N.T. Wright is a Heretic

The Reformed Faith: Proudly hunting heretics since the 16th century...This comes from C. Matthew McMahon of A Puritan’s Mind:—

I don’t want to be misunderstood – so I’ll try to be as clear as possible.

Wright is a heretic. A heresiarch. He will forever burn under God’s righteous wrath and under the solemn and scornful gaze of the Lamb of God for all eternity if he does not change his theological views before he dies, or rather, his lack of good theology! He is a false teacher, and one of the most influential heretics of the century because he affected people at the seminary level – where pastors are trained and scholars born – and has infected a good number of churches, right down to the layman and youth of the day.

You can read the whole discussion here. It seems to me that such inflammatory language is frequently used in order to force people to close their minds on a particular issue before they have anywhere near the relevant amount of information to intelligently make it up. Such a statement also betrays a lack of understanding concerning the character of saving faith, in the worst tradition of Reformed rationalism.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Controversies, Theological. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to N.T. Wright is a Heretic

  1. Jon says:

    oh dear… some people just don’t get it do they… :-\

  2. James says:

    Hmmm…thats disgusting.
    Why talk with such seeming relish about Hell?
    He also seems to be promoting that head knowledge gets one into heaven which does completely misses the point of Christianity.
    And finally, under those rules, how many people does he expect to see in heaven…

  3. Weston says:

    He should be embarrased but he’ll never know it. What a joker.

  4. This sort of thing makes my blood boil.

  5. Al says:

    I know exactly how you feel, Chris. If I had not had a lengthy interruption during the writing of this post, its tone would have been quite different.

  6. Barb says:

    ROTFLOL! Who gave him access to NTW’s heart or authority to pronounce judgment on the man? I wonder if his Presbytery knows he’s on the road the Rome with this Papal Bull of excommunication and order to recant.

  7. Sven says:

    “Why talk with such seeming relish about Hell?”

    Because it’s far easier to actually condemn someone to hell rather than do the hard work and actually attempt to understand and refute their work by anything sensible like historical study or exegesis.

    Also hell is often a rather covert way of expressing how happy you are that those who disagree with you will get what’s coming to them. It used to be called ‘revenge’. 😉

    I fully expect Oxford or Cambridge to not grant Dr C M Mcmahon a fellowship in NT studies anytime soon given that his refutation of Wright’s entire theology consists of nothing more than soundbites and the oft-misquoted Gal 1:8-9.

    Nice blog by the way.

  8. mark says:

    But the “not given a fellowship” from Babylon U is part and parcel of the perpetrator’s delusion that he is a martyr for orthodoxy rather than a raving self-worshiper. It’s like trying to convince the dwarves that they are not in a stinking stable. Lewis dared to say that not even Aslan could penetrate. I don’t go that far, but he’s the only one who can.

  9. Al says:

    Thanks, Sven. I have also enjoyed your blog on the occasions that I have visited it.

  10. Jim says:

    Now THAT’s some funny stuff.

  11. Wyclif says:

    “I’ll consign to Hell the most influential modern exponent of the defense of Christ’s resurrection because he hasn’t adopted my novel view of imputation.”

    Brilliant. Note to Whitefield Theological Seminary: award this ass his terminal degree immediately.

  12. Al Kimel says:

    Al, can you provide the URL where McMahon says that Wright is a heretic. I can’t seem to find the citation on his site. Thanks.

  13. Ben Myers says:

    I like your blog.

    When this character calls Wright “one of the most influential heretics of the [20th] century”, you can only wonder how many 20th-century books he’s actually read! One can hardly imagine what he would have to say about Harnack or Troeltsch or Tillich or Bultmann….

  14. Al says:

    Al, the link is just below the quote. Sorry, I should have made that clearer.

  15. Why is it that those most committed to denying an infallible interpretation of the Bible most often act as if they have it?

  16. AH says:

    Great point Perry…

  17. Alastair, Thank you for posting this on your blog. I’m the one who opened up that thread on the Puritanboard in the first place. — I love Dr. McMahon; he is quite helpful on many issues. I don’t know why he has gone off the deep end concerning N.T. Wright. This type of thing hurts my heart deeply, because Wright and McMahon are both brothers in Christ, whether they like it or not. And God is working to conform BOTH of them to the image of Christ! May the Lord have mercy on us all, and open our spiritual eyes, so that we do not fall into the error of cursing our brothers who love Jesus dearly, and clearly believe in His substitutionary atonement on our behalf.

  18. CH says:

    I wonder if Calvin would be considered a “Calvinist” by these guys?

    Mark Horne at http://tinyurl.com/7cdnc
    shows that Calvin linked imputation to union as do the Westminster Standards.

    I must admit, I’m not up on my N.T. Wright, but isn’t the normal crticism of him that he eliminates imputation in favor of union.

    If Calvin and therefore the WS is correct and I believe they are, then in NT Wright’s view we still have both.

    I couldn’t find your exact quote even with your link BTW. It was sick and shameful though.

  19. Al says:

    Thanks for your comments Joseph. I agree with your sentiment on this issue. The sad thing, it seems to me, is that Wright is generally concerned to defend many of the same things as his greatest evangelical critics but that, since he has a different approach on the issues, he is seen to be the enemy of the very truths he is seeking to maintain.

    I believe that if people hesitated before casting judgment, seeking to arrive at as charitable and informed a reading as possible or evaluating the possibility of critical appropriation of Wright’s thought (I don’t know anyone who accepts Wright’s position on everything) we would be an awful lot better off. As it is the theological conversation tends to create more heat than light.

  20. kdny says:

    Matt’s a pistol. I was booted off his board for “defending” Doug Wilson on justification. For my riveting defense check this out. It’s in the middle and the bottom of the page. My friend and I responded to his critique of “Reformed is Not Enough here.

    Just think of the Pharisees losing power and their response. I think it explains itself.

  21. Al says:

    The moderators on that board are pretty tyrannical. Their line on no defenses of Doug Wilson, for example, is so bizarre that it took me a while for it to sink in that they were serious.

  22. kdny says:

    I know. I couldn’t believe what they labelled as a defense!

  23. Daniel Rodriguez says:

    McMahon’s vitriol aside, is N.T. Wright a heretic or not? I think that is ultimately the more important question. Every man will have to bear his burden and give an account before God, but pointing out heretics and their heresies saves lives which Christ bought with his blood and, as such, is a most loving and Christ honoring thing to do. As to N.T. Wright, please do read the following rather peaceable but scathing examination of his false doctrine and its influence.


    I dare say McMahon, though rude in speech-as other Christians have been throughout the ages- has hit the nail on the proverbial head. Just as with the Mormons and the Jehovah’s witnesses’ before him, (and whatever the merits of his contribution to apologetics), Wright would have us believe God’s providential design involved deceiving his own people for centuries as to the nature of true doctrine. Peace be with all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus in sincerity and truth.

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