The orthodox Christian theology of Hadley Robinson

God in the Dock: What Place Now for Christian Faith in Public Life? C. S. Lewis Lecture 2011, Dublin

by the Right Reverend Professor N. T. Wright
University of St Andrews

Reviewed by Hadley Robinson, M.Div.

(Here is the full text of the Bishop’s lecture.)

Wright gives a concise assessment of the intellectual climate in Europe and the United States.  According to him, we are facing a wave of anti-Christian bigotry that is looking for excuses to blame terrorism, racism, anti-homosexual, and anti-feminist attitudes on the Church.  What should be our response, he asks?  How do we fit into the public sphere?

…the story which the Christian respondents have been telling has, by and large, not really addressed – so far as I am aware – the deeper question of whether there is therefore any place for Christian faith in public life?

As we read on, we discover that the role of the Christian faith in public life is to press for more social and environmental activism.  This is how, in his words, “…a healthy Christian faith and life might impinge upon public life in our world and our day.”  He believes that the Church in the west got into this mess as a result of her collusion with the Enlightenment in promoting the notion that Christianity is merely about “religion” and “morality” (a private faith) and putting her clergy on a different level (which allowed the recent abuses we have seen in the Roman branch of the Church and elsewhere).  The Bishop is correct that we are commanded to "do good", an essential paradigm of the true Christian life.  Without it, we are mere talkers, men who have a false faith (Jas. 2:14).

But this is but a part of the Christian life.  The Bishop and other Post-Liberal theologians and teachers push this doctrine (though distorted) into the foreground and, to the great harm and destruction of the Church, put the Holy Spirit's demand that all Christians live holy lives into the background or, functionally, shove it off the table.

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. – Heb. 12:14-16

The statement here in Hebrews is no less ambiguous than the words of James to the Church: So-called or self-identified Christians who reject holiness will not see the Lord.  It matters not whether they may not see the Lord in this life or the next.  To not have one is to not have the other.  That is, such men will be in the same category as those mentioned by Jesus here, the "Lord, Lord" people,

Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'  Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' – Mat. 7:21-23

But, to Wright and other advocates of the New Perspective, the Bible is little more than a supermarket.  N.T. Wright has repeatedly distorted the views of many of the Reformers including setting up straw men to attack.  However, he is otherwise an immensely knowledgeable man, a skilled and brilliant NT scholar, ecumenist, social and political activist, musician, teacher, and family man.1 

Wright now makes his case for increasing these types of activism by Christians.  He begins by politely and irenically excoriating what some in the Church know as historic Christian orthodoxy:

…this characteristic Western misreading of the gospels omits the central point: that Jesus went about announcing that God was now in charge, doing things which embodied that in-charge-ness, that sovereignty, that ‘kingdom’, and telling stories which explained that this divine kingdom was coming, not in the way people were expecting, but like a tiny seed producing a huge shrub, like a father welcoming back a runaway son.

Wright's understanding of the Kingdom of God is different in some ways than what Scripture as a whole presents.  If God came to earth in some way (an Incarnation), we would expect Him to demonstrate His sovereignty over the current mess that we live in and experience daily.  The Jews wanted their theocracy back and for Israel to be an independent kingdom, protected by God's almighty hand -- and then some.  Jesus plainly told them, "not now..." and "not so...."

Jesus did demonstrate His "in-charge-ness" but it was severely limited.  He did not heal all people, everywhere.  He did not raise all of the dead.  He veiled His Person and His Role in parables from most of the world for the express purpose of denying them the opportunity of repentance.

He did say His divine Kingdom was coming -- but not at present nor in any worldly sense.  It was coming in the future in a from that would be as obvious as lightning crashing through the sky in a raging storm.  Meanwhile, God's people must be patient amid much suffering and tribulation, just as the godly of old experienced.  Job was fortunate that he did not have to wait for God's blessing after he died, as most of the Prophets did, including Abraham who never experienced what He had promised.  They saw it "...from afar."

Jesus described it as a Kingdom within2 which we cannot go and find someplace or, more importantly, implement outside of ourselves.  It is not of this world (Jn. 18:36).  But not according to the Bishop.  He ventures into the Greek text to inform us that Jesus' Kingdom, actually, is just not from this world but otherwise it is a kingdom that is to be implemented on the world.  It is a sort of cleansed theocracy, one that is different than forcing the Kingdom on the world by an army but a theocracy just the same.  On the other hand, the Cross is about redeeming a people for Himself, a paradigm well established in the New Testament.

The looming question is what happens to the world?  Is it redeemed through us in some way?  Wright believes that this is an implicit part of the Apostle Paul's message to the Church.  But such a belief clashes with other teaching in the New Testament, especially with that of the Apostle Peter.   According to Wright, the world will, in fact, be redeemed,

The ‘Beatitudes’ are Jesus’ agenda for kingdom-people.  They are not simply about how to behave so that God will do something nice to you. They are about the fact that Jesus wants to rule the world through you, but that for that to happen you’ll have to become people of this kind.

What does God the Father do but love and discipline His children, just like a good earthly father?  Why would Jesus come and speak in terms that His elect could not understand – sufficiently to not suffer His wrath?  Why does Wright complicate the simple?  What is having "something nice" done for you?  If it is receiving the Holy Spirit, being led by Him, better understanding His will, or receiving the grace to crucify the flesh?  When the elect are obedient, does not the Father smile?

 How do we become "people of this kind"?  Wright writes elsewhere that it has little or nothing to with the repentance required by faith in Jesus Christ.

Peter, among the Prophets, labels us as aliens and strangers in this world (1 Pet. 2:11) and, that the world as we know it, is being reserved for complete and utter destruction (2 Pet. 3:7).  How can aliens and strangers rule in a world/kingdom in which they are not even citizens?  It would be out of order.  What is the sense of redeeming something which, at any moment, is to be utterly destroyed?  The world is going to be rebuilt from ashes, not redeemed.  The old building is going to be completely torn down and a new one built in its place from the ground up.  The current world is a hopeless mess of evil the scope of which is only mitigated by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

As His people, we are thankful that He restrains evil!  The heathen experience the same blessings but choose to credit themselves or their gods for it rather than the Creator.  There will be a New Earth and a New Heaven and it will be, as Peter states, the "home of righteousness" rather than the home of the Devil and his brood.

As many parables of Jesus state, His effectual rule of the world is delayed.  Such rule will be implemented in the future -- accompanied by great violence e.g. Luke 19:27.  All of this begs the question: How is it possible for us to be the vehicles through which Christ rules the world when the New Testament declares that He does not need nor wants our help in ruling this world, Babylon, the kingdom of the Dark One?  If any creature is to help Him rule the world, it will be His angels, not His people.  Instead, we are to rule our passions.

There is no example in the New Testament of the godly forming organizations that beg for money and then work to eliminate man-stealing, capital punishment, immorality, poverty, adultery, oppression of women, etc.3  However, by the 4th century, the Church was an official institution protected and funded by the state -- and, in many ways, a slave of the world and its evil designs.  The moment any man is able to make his living off the Gospel, both he and everyone else may get into trouble.

Our purpose, according to Wright, is not to be a holy people among a crooked and depraved generation4 but to go about and do things.  It is a major paradigm shift from the teaching of Scripture concerning our role in the world.  Nowhere in Scripture is it taught that our primary purpose is to clean up the mess made by sinful man.

Our first purpose, as with Israel, is to be His people and act like it -- to clean up our own mess.  He has given us the Spirit and new, converted hearts in order to do it.  No sexual immorality, no self-promotion, no idolatry but a life filled with love and forgiveness, and the individual doing of good, especially towards our brothers in Christ.  This is how we are to be the Light of the world.

Our doing good is an incidental role wherever we are, but such a role is not our primary one.  Our role in living here is to be God's people while we live a quiet life filled with the Fruit of the Spirit, as the Apostle commands5.  American Evangelicals have been anything but quiet and minders of their own business.  They are the laughingstock of the heathen due to their love of money and their self promotion.  The Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggert debacles are the tips of the icebergs floating around.  It would be so refreshing if the Americans would have the same horror of asking for money as the Apostle Paul did.6
 
Wright, like so many of the post-Reformation era, finds purpose in the goal of remaking the world.  Of course, if we are an army of do-gooders (in the worldly sense) then we need leaders, structure, and many other things that belong to this world.  When he says that "...Jesus wants to rule the world through you" it is a mere euphemism for social activism by people who claim to be Christians.

Jesus' presence on earth was attended in a limited way by a taste of what Heaven is like – no disease, no death, no tears, no sickness.  But He and the others still had to endure the tyranny evil despots.

That the Gospel is not a call for Christian activism can be seen throughout Scripture but Wright in other essays and books dismisses the Gospel as a call for men to repent, believe in the risen Christ, and be thus justified as having the righteousness of Christ and absolution from sin that He wrought on the Cross.  For example, the following passage begs the question,

I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land.  Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.  And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed--only Naaman the Syrian. – Luke 4:25-27

Was God "in charge" during those times?

God has His sovereign purposes and they are not aligned with the goals of most church leaders, including Wright and teachers like David Platt.  Jesus could have spent many years healing people and raising them from the dead but chose not to.  That God would deliberately withhold grace from the world is inconceivable to the Humanists who dominate Protestant seminaries and churches.  They attempt to press their worldview on Holy Scripture and the fit is an awkward one because Scripture (Ro. 9 and others) contradicts such a view.
 
Wright's affectionate references to South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu also gives us a clue as to his Modernist theology and to where he is headed.  Bishop Tutu is a neo-orthodox/post-liberal and unlikely a converted man.  His theological bent is adequately evidenced by many things he has written and said.  As is so typical, tares like Tutu worm their way into the church and destroy it from the inside.  For example, 

Tutu says he still reads the Bible every day and recommends that people read it as a collection of books, not a single constitutional document: "You have to understand that the Bible is really a library of books and it has different categories of material," he said. "There are certain parts which you have to say 'no' to. The Bible accepted slavery. St Paul said women should not speak in church at all and there are people who have used that to say women should not be ordained. There are many things that you shouldn't accept.” - from Wiki on the bishop
 
“If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God.”   "Desmond Tutu chides Church for gay stance" BBC 18 November 2007

Bishop Tutu has disdain for much of the Bible, like the world.  It is silly to suggest that God fears homosexuals – He simply hates them (including all unrepentant sinners) and will throw the whole lot into Hell.  But at least he is honest compared to many in the church who, like Tim Keller, carefully hedge their position.  Thus, they appear to adhere to the Divine inspiration of the Sacred Text while actually explaining away what they think is the mere work of humans.

For Tutu (and Wright, by association) it is a jumble of disconnected parts that needs to be picked over and explained by church professionals.  Scholarship is needed but not inspiration by the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Unconverted men can never understand the heart of Scripture because they do not have the heart of God just as one man cannot understand another man's love letter that he sends to his bride.

Instead of sola scriptura (only Scripture), it is scriptura aliqua (some Scripture).  Bishop Tutu begs the question:  What God does he worship?  It does not appear to be the God witnessed to by the Prophets.  Why does Wright hold him up to be such an example for us and the world?  It is unsettling.
 
For these leaders, the Kingdom of God essentially shares the basic goal of humanism:  God wants us to be happy.  This means that, "...the Church should be an active body that works with the world on the same terms – but can do it better because we have the Gospel" (or something like this).  This worldview supports feminism, homosexuality, divorce, socialism, and environmentalism.  In other words, we need to embrace the current Progressive Leftist worldview – but do it even better.  For this, the heathen will love us and present us awards, gifts of money, and a huge audience, just as it did to Tutu.

John’s words (1Jn. 2:15) are a puzzle for the Post-Liberal:  “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  If we just substitute the word “Bible” for the word “world”, this passage makes more sense to them.
 
In a nutshell, Wright and Tutu present us with more deism in the Church:  God is asleep, on a journey, or too busy.  Thus He is unable or unwilling to take an active role in human affairs.  This requires us to fight against what we consider to be social and environmental injustice in the world – the Sisyphean task to which they are calling us.  It suggests that the widespread injustice in the world is not a direct result of rampant sin, its consequence, and Divine Judgment, but – somehow – the fault of Western Christians who have/had their fingers on the Sacred Text too long.  For this we must make amends.
 
Wright is correct in saying that the Divine Kingdom was coming in a way that the people of Jesus’ time were not expecting (authoritarian rule by Messiah).  But he is not correct in trying to squeeze out of the Gospels his version of the Kingdom – his “third way”.

Contrary to his assertions, Scripture affirms that God is fully in charge of the current world but chooses to permit the Prince of this Age to reign substantially in regards to the vast majority of the human drama.  Scripture teaches that it is going to get much worse, even to the point that His elect will be overrun and put to death.

His version of the Kingdom is similar to that held by the Disciples prior to the Resurrection:  We Christians have to do something to fix the broken world.  Peter had one method (Jn. 18:10) and Wright, another.  We are called to meddle in a way that subsumes the primary role of the Church:  To be the holy bride of Christ.  Wright makes this statement,

The Sermon on the Mount is a call to Jesus’ followers to take up their vocation, which was the Israel-vocation that Jesus made his own: the vocation to be light to the world, to be salt to the earth – in other words, to be people through whom Jesus’ kingdom-vision was to become a reality. The victory of Jesus over the powers of sin and death is to be implemented in the wider world through people like this.

It is a colossal quantum leap to equate Christ’s victory over the powers of sin and death in the individual man with victory over the world and its intractable evil system.  It is true that His victory will be implemented in the wider world but that will only happen when He comes the second time to judge and destroy.  Meanwhile, we suffer at the hands of the Devil and his followers.

Wright scoffs at those who await the return of Christ.  Does this great scholar not acquaint himself with other writings of Paul the Apostle?  Repentance? Holy living? Waiting for Christ's return?

They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. – 1 Thess. 1:9-10

Romans 5-7 explains that His victory made the new life possible but only for individual men – not for some group of men or the world as a whole.  For this reason, faithful Christians have been put to death by the world as there is no victory yet over the false prophets, the antichrists, and the Devil.  We yearn for the completion of our salvation and the end of bloody and wicked Babylon.

Wright's call for Christians to love others and, especially, the brethren is sound.  This sacrificial love manifests itself daily in the lives of an unknown number of Christians throughout the world who show mercy to others in some way – most often directly and very rarely by proxy, the darling of the religious frauds.  It begs the question: Other than writing and teaching, what is Wright personally doing to usher in this kingdom of his?  Like those of the Progressive Left, there must be a cadre of priests to guide everything, whose daily bread is paid for by others, and who must give direction to the rest of their subjects.  Does Wright entertain strangers?  Does he personally clothe the naked and feed the starving?  Or, does he merely order others to do so?  In this manner he is so like the American elite who rob citizens of their money and hand it over to other individuals and claim all of the credit for their great humanity, generosity, and love.

That our lives are to be characterized by love is vividly demonstrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan.  It is personal love for others – where one man touches another.  From the overflow of a converted man’s spirit come these deeds of grace – all a result of his having been forgiven a debt he could never repay: the debt of sin which demands his death.

However, if we ignore His calls to be a holy and pure people, what does this say of our heart?  Is it truly converted?  How can we say we love God when we do not wish to do as He says with our whole heart – and not just some of it?  His yoke is easy and His burden is light – keeping my eyes for my own bride and not another’s should be an easy joy.  Being thankful and content in all circumstances while giving Him praise is a natural response of His people.  Grieving that His Kingdom has not yet come in fullness is a difficult and unrelenting cross we bear.

But Wright and Tutu want us to do something else and be some Christianized mix of Greenpeace, Amnesty International, World Vision, and Planned Parenthood.  Neither, on the other hand, appears ready to face the wrath of this decadent Age for denouncing and opposing abortion, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pornography, and divorce – the particular sins for which God has eradicated entire peoples from the face of the earth (Lev. 18:24ff; Eph. 5:6ff).  Yet such were some of us and, by God’s grace, we have been forgiven and made whole (1Cor. 6:9-11).  In fact, is there anything for which the world denounces Bishop Tutu?  He is its hero.

It would take many pages to illustrate the fundamental difference between the New Testament view of the goals and obligations of the converted man and Wright’s.  The New Testament view might be summarized here: 

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.  – 2 Tim 1:8-9 (c.f. 1 Thess. 1:9, 4:7; 1 Pet 2:12, 4:3; Eph. 5, etc.)

By the Grace of Christ and His indwelling power we have been called to live holy lives.  That is to be our place among the heathen – not competing with them on their terms, as Wright would have us do.
 
Tutu is a great man of this world – and the world made it clear that he is one of their own.
 
On the other hand, Jesus called for the destruction of all men who refuse to serve and obey him7 so it is unlikely He would ever win the Nobel Peace prize as Tutu did.

Why does Wright wince at the prospect of holding God’s people morally accountable?  Perhaps he (along with Tutu) finds the demands found in all Scripture to be too controversial and/or a tiresome rehash of Western misreading of the Sacred Text.  But what is holy living?  Here is one definition: 

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.  – Ephesians 5:3-12

When we show grace and kindness to everyone we encounter in life with a willingness to listen and help, we are being the Light of the world – but not if we also live like cats and dogs in heat.  For this the people who lived in the land prior to the Jews were destroyed.  Religious acting is nothing new, as here with the Jews of the 6th century BC: 

Have you not just called to me: `My Father, my friend from my youth, will you always be angry?  Will your wrath continue forever?'  This is how you talk, but you do all the evil you can." – Jer. 3:4-5

If there is one piece of Scripture that nails the core of Modernists in the church, this is it, including N.T. Wright8.

If it had not been the necessity of a Remnant, the Jews of that day would have also undergone the same fate as their predecessors in the land.
 
At the Crucifixion, the State and Church were separated.9  But it is mixed back together in significant ways if we embrace the tenants of Post-liberalism and its relatives.  The Prophets10 excoriated Israel for its unjust government that, like nearly all government, was often little more than an extortion racket that made the ruling authorities more rich and powerful while trampling on the rights of the outsiders (the poor and powerless).
 
The devastating judgments the Jews received at God’s Hand are warnings to us to not ignore God’s demands that we must live as we ought.  We can also observe the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D. as another example of what happens to a naughty church.11
 
As part of a tiny minority, this writer's input in the affairs of the State is not significant.  But I can have godly input for Christ in the neighborhood where I live and work.  It is not a grandiose scheme that is so common with those seeking worldly glory but it could be right on the mark with God's plan for my life.  Saving Africa from AIDS and poverty?  How does anyone other than God change the wicked hearts of 100's of millions of people that are the root of the problem?  Does the Bishop stop and pick up trash thrown about his neighborhood?  Does he send gifts to newly arrived neighbors where he lives?
 
On the other hand, how can we possibly join the State and pursue its largely evil purposes?  Wright is urging us to be syncretistic moderns and to dismiss our love for and loyalty to Scripture.  But the LORD, through the Prophet, tells us what we should seek.   Do we want the Ancient Paths or the new?  This is where I have the most fundamental disagreement with Wright and Tutu. 

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.  But you said, `We will not walk in it.' – Jer. 6:16

The Church is in shambles in the West and their solution is to become more like the world.  Deep love for the Savior, Biblical repentance, holiness, fear of God, shame for sin, obedience to the Divine order of Creation – these are largely unknown today among anyone in the West.  Why are the bishops – unlike those of old – so ashamed of the Ancient Paths?  How can they ascribe them as mere "Western misreading" of the Text?  
 
In sum, there is an important difference between the Holy Spirit’s calling in the life of the converted man and that of Wright’s calling.   Who cares what the heathen think of us if we are faithful to all of the commands of Scripture?  Why all this obsession with the new ways that are heathen at the heart?  What does Light have to do with Darkness, as it were?12  It is none of our business in so far as the world’s opinions are not a result of our misbehavior.13  An exhortation by our brother Paul might be appropriate in light of Wright’s remarks, 

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. – 1 Thess. 4:11-12

Post-liberals, adherents to Liberation Theology, and the Neo-orthodox (along with most American Evangelicals) press ever onward to be involved in the affairs of the nations.  If we imitate the bishops, we will win the acclaim of the world.  Our Savior, on the other hand, promised that we would be universally hated because we, like Him, denounce the world as doing all the evil it can.  Jesus Christ is an absolute monarch and not some prime minister who is interested in the opinions of the voters.  How does this all square with the bishops’ points of view? 

All men will hate you because of me. – Luke 21:17

Wright continues, 

Those who are hungry and thirsty for God’s justice will be analysing government policy and legal rulings and speaking up on behalf of those at the bottom of the pile.

Now what if the people who are at the bottom of the pile were put there by Christ because of their intractable sin?  Who are they, anyway?  Could they be faithful Christians who oppose the rampant immorality being spread throughout the Church by men like N.T. Wright?

Israel was put at the bottom of the pile in such a way, along with many other nations, because of her love for idolatry and immorality.  What should be our response?  Would helping the Amorites of ancient times have put us in the position of fighting against God?   The Scriptures teach that evil and terrible government are God’s judgment on the sins of the people.  Yet we must show mercy at all times but also be careful – and still error on mercy’s side.
 
Guarding my eyes, loving my bride as Christ loved the Church, doing good where and when I can, and loving my brother in Christ (including my neighbor) is a full time task.  When do the vast majority of Christians have the time to “analyze government policy and legal rulings”, as Wright would have us do?  That is the call to be a busybody.  When this writer was raising a small and large family, it was all he do to support them.  Where was he to find the time to “analyze government policy and legal rulings”?
 
This becomes a huge distraction for the Church from her biblically defined role.  She needs to be reminded of such passages as Luke 4:27.  Jesus could have cured all of the lepers, the blind, the lame, the deaf, and the sick during His brief time here but He chose not to.  So it was during the time of Elisha.14 

But this is difficult concept to those who hold dear to humanism and egalitarianism.  That God judges people with suffering because of their corporate and individual sin is an impossible paradigm for this age to accept.  Nonetheless, the individual Christian response to the sin of individuals they meet in the world must be forgiveness and mercy. 
 
Specifically, there was at least as much poverty and injustice in the world during the 1st century as now.  The Apostles and Church Fathers would have had ample time and audience to sound like our post-Reformation theologians – had they so chosen.  It should be a point of interest that their focus, along with that of the New Testament, was elsewhere.

1There are things Wright says and company he keeps that suggest to me that he is not a converted man and it precipitates a dreadful wave of horror in my own mind.  Yet, it is for God to know alone.  It also forces me to look at my own soul through the eyes of Scripture and make the same assessment: Are my words always honoring Messiah, the one I claim to love and rest upon for my salvation from the Judgment and eternal Death?  That is part of the horror I experience.  Nonetheless, Jesus said that our deeds reveal to whose kingdom we belong.  Who in the world hates N.T. Wright or Desmond Tutu?  Being hated by the world is another badge of the true Christian and the opposite side of also being loved by the Father.
2Lk 17:21
3Nonetheless, we can work with others towards the good but it is better done not through the world's system of force, intrigue, political partisanship, and the like.  It should be done quietly, in the background, so that no one can accuse Christians of undermining the authority of the State or being a political party.  Wright and virtually all so-called Christian activists are more concerned with getting approval from the world than bravely living as aliens and strangers here while defending the reputation of God and His Gospel.
4Php 2:15
51 Tim 2:2
62Cor 11:8
7Lk 19:27
8With respect to "doing all the evil you can", Wright would not be in that category.  His tacit support of immorality of all sorts among Christians is devastating to the future of the Church in the West.  He and Tutu share this in common with the wicked priests of the First Temple period.
9e.g. Lk 19:11
10e.g Jer 5:26 ff.
11Unless, of course, we are deists where such catastrophes are disconnected from any Divine plan that could be known.
122Cor 6:14
13Ro 2:23-24
14e.g. 2 Kings 5

ΩΩΩ
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.