Trevin Wax has posted another interview with N.T. Wright, including this bit on how to disagree agreeably. He’s talking about John Piper’s critique of his work in the book The Future of Justification:
The trouble is, this is not a fight that I wanted to get into because Piper is a good, beloved brother in Christ, doing a good job, building people up in the faith, teaching them how to live. I would prefer that he exegete Paul differently, of course, but the people I really want to fight are (like for Paul) the pagans out on the street who are reordering society in ways that are deeply dehumanizing. The gospel is for the pagans…
As Piper says in his Intro, he and I are both old enough not to take this personally. We’re past the age of testosterone-fueled theological debate. It’s more or less, “Let’s just try to sort this thing out.” That’s fine.
I hope I will be able to respond. If he looks in on your blog, I give him my warmest greetings. I’ve still never met him. We’ve tried to meet a couple of times, but I’ve not yet made it yet.
The whole interview is worth reading.