Friday, May 08, 2009

N.T. Wright Video on Justification and God's Plan

IVP has put up this video on about N.T. Wright's book on Justification.

HT: Art.


Angie Van De Merwe said...

Understanding anything is really dependent on one's intellectual, psychological (faith), as well as moral development. People stuck in a infantile stage of needing assurance, without any merit on their own part, do find comfort in the Reformed understanding...This is the need of psychological health in feeling a sense of belonging and it was what the prophets spoke in meeting the needs of the outsider, foreigner, widow and orphan. It was the image of family and the representative image of God as Father .

But, what N.T. Wright proposes is nothing other than theologizing humanitarian vision and thrust...which is what our democracy does in humanitarian aid, human rights, etc. I find that this is moral development in seeking justice for others, in moral behavior. But, there is no value in using religion to do such work.

The difference is one of reality. Is there a "real world" behind the theologizing of humanity's need? The intellectual dissonance is too wide in my mind, to continue to believe in the way I did before. And my beliefs are what motivated me to do, not out of performing for acceptance, but a performing from acceptance.

In seeking a place to belong, humans find many avenues. In fact, the Church can be the last place for finding a place of belonging. Why butt your head against a wall?Why not work for the State Department being a diplomat, healthcare worker, disaster relief, etc. The real work doesn't have to be assosciated with Christian faith. One can serve others in any avenue or endeavor. The "worship" is a matter of heart.

Perhaps, it is where I am, but I find that the "reality" of my "world" in thinking that God did exist, that all belonged in some sense to God's humanity, and that I and everyone else were important because of it, was also important to my desiring to be a part of Christian community. I no longer find that there is any real reality to that community, as it is only a social organization and social structure. This is where my intellectual development is and the question of commitment to some symbolic form of faith is affirming the "unreal", which seems dishonest. Does that make sense?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Another aspect of my understanding, is that faith is not about anything per se, or it wouldn't be faith, which is a nominalistic position. So, whether faith is in tradition, experience, or reason, there is much that will be challenged and challenging. One has to do what one has to do, in regards to protecting faith, finding faith and understanding faith where one finds oneself most connected with "reality" and "truth".

Andrew Cowan said...


The questions you are wrestling with are good questions, but a blog is probably not going to be a good place to discuss such complex fundamental issues. However, I would like to recommend the series of books by N. T. Wright called Christian Origins and the Question of God. In it, he addresses questions like the relationship between Christian faith and reality (especially regarding the historical nature of many of the claims of Christianity) in what I found to be a very helpful treatment. The first book in the series is called The New Testament and the People of God, and I would warmly commend it to you.

Mason said...

Thanks for posting this video, I linked to this post on a review I just completed on Wright's new book, and found the video to be an excellent summary of where Wright is coming from.

Rod said...


Thanks for posting this video.

I have a few thoughts on justification as well.

disa said...