I have learned so much from N. T. Wright! It was he who eight years ago first gave me a passion for understanding the history of New Testament interpretation with a book that reads like a novel (this one). I've also been helped to understand the critical theological importance of the resurrection. But D. A. Carson's recent RBL review of Wright's Evil and the Justice of God is right on, and succinctly encapsulates what are, I think, the key problems with Wright's work, most of the main distinctives of which can be seen in EJG. Here are a few statements from the best portion, discussing the atonement:
More broadly, one of the reasons, I think, why Wright prefers the Christus Victor theme, elevating it to controlling status, lies in his narrow reading of the Old Testament story. If his understanding of sin included not only sustained reflection on the nature of the structures of evil but on the nature of idolatry (a major Old Testament theme) and how offensive such idolatry is to God, and how central the theme of the wrath of God is to the plot line itself, then it might be clearer how central the penal emphases of the atonement are among New Testament writers.
When the biblical writers say that Christ's death saves us, from what does it save us? We could say it saves us from death, from the consequences of our sin, from our lostness, but centrally it saves us from the wrath to come. Death, the consequences of our sin, and lostness are nothing other than preliminary manifestations of the wrath of God.