Arguably, scholar/theologian N. T. Wright joins Pat Robertson as yet another unpaid bill of the professing Christian church -- albeit of a starkly different sort (h-t Justin Taylor).
None other than the prestigious Wall Street Journal features a glowing article about Wright by John Wilson, editor of Books & Culture. Wilson doesn't engage the issues -- and certainly not the Scriptures -- so much as point at Wright's contentions, and burble about how "exciting" he finds the prospect of undoing the Gospel, hosing away all the blood shed by Rome to suppress Gospel preaching, and effectively reversing the Reformation.
At least Wilson does mention some of the leading critics, John Piper and Ligon Duncan (monergism.com links to many resources and critiques here). But I find his tone distressing, the upshot distressing, the whole thing distressing.
Here is Bishop and Dr. N. T. Wright, a man who in effect denies that the Gospel is about how sinners can be "justified [forensically declared righteous] by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith" (Romans 3:24-25a) -- and he's still highly-regarded as a Christian scholar. (Is it true that J. I. Packer has publicly praised him? Email me, I'll edit or update.)
Oh, sticklebats -- it's even worse than that. Wilson calls Wright "(t)he most influential biblical scholar in American evangelical circles." I'm getting dizzy here. What does "evangelical" mean, anymore? Etymologically, mustn't it at least indicate someone who believes in the Evangel, the Gospel? But if I'm understanding Wright (and this article) correctly, Wright denies the Gospel. How, then, is he an "evangelical," let alone "the most influential biblical scholar in American evangelical circles"?
I struggle to think of an analogy. Is there any doctrine that it sacrosanct among professing Christians anymore?
Suppose (God forbid) John Piper, R. C. Sproul, or John MacArthur were to write a book expressing doubts about the deity of Christ. Well, that's a bad analogy, because admirers of those brothers do so precisely because they regard Biblical truth highly. Response would be overwhelming, thunderous, univocal.
But what if Joel Osteen, Bill Hybels, or Pat Robertson were to write such a book? How would their defenders respond?
OK, I'm depressing myself, and that on (A) a Friday, on which (B) I'm looking forward to seeing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I'll stop.