Wednesday, March 17, 2004

My previous comments with regard to tensions in N.T. Wright's view of Baptism need some clarification. Wright clearly holds that Baptism is all about entry, but some of his language on justification might lead to confusion on where exactly he stands. He brings together Baptism and justification but doesn't seem to believe that justification is about entry. Anyone who wants clarification on where Wright stands on Baptism and entry should take the time to read his commentary on Romans 6. The following is also a helpful quote from Wright's comments on Galatians 3:27 in the For Everyone series.
Paul for Everyone: Galatians and Thessalonians

What matters for Paul is that someone is 'in' the Messiah, or 'belongs to' the Messiah. This is not simply a spiritual state resulting from, or consisting in, a certain type of inner experience. For Paul, it is a matter of belonging to a particular community, the new royal family, the Messiah's people; and this family is entered through baptism.

Baptism is therefore 'into the Messiah': it is the doorway through which one passes into membership in the single family God promised to Abraham. Paul does not here explain how baptism relates to faith; he assumes they are both present, as indeed he would, since 'Jesus is Lord' was what the candidate for baptism would have to say.

The big question is what this all does to Wright's assertion that justification is not about entry.

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