I just bought my first ipod, so I’m not exactly an early adopter. I generally try to stay one step behind the Amish, and now that Titus Miller has a cell phone, I think that God will understand if I have an ipod touch.
The first podcast I downloaded was Kevin Vanhoozer’s lecture on N.T. Wright’s new perspective, which he delivered at this spring’s Wheaton theology conference. It is a terrific example of a theologian disagreeing with another without being disagreeable. Vanhoozer wisely and with good humor suggests that Wright is right in what he affirms (the communal nature of salvation) and wrong in what he rejects (the traditional Protestant understanding of justification). Vanhoozer shows how John Calvin already suggested what Wright seeks to accomplish, and that the theological category of adoption may be the best way to bring together the best that the traditional Protestants and the New Perspective has to offer.
I winced when Vanhoozer admitted that most systematic theologians do little with adoption. It’s an important part of our salvation, but we generally focus on more controversial topics such as justification and sanctification. Vanhoozer explained that adoption is able to account for both the Reformers’ focus on being accepted by God and the New Perspective’s emphasis on being in God’s family. Here’s the money quote, which I roughly paraphrase from memory: “What if the legal court is also an adoption court? What if the same court that declares us to be innocent also declares us to belong to God’s family?”
If you are at all interested in the New Perspective (and you should be), you need to listen to this lecture.