All tagged N.T. Wright

What Were the Pharisees' Goals?

To be certain, the Jews were in sin, they were misreading the story, they rejected their messiah. However, the sin of the jews and the Pharisees were not necessarily the same as the sins of our own day. We can certainly learn from the foolishness and pride of the Pharisees but it will impossible to do so if we insist on turning them into 21st century do-gooders.

Book Review: The Lost World of Adam and Eve

The Lost World of Adam and Eve presents new ideas to conservative readers. Young-Earth creationists will find themselves confronted by many conflicting elements and arguments. In his conclusion, Walton reveals his concern for those entering higher education with misguided piety and overly protective ideals (209-210).


We like to pretend that Jesus was some sort of spiritual guru who cared not for the cultural or political aspects of his day. But the reality was quite different. Everything Jesus said, even the things we deem to be merely devotion, was overlaid with intense cultural and political integration. This is why the religious, cultural and political leaders of His day were so threatened.

Whose Story is It?

Christians and Jews of the first-century did not view their religion as a formless set of beliefs. Rather, to believe in the God of Abraham meant to place oneself at a certain point in God's story.

Worldview as Public Statement

Wright notes how all worldviews, including the Christian worldview, attempt to define the world and commit their hears to certain actions to and for the world. This means that the Christian faith can only be private when it has already accepted a secular worldview. Because many Christians have accepted a secular worldview they believe their faith is private and has nothing to say about the world.

Symbols as Cultural Boundary Markers

Questioning or challenging the validity of America’s military activity will quickly raise the temperatures in almost any conversation. Further, the symbolism surrounding America’s military is not only pervasive but also deep and culturally entrenched. There is a specific cultural narrative that surrounds our nations military. From religious overtones to liturgical holidays the symbols surrounding America’s military are some of the most powerful in our society.

Fourfold Worldview

The worldview that a culture holds is one that is expressed through narrative and/or story. These stories, in one way or another, are answering the theology questions about “who are we, where are we, what is wrong, and what is the solution?”. The way grid through which these stories are expressed is through certain symbols (a flag, an institution, a holiday, a rite of passage). Finally, all of these things imply (and are formed by) a certain way of living in the world, a praxis.

Listening to Other Stories

The world is no longer majestic and mysterious. Rather, everything can be known scientifically. All things can be boiled down to left or right. Perhaps what we really need is a return to story; a return to Narnia/Middle Earth/Hogwarts. We need to have our stories subverted by the Gospel so that we can see that their is more to God's world than what we see through the microscope of our man-made philosophies.

Stories: An Invitation to a New World

We inescapably tell stories because we are fitting events into a particular view of the world (worldview). When a certain event takes place which would break down a particular view of the world stories are told about that event in order to invite its hearers in to this new understanding of the world.

Subversive Stories

Rather than coming straight on in an open attack of the religious authorities, Jesus "hides the wisdom of the serpent behind the innocence of the dove" in his parables. Christians should look to do likewise. Yet doing likewise would require a level of understanding and imagination that many Christians have no ability to employ. Thus, we are often left with either sterile or frilly methods of discourse with our opposites. The sterile method of discourse are unaffective and the frilly ones (if not laughable) often affect a kind of powder puff convert.

Stories: How We Perceive the World

When we learn to read the Bible as God’s story of redemption then we can actually begin to see plot lines extending beyond the pages of scripture and into the very worlds we inhabit. In doing so we allow the rich and beautiful complexity of the Bible pervade our lives rather than forcing the sterility of our modern minds onto the Bible.

N.T. Wright & the Centrality of "Story"

Wisdom incarnate (Jesus), spoke in parables and hid the things of the kingdom of God from the wise and revealed them to innocent babes (Luke 10). Again, as the apostles went out into the kingdom of Rome armed with the story of the Gospel their ultimate aim was a subversive one. Everywhere they went they started a riot because of the story they were telling: "Jesus is Lord, not Ceasar." & "You are now citizens of Heaven, not Rome." To us these often serve as empty words on the pages of an ancient text. In the first century these words were telling the story of a conflicting narrative to the story so many inhabited. Moreover, these words were telling the story of the emergence of a new world (the world of the New Adam) and the decaying of an old one (the world of the Old Adam).

Historical Problems & the Problem with History

It's important to understand that the scriptures (specifically the New Testament in this sense) were written in space & time to a certain people in space and time. None of this means that what was written then is no longer applicable to the modern reader, rather, Wright contests that in order to obtain a modern application from the text would depend on obtaining the ancient application. Our approach should not be to divorce the scriptures from the place and time they were written in order to acquire their "higher meaning." Instead we should look to understand exactly what scripture was addressing so that we may see how it does (and does not) apply to us today.

The Reformers did not exhaust the fullness of justification. There is indeed a robustly corporate view of justification that the Reformers–rightly preoccupied with Romish theological abuse–simply did not address explicitly in the 16th century. In this sense, Wright needs to be read and listened to attentively.

Stop. Go back. Re-read that passage from Genesis. God has just finished being awesome. Why is Abraham all worked up about descendants? Isn't God enough? He is. But Abram laments that He will have no one heir to pass Him on to (Prov 13:22). Abram is not saying the heir is more important than God but that God as reward is most glorious when He is an inheritance to children. Yes I did say that.