I don’t know what NT Wright seems to gain by insisting he is a Calvinist. I know a lot of Federal Vision guys also take this stand. True, NT Wright denies our works earn righteousness, and he wants to maintain a primary commitment to Scripture (I have problems with the directions he takes it, but I can go with that for now), but that doesn’t equal Calvinism. Calvinism is dialectically construed and won’t survive the cumulative hammer blows from post-postmodern epistemology, current theological moves, and new players in the conversation (see David Bentley Hart). Wright’s strengths will always be limited by staying with a label whose adherents despise him. He can be far stronger elsewhere.
Anyway, he’s denied a few key tenets of Reformed theology:
- He rejects individual election (and more specifically, he rejects that Romans 9 speaks at all about individual election).
- While his view of justification isn’t Roman, it “un-narrates” the Reformed view. I hope to outline that argument later.
- His reading of Scripture and narratival approach deconstruct the “WCF-or-death!” approach. After you read his exegesis (which is like hearing a dozen anthems at once), and then you read the Confession’s use of Scripture and method of argument, you feel let down.
There still has yet to be serious reflection on whether the ecclesial view of justification negates the traditional Reformed view. I want to say it does, but I have yet to see the hard evidence.