Balancing Out (W)Right: Jesus’ Theology Of Individual And Corporate Repentance And Forgiveness In The Gospel Of Luke -- By: Josh Chatraw

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 55:2 (Jun 2012)
Article: Balancing Out (W)Right: Jesus’ Theology Of Individual And Corporate Repentance And Forgiveness In The Gospel Of Luke
Author: Josh Chatraw


Balancing Out (W)Right: Jesus’ Theology Of Individual And Corporate Repentance And Forgiveness In The Gospel Of Luke

Josh Chatraw

Josh Chatraw is a Ph.D. student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 120 S. Wingate St., Wake Forest, NC 27587.

N. T. Wright has been a polarizing figure in evangelical scholarship.1 His work in what has been labeled “the New Perspective on Paul” has been both critiqued and praised by a multitude of articles and books.2 The debate over his writings has in recent years been incited by John Piper’s The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright, Wright’s response in Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision, and the subsequent debate at the Evangelical Theological Society’s annual meeting in 2010.3 At times, critics have called into question Wright’s motives and warned of the dangerous implications of many of his teachings. More recently, however, even scholars from within the Reformed tradition have expressed appreciation for his work in Pauline studies, agreeing with him at times, while also providing thoughtful criticisms on several of his key points.4 While much of the current discussion within evangelical scholarship has centered on Wright’s understanding of Paul, Wright’s work on Jesus has not received the same amount of attention. Nevertheless, his work on the Gospels and in the field of historical Jesus studies has been influential and demands the attention of scholars of varying stripes.5

The present article seeks to engage with N. T. Wright and his emphasis on Jesus coming to restore Israel, releasing her from exile. Supported by Wright’s ability to bring together a convincing overarching narrative that sits well within Jesus’ first-century context, along with the work of other scholars who have

provided further details, it will be argued that Wright’s basic argument concerning exile and restoration has been substantially proven. In light of this overarching exile theme, Wright has helpfully brought attention to the corporate nature of repentance and forgiveness in the Gospels, an emphasis at times neglected by evangelicals. However, in bringing attention to a theme that has at times been neglected, it will be argued that Wright has swung the pendulum too far in the opposite direction with the effect of underemphasizing Jesus’ teachings on individual repentance and forgiveness. To begin with, Wright...

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