Wednesday, February 17, 2010

NT Wright's Biblical Theology

I want to commend Kyle Fever for this piece on N. T. Wright's biblical theology, pointed out to us by Nijay Gupta. I want to commend Kyle because he has pieced this summary together from disparate comments by Wright here and there.

I have often found Wright, like Barth, in need of someone else to summarize him. They have their own language games where the words aren't always used the way I or the rest of us use words. Sometimes I feel like Wright explains himself over and over again, frustrated that we are not understanding. But he is using his own definitions for words with the light from his star bent by planets we cannot see with our visible eye--and perhaps that he cannot himself see.

In any case, Wright's biblical theology is beautiful and, in my opinion, a good Calvinist Anglican perspective. I hypothesize that he cannot completely see the influence of his own theological tradition on the way he practices the historical-critical method and filters intertestamental literature. I have no problem with him doing what he does, although I do it more from a Wesleyan-Arminian perspective. My problem is that he thinks his categories are actually intrinsic to the texts themselves, rather than theological organizations of the biblical texts, imposed as they all are through the lenses of a particular theological tradition.

2 comments:

Loren Stuckenbruck said...

Ken, I find myself very much in agreement with your perspective on Wright's work and could only wish that he were more forthcoming at times in admitting that his attempt to describe the ancient texts is often more "etic" than intrinsic (as you say).

Kyle Fever said...

Thanks, Ken. I appreciate it. Not easy trying to summarize Wright on this topic. I keep thinking of more I could have said. But, the 'brief summary' would quickly turn into something else.....