Thanks to Chris Skinner (see his new blog) for pointing out yesterday’s panel on NT Wright and Justification at Southern Baptist Seminary, moderated by President Albert Mohler, with panelists Mark Seifrid, Tom Schreiner, Denny Burk, and Brian Vickers.
The panel in sum: Wright has some good things to say, but he has strayed from the true faith, he has forgotten the gospel, he is dangerous to students, pastors, and congregations.
It is challenging to say anything charitable about this panel presentation except that it is interesting. The moderator seems to know all the answers in advance and sometimes feeds them to the panelists (who are all NT scholars), and the sometimes very self-confident panelists agree with him and with one another on almost every single sub-point—against most things Wright and all things Catholic. (I speak as a non-Catholic.) For the moment, I will simply say that a narrow, pre-defined understanding of justification (forgiveness and imputation) and of salvation/the gospel (individual forgiveness of sins) will never allow us to hear Paul fully or afresh, and that is very, very sad. Neither is it helpful to mis-characterize the Christian tradition (e.g., the creeds) to criticize someone as departing from the Christian tradition. (And it is interesting to hear a Baptist seminary president speaking about “our creeds… our confessions.”) Neither, moreover, is it fair to characterize Tom Wright as (probably? potentially?) pastorally manipulative because of a particular interpretation of his theology. Finally, one word-play on the words “Wright/right” versus “wrong” would have been sufficient.
The video has bad sound early on for panelist Tom Schreiner when he starts speaking, but it improves within about 30 seconds and then remains good the rest of the time. The video is about an hour, so to pause it, just place the cursor over the video and click.