Tom Wright is just making up stuff about the history of Reformed theology. He’s admitted that he doesn’t know much about the history of biblical exegesis beyond Calvin and one or two others. It’s pretty clear that he doesn’t know much about the history of Reformed dogmatics.
But that’s beside the point for his followers. They don’t care about the history of Reformed exegesis or dogmatics either. They don’t like the Protestant doctrine of justification and, as evangelical and emergent biblicists Wright provides them a respectable way of chucking the Reformation while posing as genuine “back to the Bible” types.
I might be one of those who sounds like an antinomian. If I am, I can live with that. They accused the Apostle Paul of being antinomian too. Better that than moralism, don’t you think?
I’m pretty sure that the way to reply to moralists of whatever variety is not to try to show that “hey, we’ve believe in conditions too.” We do, but not in the same way the covenantal moralists do. When the Reformed spoke of conditions they were generally speaking of conditions in the administration of the covenant of grace. They were not making the covenant of grace conditional per se. If the covenant of grace is conditional per se then it’s not a covenant of grace anymore is it?
The apostle Paul did not reply to the judaizers by showing how much he believed in sanctification. He replied by the condemning their moralism and by preaching the gospel to them! We can never defeat the moralists on their own terms. The moralists have to repent of their moralism (justification by sanctification) and accept Christ on his own terms and through his own means, sola fide.
The gospel is meant to be scandalous and offensive. I’m deeply concerned that, having just gone through another paroxysm of controversy over justification we’re going slide back into the very way of thinking and speaking that made it possible in the first place.
Yes, Reformed theology is not antinomian, but by that we mean that we uphold the third use of the law. Anyone who denies the third use is antinomian but to reject the law (as if it has exactly the same function as the gospel; sure God the Spirit uses the law to sanctify us but the gospel is the power of sanctification) as the power of sanctification or as a means of sanctification or to reject an intrinsic ground for justification (even if that intrinsic ground is union with Christ) is not antinomianism.