N.T. Wright

Punishment Does Not Equate to Justice or, Jesus’ Weak Move in Mark 8

Last week Joshua Steven Durcho received sentencing for killing five people in 2009. The plea agreement avoided a trial in which the victims’ relatives would surely have relived the gruesome nature of the crimes. The Oklahoman relayed Rhonda Rust’s sentiments,

“The death penalty would not have made me feel any better,” said Rhonda Rust, stepmother of the murdered woman, Summer Rust, 25. “I thank God we did not have to go through a trial.”

Later in the piece one of the victim’s grandmother noted,

After the sentencing, Evynn’s grandmother, Crystal Franklin, of Oklahoma City, told reporters: “Justice is served as far as I’m concerned. … The death penalty is not automatic. … Do I want to have to come to court every time he appealed? No. That’s why I personally agree with what has happened today. I want it done so I could get on and try to pick up the pieces that I can.”

My friend Marty Duren asked the question on his blog, “What is biblical injustice?” The question is interesting in that it seems something of an apophatic way to get to, “What is justice?” Read More

A Land Beyond or, How the ERLC May Problematize Inerrancy

A crushing blow to inerrancy in the SBC will likely come on June 1st. Since 1979 the accuracy and authority of the Scriptures under the rubric of inerrancy has provided access to the SBC Speakeasy. In a single action the Trustees of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission may re-constitute the standard bearing reference to the importance of ultimate truth among most Southern Baptists.

There are two separate articles that form the most recent news about the upcoming Trustee investigative report on charges against Dr. Land regarding racism and plagiarism due on June 1st. The former has been mitigated by an apology. The latter likely hangs not on what would happen were a student to plagiarize but on the politics of a person’s “body of work.” After all a student has not had the time to amass enough credit to avoid the hook when plagiarism is discovered. Read More

It’s Below the Water Line or, Newbigin Illustrated in Duren, Horton, McKnight, and Merritt

We prefer to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic than look below the water line. My mentor uses the first part of this imagery to describe the ways in which new fangled approaches to church were really little more than eye candy. My friend Spencer Burke refers to what is below the water line when he thinks about the theological subjects we refuse to discuss because many believe they are “settled” matters.

Scot McKnight illustrates how we re-arrange the deck chairs. Scot continues to review books that have come out of the cottage-industry-for-Christian-writers-created-by-various-publishers answering the question, “What is the Gospel?” This is of course in response to the “Gospel-centered” movement. If the Gospel is at the center, then someone gets to define it. And, there is no shortage of takers who want their vision to win the day.

The King Jesus Gospel represents Scot’s foray into the discussion. But, outside of N.T. Wright among popular writers, every offering seems to be a nuance on the same theme. Read More

Sentralized Gathering – Another Conference?

When I first read about the Sentralized Conference in Kansas City in September, I did what most do. I checked to see who was speaking. Reading down the list my eyes spotted David Fitch. I took an online course with David and Geoff Hosclaw through Northern Seminary titled, Readings in Postmodern Philosophy and Theology. I still chew on the content of those readings and the interactions with others in the group.

Near the end of the course I remember David saying, “If you are ever in Chicago, let’s have coffee or something.” I made Chicago after that to attend the Wheaton Theology Conference where N.T. Wright was both speaker and subject. Time did not allow me to catch up with David.

That David will be within six hours, and that I might be able to sit down for a chat, is motivation enough for me to make the drive to Kansas City this September. But, there is more. I have interacted with Brad Brisco online. I met and have worked with Lance Ford. In fact, it was through Lance Ford that I facilitated an online course on The Forgotten Ways with Alan Hirsch for Biblical Seminary. Scot McKnight and I chatted while we were both at Biblical Seminary to honor my friend John Franke. Darrell Guder was there too. Biblical Seminary may have been the first Seminary to re-tool its vision around the term missional. Read More