This week’s show follows up on the conversation about NT Wright and locates him among his Reformed critics.  Who’s right, who’s wrong, and are there paths between that can learn from both?

Various links from topics that came up during the show.

1. N.T. Wright on Penal substitution.
2. Wright’s most recent stand-alone summary article on justification.
3. D.A. Carson’s The Vindication of Imputation on the difference between exegetical and theological levels of discourse.
4. Michael Horton’s Review of Wright’s Justification.
5. Michael Bird’s comparison of John Piper and N.T. Wright.

Other details worth noting:  the iTunes feed is here (thanks to everyone who has reviewed us so kindly) and an RSS feed for the show lives here.

Finally, as always, follow DerekAlastair, and Andrew for smart thoughts about theology and the world.

Special thanks to Christopher Hutton editing the audio. 


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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.


  1. By the way, this is the Vanhoozer lecture on N.T. Wright and Justification. It’s fabulous:


    1. Thanks for sharing. I’d forgotten about this talk.
      I think we often forget that Reformed thought was far more covenantal and institutional in the first several centuries following the Reformation than what we have come to see as Reformed thought in the US. In a sense, we’ve forgotten that Puritanism is really something of a pietist, anti-institutional reformulation of Reformed thought. On US soil, the pietist innovators, led by Edwards, so overwhelmed the bearers of traditional Reformed thought that we have now forgotten that it was once a novelty.
      In that sense, I think it makes sense to view Wright’s project as something of an effort to place us back into communication with a Calvinism that was much more covenantal and institutional, i.e., a Calvinism to which the notion of a “Reformed Baptist” sounds no less absurd than a “Lutheran Quaker”. It is an effort to recover a Calvinism that does not exist in bare theological commitments but instead finds its life in socially thick institutions.
      Of course, that begs another question. Is NPP the elephant in the room, or is it pietism? We only think it’s the former because we have perhaps become too comfortable with the latter.


  2. Roland Lowther July 10, 2014 at 3:29 am

    Hi Derek, I have seen this lecture some time ago. I agree it is fabulous; and from a theologian who knows what he’s talking about!


  3. […] he is)? John explains that he went looking for criticisms of N. T. Wright and found several such podcasts, and so wonders whether he is being persuaded more by Wright’s convincing speech or by his […]


  4. Bill Doolittle June 16, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Was looking to revisit this episode but there is something wrong with the link to the audio. Could this be fixed? Thanks.


    1. Sorry about that! I’m not sure what happened, but it’s been fixed now! : )


      1. Bill Doolittle June 17, 2015 at 9:56 pm

        Awesome. Thanks!


  5. […] highly recommend this “mere fidelity” podcast episode and the accompanying notes as an update on where the […]


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