om Wright has posted a screed on the atonement controversies. (I made note of that fact in a comment under yesterday's post but didn't say much more than that.) I still need to read the full article carefully, but Adrian Warnock's observations closely mirror my own first impression. Wright seems to think since Steve Chalke read some of the Bishop's books and echoed his positions at some key points, he can't possibly be far wrong on the atonement. Also, since Wright endorsed Chalke's book before it caused a flap on the atonement issue, he apparently feels obliged to explain what Chalke really meant.
I dunno. I thought Chalke's own explanation left little doubt about his position, and it does not seem to be what Wright insists it is.
In his article, Wright has some pretty harsh things to say about the book Pierced for Our Transgressions, a recent, generally well-reviewed book on the atonement co-authored by Steve Jeffery, Mike Ovey, and Andrew Sach. Near the end of his post about Wright's article, Adrian Warnock lists some typical samples of the scorn Wright pours on that book.
The authors of Pierced for Our Transgressions have responded to Bishop Wright's article here.
Meanwhile, D. A. Carson has put out a review of Wright's Evil and the Justice of God (HT: Justin Taylor), which review contains some candid remarks about Wright's position on the atonement. Following the linkbacks to Justin Taylor's post on the subject will take you to some stimulating discussions.
Doug Wilson (as usual) had the pithiest comments, and this reflects my response exactly when I read Wright's response to the atonement debates:
The really strong language from Wright is reserved for the men from Oak Hill [who wrote Pierced for Our Transgressions], and this is where things get really weird"almost funny," "Go and read the book," "hopelessly sub-biblical," "it becomes embarrassing," and so on. This is because (as I take it from this distance) they offered a case for penal substitution in the language of systematic theology and not biblical theology. I don't know (not having seen the book) if I would even agree with Wright's point. But what I can say, from this distance, is that Wright has a wildly skewed view of who needs to be praised, who placated, and who challenged.On the perennially pro-Wright side, Alastair has already weighed in. When Mark Horne speaks, I listen (even though I often disagree). Mark is almost always sympathetic to whatever Wright says, and this is no exception.
My own lack of enthusiasm for Wright's opinions on the atonement, justification, and Pauline theology is well known enough. So don't look for me to jump into this dogpile this week. I'm just going to pretty much sit back and watch it all unfold.
Remember: John Piper has a critique of Wright coming, too.