I have given my assessment of N. T. Wright’s politics in previous posts on this blog (here, here). Readers may remember that Wright is pretty unrealistic in his appraisal of how the West should respond to Islamo-fascism. Not only does Wright excoriate the American-led war in Iraq, he also dismisses America’s toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan as an “immature lashing out.” Wright has said that “the only way to fight terror is by working for mutual understanding and respect” (He’s serious!). For Wright, the American “empire’s” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan amount to fighting “one kind of terror with another.” One would expect this kind of moral equivalence from a liberal partisan. It’s surprising (and disappointing) to hear it coming from and “evangelical” Bishop of the Anglican Church.
Joseph Loconte at the Weekly Standard has jumped into the fray and has given a withering critique of Wright’s theopolitical musings. Here’s a snippet:
‘The bishop exudes moral outrage–but not at the extremists. Wright reserves the weight of his scorn for the United States and Great Britain and their foreign policies since the attacks of 9/11. . .
‘There are mature Christian responses, in political terms, to this kind of threat. One of them is called the just war tradition, and it provided the moral rationale for the US-led war in Afghanistan. Astonishingly, Wright gives it almost no attention. He movingly describes the hope of the coming Kingdom, “God’s final victory over evil.” But he has little to say about the enduring need for governments ordained by God to enforce justice–with the sword–until that blessed day arrives. Instead, we’re informed that “the only way” to combat terrorism is “by working for mutual understanding and respect.” We’re told that believers are to “bring [God’s] wise and healing order to the world under his just and gentle rule.” What God intends the secular state to do about those who despise life itself, who violently resist his gentle rule, remains a flimsy afterthought.
‘It is not as if the bishop lacks a Biblical view of evil in the modern world. But it does not seem to figure at all into his critique: He assumes that the root causes of Islamic radicalism have much more to do with politics–with U.S. and British foreign policy–than with the tragedy of the human condition. There is no suggestion that Islamic fascism may represent a fundamentally spiritual crisis: that Muslim rage results largely from the admixture of monstrous ego, envy, and perverted religion.
‘The current soft-pedaling of Islamic violence is jarringly reminiscent of the posturing of clerics during the 1930s. As Hitler began his campaign of terror in Europe, the editors at Fortune magazine berated the nation’s Christian leaders for failing to reckon realistically with the Nazi menace. Instead, they picked up the appeasing cant of their secular counterparts. “We are asked to turn to the Church for our enlightenment, but when we do we find that the voice of the Church is not inspired,” they wrote. “The voice of the Church today, we find, is the echo of our own voices.”
Read the whole thing here: “N. T. Wright Gets It Wrong” â€“ by Joseph Laconte (The