Saturday, April 03, 2010

Turns of Phrase

There is perhaps no New Testament scholar better at turns of phrase then Tom Wright. Not long ago I was reading in his The Resurrection of the Son of God and came across this gem about his argument concerning "Christos": 
But, as I say, even if this is not so, it merely tightens the screw of the argument even tighter, because clearly it would mean that the very early Christians used the word so frequently for Jesus that it had worn smooth (557).
That is amazing prose. Tom is a pleasure to read and it is this that scares some folks. Why would they be fearful? Because people will actually read him!

5 comments:

Geoff Hudson said...

But is he wright?

John Thomson said...

It is because of the places one suspects he is not 'wright' he is feared. For what he advocates, he does mesmerically well.

For me, and I know I'll not have the approval of many on this, the main area where he is wrong is on his socio-political thrust in the gospel. I simply cannot see this emphasis in the NT nor for that matter the OT. Of course, I see a new creation with socio-political implications. However,now this new creation exists only in the lives of God's people, and in the future will be an altogether remade universe. What I cannot see is a mandate to interpret 'restoration' as a call to God's people (OT or NT)to impose their socio-political agenda on the nations presently. We are called to proclaim to the nations God's mighty redeeming acts and to live out his Kingdom's socio-political dimensions among ourselves (showing good to others where possible but not imposing Kingdom values on them). Paul said, 'What have I to do with judging outsiders... 1 Cor 6).

I fear Wright's 'restoration' theology has conclusions Scripture does not intend and may lead evangelicals into muddling if not (inadvertently) losing the gospel in their new found hermeneutic and zeal for socio-political action.

Thus I read Wright with enjoyment but some caution, and fear where some of his mesmeric influence may lead.

PS Regarding the danger of the evangelical church losing its head (and heart) to a socio-political gospel I suspect that such an enterprise will be short lived, at least in the West. The Constantinian Church has all but ran its course in the West. I doubt if the church in the near future will be allowed any voice, far less socio-political. It is likely to become a cult, as it was in NT days, very aware of its pilgrim and exile character. In such a world postmillenial dreams quickly disapate. If this does happen it will however be a pyrrhic victory for views such as mine.

Joel Willitts said...

John:
Thanks for this. Well said and I'm largely in agreement with you. Although I do think that Acts 17:7 suggests that there was a the very least a political implication to their Gospel message.

Joel Willitts said...

John:
Thanks for this. Well said and I'm largely in agreement with you. Although I do think that Acts 17:7 suggests that there was a the very least a political implication to their Gospel message.

Dubai said...

Thanks for the post. I liked it. Keep going I follow you.
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