Some Links

I’ve not had time to write much over recent weeks, but I have been doing plenty of reading. Here’s some of the things that have caught my attention:

  • The charismatic debate rumbles on, but this time its the cessationists who are continuing, just when the continuationists wanted to stop. Check out some insights from Mark Barnes too, who has sold me three commentaries this week (bang goes my New Years resolution not to buy commentaries faster than I can read them)
  • N T Wright continues to attract discussion, with many reformed evangelicals still trying to decide whether he is a goodie or a baddie. Seems like he’s keeping the wrong company. He’s got at least three dubious friends…
  • First is Steve Chalke, who caused a furore with his hostile dismissal of “penal substitution”. Sven agrees with him, and has posted three articles this week on the subject. Its also worth checking further back on his site for articles on the “Christus Victor” theory of the atonement. Tom Wright actually responds to some concerns in a Q & A on his site, where he doesn’t reject penal substitution outright, but sees it as one aspect in a richer theology of the atonement. As for myself, I need to do some more research on this subject, but I remember being very impressed after reading John Stott’s “The Cross of Christ” with what a wide variety of ways the Bible uses to talk about the meaning of the cross (redemption, atonement, reconcilliation, ransom etc …).
  • Second is Brian McLaren, author of the most controversial book on LibraryThing. Justin Taylor asks why emergent folks such as Brian like Wright so much.. Kevin Cawley, Philip Ryken and Rick Philips offer interesting responses (summary: he’s a baddie).
  • Finally, his egalitarian position has attracted the attention of Doug Wilson. Doug’s blog makes for great reading although I doubt many will agree with him on every view he has. He has written a lot about Brian McLaren as well, including a multi-part review of a Generous Orthodoxy, indexed here and here
  • On a lighter note, there are two new episodes in the hilarious “Drowning Melville” series on the Save the Wheel website. This is an initiative that Sovereign Grace seem to be behind, with a rather way out sense of humour. Anyway, the “Drowning Melville” series is comedy genius. Check it out.

8 thoughts on “Some Links

  1. I was suprised after reading Chalke to find that Stott also says that God the father did not punish Jesus! Is God the father punishing Jesus what most people understand by penal substitution? is this correct? If penal substitution is not this what is it?


  2. Penal substitution says that Jesus took our punishment. To some people this might seem identical to saying “the Father punished Jesus”, but I think people like Stott would be cautious about that way round of saying it.

    A (poor) analogy might be that if I pay your speeding fine for you, I have taken your punishment, but that does not mean that the person who issued you the fine was punishing me.

    I see Isa 53:5 as a good enough basis for holding to at least some form of “penal substitution”: “The punishment that brought us peace was upon him.”

    The debate also seems to include whether Jesus could be said to “bear the wrath” of God. The line you take on this seems to relate to how you understand the word “propitiation”. I am sure the concept includes God’s anger being turned away from us, but it is less clear that the word implies his anger turned on Jesus.

    It was the Father’s love for the world that sent Jesus to the cross, not his anger at the sin of the world (though that was what made it necessary). And the Father’s love for Jesus has never been in any doubt, even at the cross: Jn 10:17 “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again”

  3. Mark,

    Love reading your blog – can you confirm to me that “NT Wright” is Tom Wright who writes the “Bible for Everyone” commentary series?

    Or am I getting confused between the two

  4. James,

    Yes they are one and the same. “N T Wright” is his official sounding name for his academic publications, “Tom Wright” is his friendly approachable uncle name for his publications for a wider readership!

  5. Scott, thanks for your kind words. Your blog looks interesting. I’ll be having a read over the coming weeks. I also will be listening to some of Mark Driscoll’s sermons. He sounds interesting.

  6. Pingback: Book Review – John For Everyone (Tom Wright)

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