Monday, August 3, 2009

Gerald Bray Turns Up the Heat on N. T. Wright

Theologian Gerald Bray has written a review of N. T. Wright's book Justification. This review is very different from the others I've read because this is the first review where part of the review suggests that Bishop Wright resign as Bishop or give up scholarship. Bray charges, "There is no shame in giving up scholarship, or in resigning a bishopric, when the pressures become too great, but doing a half-baked job in one is bound to lead to the suspicion that one is doing an equally half-baked job in the other, and that the longsuffering recipients of such treatment are ending up with the worst of both worlds." (104) These are strong words and I'm not sure they quite belong in a book review. Besides, Bishop Wright has managed to do quite well juggling the responsibilities of Bishop and a scholar given his past literary credits. I will admit complete ignorance on his abilities as a Bishop but I've not read of any complaints.

Bray's opinion is more than clear when he asserts "Bishop Wright has let us down badly." Bray is forceful in his expression and unbending in his certainty the Wright is wrong. I'm afraid that whatever points Bray has that may be valid will be ignored by readers who are turned off by his tone especially of the final two paragraphs.

Gerald Bray is Research Professor of Samford University and a Church of England minister. He also teaches specialized short courses for Beeson Divinity School.

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