In prior posts it’s been made clear that some commenters and writers of this blog believe that authentic dialogue is a good and proper thing. OK. Fine.
But how does a context of dialogue deal with a Pauline category of thought that identifies a class of people as the “false brethren,” “dogs and evil workers,” of whom Paul would say that “their condemnation is just?”
Of what teachers would he say that they are false teachers, come in to spy out our liberty? My point here is not that Wright needs to draw the line in the same place that I would. The point is that (given the condition of the modern Church) if he never draws such a line, never fights the wolves within the fold, calling them wolves as he does so, then he is not being Pauline. And my point is not that Wright is not resisting false teaching — he most certainly is, and in a number of quarters, more effectively than a number of conservative defenders of the faith who eat broken up shards of truth for breakfast. But Wright still resists drawing appropriate Pauline conclusions about his adversaries. He does not have the bar set too low on what constitutes a legitimate matter for debate. He does seem to have the bar set too low on how to understand his discussion partners. And this means that I don’t think he can quite have his mind completely around Paul’s worldview yet.
I’m curious to find out who people think modern day ‘dogs’ are. And Wilson is right, if we can’t identify (some) people in that category then we aren’t being especially Pauline.