A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

On N.T. Wright and James K.A. Smith

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I am a big fan of Tom Wright. I think his work is paramount among New Testament scholars and must be critically engaged. I am also a fan of James K. A. Smith. His book, Who's Afraid of Postmodernism is the best introductory treatment of postmodernism and Christianity in print.

In that context, and in the furtherance of scholarly discussion, I offer to you Smith's sympathetic critique of Tom's book, How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels.

Read, ponder, and reflect.


Craig L. Adams said...

Smith's criticism doesn't seem to be about the substance of Wright's argument. It is a criticism of Wright's tone. And, I think I agree. There is a kind of sensationalism in Wright's recent writings that I find a bit off-putting as well — as if no one has ever said such things before in the history of the church.

John C. Gardner said...

I have been reading Tom Wright since 1989. He is a careful scholar and I have not noticed any difference in the tone of his writings. Perhaps it seems so to others but those of us who admire Dr. Wright think of him as irenic. Sadly, others seem to have another perspective whatever their motivations(which I do not question but simply do not understand).

Sharp said...

I don't see it so much as Wright's tone as the publisher's. They keep giving him dustjacket blurbs about "a controversial new way of thinking about Jesus and heaven, etc." I'm almost finished with "Simply Jesus" and I haven't seen a controversial or novel approach. Only a gentle, non-technical, and occasionally repetitive explanation of the Jewishness of Jesus and scripture and of KGE theology and eschatology. I have had an extensive exposure to the former and a fair dose of the latter for 30 years.

I do have a pastor friend who's a bit heterodox who finds Wright angry and condescending, which astonishes me. Tom has always struck me as avuncular and ready to poke fun at himself. I think the difference may be that I was listening to him long before I read any of his books and I "hear" his speaking personality while reading.