in Christ). God is the giver of faith to the elect, and also Christ by His obedience justly earned that faith for the elect.

      4. Of course there are more than three truths in the verse: a. God allots faith b Christ has a righteousness and c. the gift of faith is given by means of that righteousness. There is also the very important matter of Christ’s deity. There is simply no need to deny that God’s righteousness is Christ’s righteousness since Christ is both God and Savour.

      5. I tire quickly of soundbites contrasting soteriology with ecclesiology. I would deconstruct a difference you do not name. The new covenant does not include any individual who is not elect to be saved from God’s wrath by God’s giving Christ as a propitiation.

  22. mark mcculley says:

    Of course there is no need to contrast Haldane and Owen because they are saying the same thing. Owen is not only writing about faith being a gift, but also about that faith “being a fruit of the death of Christ.” Owen is not only talking about faith as a promise of grace, but also about that faith “becoming their due for whom He died.”

    God by mercy forgives the elect.
    God by justice forgives the elect, for the sake of what Christ did, which is not only the expiation of all the sins of the elect but also that which justly secures the application of that expiation to all those for whom it was made.

    No blessing from God to those in Christ is given apart from Christ and His work of righteousness. Ephesians 1 is pretty clear about that–not just eating with gentiles, but also soteriological benediction.

  23. John Thomson says:

    Mark

    You are reading a little too much into what I wrote.

    I agree that there are other texts that speak of the righteousness of Christ. I am surprised that Thielman didn’t cite them. I suppose the context was texts that speak of the ‘imputed righteousness of Christ’and he agreed they were hard to come by.

    1. Roms 5:18 does not mention God at all or the righteousness of God. It speaks of the righteousness of Christ. In fact, I do think that the righteousness of God and the righteousness of Christ are two different things. They are certainly not interchangeable terms. Roms 3:21-26 tells us what the righteousness of God is; it is God acting righteously in salvation through the death of Christ. When John says in his epistle that ‘we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’ he is referring to the righteousness of Christ not God’s righteousness. Writer’s use language carefully and we must credit them with so doing. Christ’s deity does not make the words ‘Christ’ and ‘God’,and that which is attached to these words necessarily interchangeable.

    I would not wish by any manner of means to say that Paul and Peter write tight hermetically sealed theologies that do not overlap. Far from it. However, different writers may carry different nuances and intentions and I was merely flagging this up. And yes, in looking at Haldane and Owen we would look for contrasts as well as comparisons. With biblical writers contrasts would never mean contradictions though with Own and Haldane, uninspired as they were, it may. Also, is the current debate about Christ’s righteousness more focussed on Paul than other NT writers? I do not think, in Romans, the righteousness of God is his covenant faithfulness, though I think this is possibly to the fore in 2 Pet 1.

    ‘No blessing from God to those in Christ is given apart from Christ and His work of righteousness.’ Absolutely.

    ‘God by mercy forgives the elect. God by justice forgives the elect, for the sake of what Christ did, which is not only the expiation of all the sins of the elect but also that which justly secures the application of that expiation to all those for whom it was made.’ What do you mean by, ‘but also that which justly secures the application of that expiation to all those for whom it was made’?

  24. mark mcculley says:

    Roger Nicole writes shorter paragraphs than John Owen: “It is of course legitimate to distinguish between impetration and application, but they always go together. The choice, therefore, is not between universal atonement and definite atonement, but rather between universal salvation and definite atonement.”

    The crux of the matter resides in the fact that Christ’s purchase by blood makes sure the application of that atonement by God’s imputation and the gift of the Holy Spirit to secure repentance and faith in those whom God intended to save.

    NT Wright always likes to blame his readers. If he were less arrogant, he would not be surprised when readers understand him to be saying that the reformers were wrong and that he is right.

  25. mark mcculley says:

    Romans 8:32–“He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?”

    The gospel is not only about God justifying, but also about God being justified when God justifies.

    Much is written about imputation these days, a lot of it Arminian language about an exchange brought about by the sinner’s faith. Less is written about the imputation of Adam’s sin. (Blocher, for example, in his Original Sin book, concludes that Adam’s sin only moved the redemptive historical clock forward (bringing in death) so that individual sins could then be imputed.)

    But even LESS is written about the imputation of sins to Christ. I think at least part of the reason for the silence is that preachers don’t want to talk about either whose sins are imputed or when they are imputed.

    This is not the place to think through the timing. (Some of us are still persuaded by Owen’s use of impetration, where sins which have been imputed to Christ are still imputed to the elect until their justification.)

    If we only say that the sins of BELIEVERS are imputed to Christ, we not only avoid the good news of election but also (by lack of antithesis) contribute to the evangelical consensus that the efficacy of Christ’s death depends on believing. The true gospel tells how the new birth in us(and believing) is the effect of Christ’s righteous work finished outside of us.

  26. mark mcculley says:

    Romans 5: 17 speaks of “those who receive the free gift of righteousness” and how they reign in life through the one man Christ Jesus. This receiving is not the sinner believing. It is not an “exercise of faith” (if you check the commentaries, Murray is right here about the passive and Moo is wrong).

    The elect “receive” the righteousness by God’s imputation.The elect do not impute their sins to Christ. Nor do the elect impute
    Christ’s righteousness to themselves. God is the imputer.

    Texts like II Peter 1:1 and Romans 5:18 teach us that the receiving of the righteousness is not the same as the righteousness. The imputation is not at the same time as Christ earned the righteousness. God declaring the elect to be joint-heirs with Christ in that righteousness is not the same as the righteousness. There is a difference between imputation and righteousness.

  27. Paul Bishop says:

    Sounds like a great paper! It sounds like he fairly represents Wright, which has been a weakness in many responses to him I think. Wright is a scholar and brother in Christ, not a heretic, though I’m not sure if I consider him an evangelical. Either way, Wright makes major errors that need to be pointed out.
    Is the paper to be published anywhere, like in the ETS journal?

  28. mark mcculley says:

    NT Wright’s essay on “new perspectives on Paul” is collected in
    Justification in Perspective: Historical Developments and Contemporary Challenges (Paperback), Bruce McCormack, editor, (Baker, 2006)

    I recommend the book, but not Wright’s essay. While avoiding the difficult questions (was Adam’s guilt imputed to us humans?), Wright again caricatures his critics. But the clear reason he’s so comfortable discarding justification based only on Christ’s finished work is that Wright has confidence in the water of “the church” to make Christians by the Holy Spirit’s regeneration.

    I quote from Wright on p 260: “This declaration, this vindication, occurs twice. It occurs in the future, as we have seen, on the basis of the entire life a person has led in the power of the Spirit, that is, it occurs, on the basis of ‘works’ in Paul’s redefined sense…just as the final justification will consist not in words so much as in an event, namely the resurrection of the person, so the present justification consists not so much in words but in an event, the event in which one dies with the Messiah and rises to new life with him. In other words, baptism. I was delighted to rediscover…that not only Chrysostom and Augustine but also Luther would here have agreed with me.”

    NT Wright has come to the place in his life when he can only keep rediscovering how he is right. But some of us critics still insist that the water regeneration of Luther and Augustine (and NT Wright) is in competition with the biblical good news about justification in Christ.

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Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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