Protecting the “cherished temple of modernist thought”

September 27, 2012

This Sunday’s scripture in Vinebranch, Acts 4:1-22, includes Acts 4:12, in which Peter tells chief priests who oppose his evangelistic work, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” In his For Everyone commentary on this passage, N.T. Wright writes:

All this gives us reason to ask, rather carefully, just why it is that Acts 4.12 has been so unpopular within the politically correct climate of the last few generations in the Western world. ‘No other name’? People say this is arrogant, or exclusive, or triumphalist. So, indeed, it can be, if Christians use the name of Jesus to further their own power or prestige. But for many years now, in the Western world at least, the boot has been on the other foot. It is the secularists and the relativists who have acted the part of the chief priests, protecting their cherished temple of modernist thought, within which there can be no mention of resurrection, no naming of a name like that of Jesus. And the apostles, in any case, would answer: Well, who else is there that can rescue people in this fashion?[†]

N.T. Wright, Acts for Everyone, Part One (Louisville: WJK, 2008), 65.

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