Friday, February 26, 2010

NT Wright - Confusing Answers to Simple Questions

At the end of my last post I spoke about good preachers/teachers and how they are crystal clear when it comes to fundamental truths of the Christian faith. I also spoke about NT Wright's expertise in cutting a short story long. NT Wright has become somewhat of a modern day evangelical hero, but can he give a straight answer to a straight question . . .

Like is there a hell?

I thought a yes would have sufficed!

How about whether homosexual behavior is sinful?

Yes we should have a debate, if by debate he means something like this:

What does the Bible say about homosexual behavior?

Leviticus 20:13 says it is an abomination.

Abomination is bad isn't it?

Ok lets move on to the next subject on the agenda!

How about an easy question like is evolution compatible with Christianity? (Hint - the answer begins with "n" and ends with "o").

Maybe NT Wright thinks his beard is a transitional form!

I guess that's enough fog for one day. I would encourage any layman to feed on teachers who are explicitly clear about things that the Bible is explicitly clear about. Someone like John Macarthur . . .

And when you have a bunch of confused liberal theologians talking to Larry King, you can always count on John Macarthur to clear up the fog . . .


gandalf said...

You may listen to this conference message from Tim Keller where he argues that (of course depending of the expected audience) it is quite necessary to explain, to make things intelligible, plausible and credible to people who often lack the basic understanding of christian concepts.

I leave it to your judgement if the expected audience of NT Wright in the videos within your post justifies for a thorough explanation and discussion instead of just saying "yes, hell exists" and "homosexuality is sinful".

Anonymous said...

'd really like to understand how you think 1 Cor 13 should apply in the way you speak about other Christians. You are rude and sarcastic. How does that tie in with 'love is not rude...'. Love rejoices with the truth. You seem proud that you have the truth worked out perfectly, but where does love (which will remain) come into your behavior?

Jesse said...

What does the Bible say about people who pervert the Gospel and lead people astray? Fairly certain there are some harsh words used, not to mention even harsher consequences.

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!"

Galatians 1:6-8

Pretty harsh huh? Paul was speaking to a church that he loved. One day these false teachers will stand before God, who loves them, and hear that He never knew them. Where's the love there?

If you want to understand the Biblical definition of love, then you need to use the whole Bible as your reference, not just cherry pick the verses you like best.

Cameron Buettel said...

gandalf, the debate NT Wright was speaking about was among Anglican clergy. What do you suggest they should debate about something that Scripture condemns? In fact, the whole impasse that is happening within the Anglican communion is because they think they need to debate everything - including issues that Scripture speaks explicitly on. Should we debate whether Jesus is the only way? Or whether we should preach the Gospel? Or if practising homosexuals can be Anglican Priests? If NT Wright has a high view of Scripture, as he professes, then why can't he speak with clarity and authority on homosexuality?

My point with Wright is that in every interview I have heard he gives long winded complex answers to simple questions. Macarthur is one of the great Christian thinkers of the last century, but he knows how to give a straight answer to a straight question. In this instance, Wright fails the Anglican movement because of his unwillingness to take a stand where Scripture takes a stand.

Cameron Buettel said...

Anonymous, you quoted that "love rejoices in the truth". Then why isn't Wright loving homosexuals enough to give them the clear answer Scripture gives?

I never speak bad publicly about other Christians. NT Wright holds to a form of works righteousness where one maintains their salvation through good works. Wright denies imputed righteousness (see previous post). Exposing a heretic does not qualify as "speaking bad about another Christian". In fact, Romans 16:17 demands that I do so.

Shepherds have two primary jobs, feeding sheep and protecting them from wolves. I would contend that both are loving actions.

As for sarcasm, you may be right. Maybe I crossed a line. You'll have to make that subjective call in your own conscience. Scripture, however, certainly doesn't forbid sarcasm - Scripture sometimes uses sarcasm and/or hyperbole to strengthen a point. How about when Jesus told the Pharisees that "they that are whole need not a physician" (Luke 5:31) and "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:32). Do you really think that Jesus thought the Pharisees "whole" and "righteous"? The apostle Paul uses the method of sarcasm and irony to teach the Corinthian church humility in 1 Corinthians 4:6-13. I would also point you to Christian blogs like Pyromaniacs where they defend sarcasm as something that can be a valid biblical approach. I also think that sarcasm can be innappropriate at times. My main point being that the use of sarcasm is not the problem but whether it's use is appropriate.

truth mission said...

I don't know much of Wright but it would appear Wright is wrong.
Far too many Christians have confused love with niceness. The eternal consequences of the gospel often require a robust defence of the truth

Apeleutheros said...

Anonymous said: "You seem proud that you have the truth worked out perfectly, but where does love (which will remain) come into your behavior?"

So truth isn't eternal? Since when are truth and love apart from each other in Christ. I suppose Jesus was rude and unloving when He brought correction to the Pharisees or implied that the Canaanite woman was a dog. Paul must be an extremely rude person according to what you believe.

I have an earthly Father, and when I was young he told me I was wrong and he corrected me. Was it unloving for him to spank me when I was bad? or for telling me I'm wrong when I was in error?

No it is loving to be truthful, and even loving to be harsh in some cases. Also sarcasm can be bad, but it is not always necessarily wrong to be sarcastic. Paul was often sarcastic. Was he rude or unloving? He did write 1Cor13 you know. Does that make him a hypocrite?

Look, Cameron was not out of line, in fact he's "Wright" on. If you want someone to fluff your pillow for you, I'm sure there are a lot of blogs out there that will put some frosting on your cookie if that's what your after.

Love doesn't always make us feel good. It can smart sometimes, but thank God His love is true.

I love you and God bless you.


blindsay said...

First, apologize for commenting on such an old post. It seems to me, however, that your preference is about style not substance — direct answers without nuanced explanations versus more fully developed and nuanced answers.

The question on Hell seems to be very well articulated - going beyond whether or not it exists to what it means. Why would a yes have sufficed if his conception of hell differs from the popular conception of hell?

If the question is whether or not practicing homosexuals can be priests, why would there not be room for debate? The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality as a sin, there isn't really room to debate that. But if your standard for a priest is that they can have no sin in their lives, there would be no priests this side of eternity.

Is evolution compatible with Christianity? Wright's answer: The simple science of it is compatible while the philosophical foundation of secular humanism isn't. His view seems crystal clear to me and I appreciate he took the time to explain it in simple and direct language.

One thing I noticed in these videos is that Wright will often tell a story to help illuminate his answers. It puts me very much in mind of Jesus telling parables to explain what the kingdom of God is like.

Anonymous said...

"I never speak bad publicly about other Christians."

Really? This is basically all I've seen on your website. Maybe there is some preaching in there somewhere, but I haven't made it through all the sarcastic, angry, rude comments about other preachers.

That is the message that comes through on your website.

TommyWou said...

To any closeted LGBT folks out there:

There is nothing wrong with your sexuality, any shame you feel is just a cultural thing, you can let it go and be loved for who you are.