"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « The Rebelution - Do Hard Things - Coming to Portland, OR | Main | Comments on Two Cheers for the New Calvinism »

    Quote from Suprised by Hope

    "As genuine human beings, from Genesis 1 onward, we are given the mandate of looking after creation, of bringing order to God's world, of establishing and maintaining communities. To suppose that we are saved, as it were, for our own private benefit, for the restoration of our own relationship with God (vital though that is!), and for our eventual homecoming and peace in heaven (misleading though that is!) is like a boy being given a baseball bat as a present and insisting that since it belongs to him, he must always and only play with it in private. But of course you can only do what you're meant to do with a baseball bat when you're playing with other people. And salvation only does what it's meant to do when those who have been saved, are being saved, and will one day fully be saved realize that they are saved not as souls but as wholes and not for themselves alone but for what God now longs to do through them." - N. T. Wright (Suprised by Hope pg. 199-200)
    Posted by John on April 28, 2008 04:50 PM



    I'm curious as to why you are quoting N.T. Wright given his assault on the biblical reformation doctrine of justification by faith alone. The quote seems quite good on the surface, but seeing that he does not understand the chief article of Christian doctrine, why give him a voice or reason for people to read him or trust what he says?

    Also, what do you think he means when he says, "and for our eventual homecoming and peace in heaven (misleading though that is!)?"

    Anyway, I think the quote is basically ok, but I don't see him as edifying to the church in anyway because his understanding of justification is so wrong. That error has to bleed into the rest of his writings. Not only that, I think it betrays him as one who is not taught by God.

    In Him,


    Amen! it reminds me of the book 'unfinished business' by Greg Ogden and the article recently posted in about 'almost christian' by Matthew Mead. Being saved does not stop at salvation for our own benefit. If one has a truly regenerated heart, one will WANT to share what God has done in one's life. Like the samaritan woman at the well, she left her water jar after Jesus teaches her life. If one thinks selfishly that God chooses me, God loves me and wants not to tell others but keep it... please reconsider one's relationship with God. The more knowledge we obtain, there is a danger of being more self-righteous and judgemental. There is a purpose GO and Make disciples and God uses people all the time to achieve this purpose throughout the Bible. By His grace, we attain knowledge and wisdom to understand His purpose through Scripture readings but we need to balance it with the passion resulted from His abundant love and have this burning desire to tell everyone about how great HE is. Paul is a good example for us to follow.

    Hi Alan

    Thanks for your comment. I understand and even sympathize your concern. He must be read with great discernment. But we quote NT Wright because he, nonetheless, really has a lot of important things to say. He is not someone we can ignore. I don't agree with everything he teaches by any stretch, but he has biblical/historical insights that others have not articulated nearly as well as he - - nor often even touch upon - important thngs that we often overlook. Contrary to what many might think, Wright does believe that salvation is by grace ALONE in Christ ALONE. IN fact, he centers himself relentlessly on Christ alone. Jesus is definetly what it's ALL about for him. The confusion comes, I believe, in his definition of the word "justification" which is certainly erroneous and could cause confusion. For example, he says things like he believes in eternal security and in a judgment by works; he believes in penal substitution but not imputed righteousness. Very odd and quite frankly, dead wrong. But in the end it does not affect his correct belief that there is no hope outside of Christ and his mercy alone.

    >>>>what do you think he means when he says, "and for our eventual homecoming and peace in heaven (misleading though that is!)?"

    What he means by this is that many Christians believe heaven to be our ultimate end, whereas he wants to point back to the Scriptural assertion which teaches that our hope is in Christ resurrecting our bodies in the new heaven and new earth - a physical resurrection, not a Platonic bodyless etherium.

    Confesssion: I read NT Wrights' books. I like them and have benefitted from them, in spite of the sharp disagreements I might have with him on justification. You might be surprised how many conservative & Reformed leaders read his material and benefit immensely from it. At the same time I would warn people to be careful and be very discerning when reading his books.

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