N. T. Wright part 02



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Homosexuality in the Anglican Communion

Wright was the senior member from the Church of England of the Lambeth Commission set up to deal with controversies that emerged following the ordination of Gene Robinson as a bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States. In 2009, the Episcopal Church authorised the clergy to celebrate commitment liturgies for people in same-sex relationships. Wright described the action as a "clear break with the rest of the Anglican Communion" in a Times opinion piece.

Wright attracted media attention in December 2005 when he announced to the press, on the day that the first civil partnership ceremonies took place in England, that he would be likely to take disciplinary action against any clergy registering as civil partners or any clergy blessing such partnerships.

He has argued that "Justice never means 'treating everybody the same way', but 'treating people appropriately'". In August 2009, he issued a statement saying:

...someone, sooner or later, needs to spell out further (wearisome though it will be) the difference between (a) the "human dignity and civil liberty" of those with homosexual and similar instincts and (b) their "rights", as practising let alone ordained Christians, to give physical expression to those instincts. As the Pope has pointed out, the language of "human rights" has now been downgraded in public discourse to the special pleading of every interest-group.

Reviews of Wright's scholarly work

Wright’s work has been praised by many scholars of varying views, including James Dunn, Gordon Fee, Richard B. Hays and Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Critics of his work are also found across the broad range of theological camps. Some Reformed theologians such as John Piper have questioned Wright's theology, particularly over whether or not he denies the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone. Although Piper considers Wright’s presentation confusing, he does not dismiss Wright's view as false. In response, Wright has stated he wishes Piper would "exegete Paul differently" and that his book "isn’t always a critique of what I’m actually saying." Wright also expressed how he has warmed to Piper and considers him a "good, beloved brother in Christ, doing a good job, building people up in the faith, teaching them how to live." In 2009, Wright has since addressed the issue in his book Justification: God’s Plan and Paul's Vision. He has sought to clarify his position further in an interview with InterVarsity Press. Many conservative evangelicals have also questioned whether Wright denies penal substitution, but Wright has stated that he denies only its caricature but affirms this doctrine, especially within the overall framework of the Christus Victor model of atonement. Despite criticism of some of his work by Reformed theologians, other Reformed leaders have embraced his contribution in other areas, such as Tim Keller who praised Wright's work on the resurrection. Wright has received praise from Catholics, such as bishop Robert Barron, who has cited Wright’s historical scholarship on multiple occasions.


He has been awarded several honorary doctoral degrees, including from Durham University in July 2007, the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in April 2008, the University of St Andrews in 2009, Heythrop College, University of London in 2010, and the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary's Seminary & University in May 2012.

In 2014, he was awarded the Burkitt Medal by the British Academy 'in recognition of special service to Biblical Studies'. It was announced in March 2015 that he is to be made a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE).

Selected works

  • Wright, NT (1991), The Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology, Fortress Press .
  • (1997), What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity?, Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans, ISBN 0-80284445-6 .
  • (1997b) [1994, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK)], Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship, Wm B Eerdmans .
  • ; Borg, Marcus J (1999), The Meaning of Jesus: Two visions, New York: HarperCollins, ISBN 0-06-060875-7 .
  • (2000), The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press .
  • ; Crossan, John Dominic (2006) [2005, Augsburg Fortress], Stewart, Robert B, ed., The Resurrection of Jesus: John Dominic Crossan and NT Wright in Dialogue (paperback ed.), SPCK .
  • (2005), Paul: In Fresh Perspective, Fortress Press  ("Paul: Fresh Perspectives" co-edition SPCK, 2005).
  • (2005), The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture, San Francisco: Harper .
  • (2006), Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, SPCK  co-edition HarperCollins, 2006.
  • (2006), Judas and the Gospel of Jesus: Have We Missed the Truth about Christianity?, SPCK ; Baker Books, 2006.
  • (2006), Evil and the Justice of God, SPCK ; Intervarsity Press, 2006.
  • (2007), "The Reasons for Christ's Crucifixion", in Jersak, Brad; Hardin, Michael, Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ .
  • (2008), Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, SPCK, HarperOne .
  • ; Evans, Craig A (2009) [SPCK, 2008], Miller, Troy A, ed., Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened, Westminster John Knox .
  • (2009), Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision, SPCK .
  • (2010), Virtue Reborn, SPCK . Also After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters, HarperOne North America, 2010.
  • (2011) [The Last Word, 2005], Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today (rev & exp ed.), HarperOne, ISBN 978-0-06-201195-4 .
  • (2011), Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters, New York: HarperOne, ISBN 978-0-06-208439-2 .
  • (2012), How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels, New York: HarperOne, ISBN 978-0-06-173057-3 .
  • (2013), The Case for the Psalms: Why They Are Essential, New York: HarperOne, ISBN 978-0-06-223050-8 .
  • (2013), Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978-2013, Ausburg Fortress, ISBN 978-0-8006-9963-5 .
  • (2014), Surprised by Scripture: Engaging Contemporary Issues, New York: HarperOne, ISBN 978-0-06-223053-9 .
  • (2014), Paul and His Recent Interpreters, Ausburg Fortress, ISBN 978-0-8006-9964-2 .
  • (2015), Simply Good News: Why the Gospel Is News and What Makes It Good, New York: HarperOne, ISBN 978-0-06-233434-3 .
  • (2016), The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion, New York: HarperOne, ISBN 978-0062334381 .
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