Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
June 2nd, 2014 by Joel Watts

Farewell, N.T. Wright – Or, can we have him back from the American Evangelicals now?

My book on scripture’s authority, Scripture and the Authority of God, makes clear where I stand. I take the whole of scripture utterly seriously, and I regret that many who call themselves “inerrantists” manage to avoid the real challenge at its heart, that is, Jesus’ announcing that in and through his work God really was “becoming king” over the world in a whole new way. So I don’t call myself an “inerrantist” (a) because that word means what it means within a modernist rationalism, which I reject and (b) because it seems to me to have failed in delivering a full-blooded reading and living of what the Bible actually says. It may have had a limited usefulness as a label against certain types of “modernist” denial, but it buys into at least half of the rationalist worldview which was the real problem all along.

via N.T. Wright on the Bible and why he won’t call himself an inerrantist | On Faith & Culture.

He’s said this before — numerous places; however, it is nice to see him affirming it again. Read the whole interview.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


5 Responses to “Farewell, N.T. Wright – Or, can we have him back from the American Evangelicals now?”
  1. not sure we ever lost him to the american evangelicals.

  2. There’s a brand of evangelicalism that loves Tom Wright, because, much like the Bible, they read him out of context and put words in his mouth.

  3. Doesn’t the fact that one is a “non-inerrantist” means that they are still on the side of inerrant when it pertains to theological and ecclesiological teaching? I am wondering about that, because Christians still need a road-map, a blueprint of sorts for church government, world view, or “cosmovision”, and conduct and if we “vary” on that there will be no more Christianity…
    In the other hand I have no idea, knowing that I use the following as an example ad nauseum, why would God inspire Paul to tell Timothy not to drink water but wine for his constant stomach issues when we know that dehydration plus alcohol is deadly today and I am sure it was deadly then? So, on these things, history and advice outside Christian doctrine, I am not in the inerrant side.
    I guess there must be a reason for the Christological Hermeneutics; in my view it filters off that which is “fat” and unnecessary for “life and Godliness”… Perhaps that’s why Jesus in the way to Emaus said that Moses (the Law), the Psalms and the Prophets speak of Him… we can take that to our eternal bank… Was Jesus an excludent as to any other revelation about Him previous to the N,T.? Now as far as history and medical advice, I’am not so much of an inerrant… Am I now a heretic, or a hairy tick for saying this?

  4. david livingston says

    My favorite quote from his book The Last Word, which should be a must read as in intro to Scripture, “The risen Jesus, at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, does not say, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth is given to the books you are all going to write,’ but ‘All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me.’ This ought to tell us, precisely if we are taking the Bible itself as seriously as we should, that we need to think carefully what it might mean to think that the authority of Jesus is somehow exercised through the Bible.”

  5. As an example, 1st and 2nd Timothy was most likely not written by Paul.

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