Students engage with N.T. Wright January Series lecture


Photo by Adelaide Mei

Students from The Remnant Bible Study table about justification.

“Is Wright right?” a bright red sign bearing this question hung from the table of members of the Remnant Bible Study on Jan. 20 as they engaged passersby in discussions of interpretation, justification and salvation.

Famed New Testament and Pauline scholar N.T. Wright lectured on “Galatians in Three Dimensions” this past Friday in his sixth January Series appearance. The campus bible study group took the opportunity to educate their fellow students on their own view of Paul, popping up a table outside Commons Annex on the day prior to the lecture. Wright’s lecture, delivered via Zoom due to travel restrictions, was well-attended in the CFAC auditorium and via livestream. The lecture drew on Wright’s recent commentary on Galatians, offering a contextualized first-century interpretation.

Students Joseph Dick, Paul Dick and Gregory Dobson were among those who manned the table. Dobson said, “The Reformed view really stresses … justification by faith alone through Christ.” To Dick, Wright’s perspective sounds like “Wright is saying that our justification comes by faith initially … [but] the reason believers go to heaven is if their life was good enough.”

Wright addressed the eschatological disagreements he has with his critics, contrasting views focused on saved souls ascending to heaven with the view that he holds of the Kingdom of Heaven coming down to earth. The rest of the lecture focused on topics unrelated to justification or eschatological doctrine, including ecclesiology, the study of who forms the church and what actions must be taken to have identity with the early Christians.