Bob Gundry has a thorough critique of N. T. Wright’s How God Became King in the most recent issue of Bulletin for Biblical Research. Among other things, Gundry objects to Wright’s pacifist interpretation of the Kingdom of God. Gundry thinks Wright whitewashes depictions of divine violence in both the Old and New Testaments. Thus when Wright says that “bombs and bullets” can never bring “justice and peace,” Gundry is not convinced and asks a rather practical question:
Someone is bound to ask whether countering the Axis with bombs and bullets in World War II did a pretty good job of obliterating that evil, an obliteration which has brought peace and justice to Wright and a good many others (59).
I don’t know that Wright has ever claimed the pacifist label, but he does sound like one from time to time. How does he answer this critique from Gundry? Does Wright think that Great Britain, France and the United States were wrong to oppose the Third Reich in World War II?
I leave it to you to read Wright’s book for yourself and then Gundry’s review and then come to your own conclusions.
Robert H. Gundry, “An Exegetical and Biblical Theological Evaluation of N. T. Wright’s How God Became King,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 24.1 (2014): 57-73.