N. T. Wright on the Necessity of Believing the Resurrection

N. T. WrightI used to think that the “N. T.” in N. T. Wright stood for “New Testament.” He’s such a fine scholar of the New Testament, it only made sense. However, having read his comments in The Australian, I am not so sure (HT: Al Mohler).

Contrary to 1 Corinthians 15, and Romans 10:9-10, and a host of other scriptures, the Bishop of Durham thinks that belief in the bodily resurrection of Christ is unnecessary in order for one to be a Christian. He says,

I have friends who I am quite sure are Christians who do not believe in the bodily resurrection. But the view I take of them – and they know this – is that they are very, very muddled. They would probably return the compliment. Marcus Borg really does not believe Jesus Christ was bodily raised from the dead. But I know Marcus well: he loves Jesus and believes in him passionately.

The philosophical and cultural world he has lived in has made it very, very difficult for him to believe in the bodily resurrection. I actually think that’s a major problem and it affects most of whatever else he does, and I think that it means he has all sorts of flaws as a teacher, but I don’t want to say he isn’t a Christian.

I do think, however, that churches that lose their grip on the bodily resurrection are in deep trouble and that for healthy Christian life individually and corporately, belief in the bodily resurrection is foundational (source).

This is very sad. Here is the guy who is a Bishop in the Church of England and who wrote what is probably the definitive defense of the bodily resurrection of Christ, and he doesn’t even see how essential such a belief is for being a Christian.


5 thoughts on “N. T. Wright on the Necessity of Believing the Resurrection”

  1. Dear Mike,

    I am affirming the following: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

    I believe, therefore, that belief in the bodily resurrection of Christ is a non-negotiable for salvation.


  2. I also believe in bodily resurrection — but I actually think that Wright is exactly right in what he says here. I’ve just posted on this over at Faith and Theology.

  3. Thanks for the reply, Denny.

    For the record, I believe in it too. I think Wright believes in it too. You believe in it. It’s the non-negotiable thing that I’m hung up on.

    I’ve got nothing intelligent to add… I just find it disconcerting.

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