Colin Hansen’s report in Christianity Today last week suggested that N. T. Wright’s writings have influenced some Protestants to become Roman Catholic. Roman Catholic convert Taylor Marshall puts it this way:
“If you buy into Wright’s approach to covenantal theology, then you’ve already taken three steps toward the Catholic Church. Keep following the trail and you’ll be Catholic.”
The CT article only had a snippet of a response from Bishop Wright. Trevin Wax has Wright’s full response here.
I find it still laughable how so many professing evangelicals, especially from some quarters of the Reformed community, still believe that Bishop Tom Wright’s view of justification is not only harmless to the traditional evangelical view but actually jibes well with it. Having read his materials on this matter, there is no way a person who fully holds to the confessional statements on justification of the Protestant churches (The Thirty-Nine articles, the WCF, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Augsburg Confession, the LBCF, the Abstract of Principles, etc.) can also embrace Wright’s view of justification. Indeed, that Roman Catholic convert is right: Wright’s view of justification does lead one to Rome.
I have a recording of a sermon by John MacArthur where he states, and I quote… “The more the liturgy, the more the mystery, the more the ceremony, the more the apostasy.”
If that’s Protestantism, then he can have it. Thankfully, as Wright points out, it isn’t.
I do not think that discussions regarding the nature of justification are leading people to Rome in droves. However, the vapidness of much of modern Evangelicalism (as demonstrated in the MacArthur quote) may be. That is the point of Wright’s response, and I agree with him, his omission of Lutheranism as a viable antidote to such on this side of the Tiber notwithstanding.