Christian author and publisher Dane Ortlund recently wrote a blog post condemning Christian scholar and theologian N. T. Wright’s latest book The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion.
Ortlund lists a few key issues he has with Wright’s book. The first issue he says has to do with the false dichotomies Wright draws. A few of the examples he cites include these quotations from the book:
What if, instead of a disembodied "heaven," we were to focus on the biblical vision of "new heavens and new earth?" (p. 49)
The human problem is not so much "sin" seen as the breaking of moral codes . . . but rather idolatry and the distortion of genuine humanness it produces. (p. 74)
Galatians is not about "salvation" . . . The letter is about unity. (p. 234; italics original)
Orlund contends that it is unnecessary for Wright to make these things into an either/or case when they are not mutually exclusive.
Another issue Ortlund finds with the book is that Wright, he argues, caricatures the work Jesus did on the cross by saying things such as “All humans sinned, causing God to be angry and to want to kill them, to burn them forever in "hell." Jesus somehow got in the way and took the punishment instead” (p. 38). Or “In this view, God hates sinners so much that he is determined to punish them, but Jesus more or less happens to get in the way and take the death blow on their behalf” (p. 42).
Lastly, Ortlund argues, Wright does not explain how “the cross does what it does.” He instead discusses Jesus’ death and resurrection in vague terms that leave readers wondering how Christ accomplished what He did.
Have you read the book? What are your thoughts?
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Publication date: January 3, 2017