N. T. Wright
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Nicholas Thomas Wright (1948-) is an Anglican bishop and a leading New Testament scholar. He is published as N. T. Wright when writing academic work, or Tom Wright when writing for a more popular readership.
Wright was the Bishop of Durham in the Church of England from 2003 until his retirement in 2010. He is currently Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary's College, University of St Andrews in Scotland.
1981–86 Assistant Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, McGill University, Montreal; also Honorary Professor, Montreal Diocesan Theological College
1986–93 Lecturer in New Testament Studies, Oxford University; Fellow, Tutor and Chaplain of Worcester College, Oxford
1994–99 Dean of Lichfield Cathedral
2000–03 Canon of Westminster
2003-10 Bishop of Durham
2010- Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of St Andrews
2019- Senior research fellow at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford.
- 1971-73 Studied for the Anglican
ministry at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford.
- 1978–81 Fellow and Chaplain, Downing College, Cambridge; College Tutor in Theology
Among modern New Testament scholars, Wright is an important representative of more conservative Christian views compared to more liberal Christians such as his friend Marcus Borg,
but he is associated with the Open Evangelical position and the New Perspective on Paul. He has, however, promoted more traditional views about Jesus' bodily resurrection and second coming as well as on homosexuality.
How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels (2016)
The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's
How I Changed My Mind about Evolution (2016) cowriter with 24
Paul: A Biography, 2018
- The Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology, 1991.
- Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship, 1997 
- What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity?, 1997
- The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, 2000
The Resurrection of The Son of God: Christian Origins and the Question of
God, Volume 3 (2003)
- The Resurrection of Jesus: John Dominic Crossan and NT Wright in Dialogue, 2005
- Paul: Fresh Perspective. 2005.
- The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture, 2005.
- Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense. 2006
- Judas and the Gospel of Jesus: Have We Missed the Truth about Christianity?. 2006
- Evil and the Justice of God, 2006
- "The Reasons for Christ's Crucifixion," Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ (ed. by Brad Jersak and Michael Hardin), 2007.
- Borg, Marcus J; Wright, Nicholas Thomas (2007), The Meaning of Jesus: Two visions,
- Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, 2008
- Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened, 2008 (co-authored with Craig A. Evans) Ed. Troy A. Miller.
- Justification: God's Plan and Paul's Vision, 2009.
- Virtue Reborn, 2010. Published as After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters in North America.
- Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters, 2011.
- How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels, 2012.
- The Case for the Psalms: Why They Are Essential, 2013
- The Lord and His Prayer, 2014
- Surprised by Scripture: Engaging Contemporary Issues (2014)
- The Crown and the Fire: Meditations on the Cross and the Life of the Spirit (2014)
- The Meal Jesus Gave Us (2015)
- Why the Gospel Is News and What Makes It Good Simply Good News (2015)
- Paul and His Recent Interpreters (2015)
- The Paul Debate: Critical Questions for Understanding the Apostle (2015)
Christian Origins and the Question of God series
Three volumes published, three more planned:
- The New Testament and the People of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God1, 1992
- Jesus and the Victory of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God2, 1996
- The Resurrection of the Son of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God3, 2003
- Paul and the Faithfulness of God, 2013
- The Gospels and the Story of God
- The Early Christians and the Purpose of God
For Everyone series
The For Everyone series, a commentary on the New Testament, was completed in 2011:
- Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1–15 (2nd ed.), 2004
- Matthew for Everyone, Part 2: Chapters 16–28 (2nd ed.), 2004
- Mark for Everyone (2nd ed.), 2004
- Luke for Everyone (2nd ed.), 2004
- John for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1–10, 2004
- John for Everyone, Part 2: Chapters 11–21 2004
- Acts for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1–12, 2008
- Acts for Everyone, Part 2: Chapters 13–28, 2008
- Paul for Everyone: Romans, Part 1: Chapters 1–8, 2004
- Paul for Everyone: Romans, Part 2: Chapters 9–16, 2004
- Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians, 2004
- Paul for Everyone: 2 Corinthians, 2004
- Paul for Everyone: Galatians and Thessalonians, 2004
- Paul for Everyone, the Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philipians, Colossians and Philemon, 2004
- Paul for Everyone: the Pastoral Letters, 2004
- Hebrews for Everyone, 2004
- Early Christian Letters for Everyone: James, Peter, John and Judah, 2011
- Revelation for Everyone, 2011
- James, with Phyllis Tickle (2012)
The “Other” Gospel of N. T. Wright
Gibbs and Bolger remark in their pro-Emergent book Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures:
Rooted in the work of N. T. Wright, emerging churches embrace the gospel of the kingdom as revealed in Mark 1:15-16.
At the outset of the Gospel narrative, the good news was not that Jesus was to die on the cross to forgive sins but that God had returned and all were invited to participate with him in this new way of life, in this redemption of the world.
It is this gospel that the emerging church seeks to recover.
As one [Emerging Church] leader confided privately, “We have totally reprogrammed ourselves to recognize the good news as a means to an end–that the kingdom of God is here. We try to live into that reality and hope.
We don’t dismiss the cross; it is still a central part.
But the good news is not that he died but that the kingdom has come." Eddie Gibbs and Ryan K. Bolger inEmerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures, p. 54)
N. T. Wright is an Anglican, the Bishop of Durham. Bishop Wright has in the past taken up evangelical causes, and is interesting to listen to, almost mesmerizing with his English accent. He leans towards the postmodern point of view.
He is also one of a long list of scholars who over the last three quarters of a century have been gradually redefining the Gospel through a category of thought now called "The New Perspective on Paul."
Historically, according to New Perspective on Paul advocates, the Apostle Paul has been misrepresented by assigning to him too much of a Hellenistic "juridical" outlook, as opposed to a Jewish worldview.
This bias has led to the wrong conclusions about Paul’s entire thrust in the New Testament, especially in Romans and Galatians. According to this perspective, the Jews did not seek "salvation" by "works of the law," they were predominantly "grace" oriented.
The term "works of the Law," rather than meaning "works-righteousness" (salvation based on what you do, or works, rather than salvation based on grace, or what Jesus did), means only Jewish ceremonial laws (not the moral law).
Their works of the law were the ethnic "badges" of the covenant, such as circumcision, Sabbath observation, and food laws, which marked the Jews as covenant members, not as works to attain covenant membership.
Paul’s thrust is to convince the Jews that the Gentiles are now also welcomed covenant members through faith in Christ, without any ethnic badges.
Since the Jews were not trying to save themselves based on works, according to the New Perspective on Paul, other New Testament concepts have now morphed into foreign meanings as well. For instance,
the meaning of the term "the righteousness of God," which by Reformation standards means a sinner being clothed in Christ’s righteousness by grace through faith, is incorrect.
The real meaning of "the righteousness of God" is God’s covenant faithfulness to Israel.
Thus N. T. Wright can say "What Paul means by justification...is not ‘how you become a Christian’, so much as ‘how you can tell who is a member of the covenant family’." (What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity? (1997), p.122)
"Christ has fulfilled the covenant purposes, bringing them to their God-ordained climax, which was always to deal with sin and so to set in motion the renewal of the whole cosmos." (What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity?, p.131)
Sin, by N. T. Wright’s way of thinking, is not the "original sin" that each of us is conceived with, which is an affront to God and merits the death penalty. Rather than being forgiven and reborn, Wright would have it that we are liberated from the effect of sin, enabling us to become the truly human beings we were meant to be.
Sin, for the Gentiles, meant worshiping idols and declaring Caesar as Lord, a general rejection of Jesus as Lord. Sin for the Jews, meant pursuing their own political ends, whether it meant political subversiveness and plotting against the Romans, or political appeasement. It meant a refusal of Israel to be the light of the world.
Jesus came not to die on the cross carrying our sin, to atone for our sin, but to undo the corruption of the material world that was brought on by Adam and Eve’s indiscretion. 1 Wright: "...The reason God established the covenant with Abraham, according to scripture in general and Paul in particular, was to
undo the sin of Adam and its effects and thereby to complete the project of the good creation itself.” Wright in New Perspectives, p. 17: “Justification is ultimately about justice, about God putting the world to rights, with this chosen and called people as the advance guard of that new creation, charged with being and bringing signs of hope, of restorative justice, to the world.”
We are thus all invited to participate in God’s restoration project of the cosmos. This line of reasoning causes Gibbs and Bolger to proclaim and quote (p. 54):
"the good news was not that Jesus was to die on the cross to forgive sins but that God had returned and all were invited to participate with him in this new way of life, in this redemption of the world." But the good news is not that he died but that the kingdom has come."
Wright in New Perspectives, p. 5: "The gospel’ is not ‘you can be saved, and here’s how’; the gospel, for Paul, is ‘Jesus Christ is Lord"
His proclamation has huge repercussions for the Gospel - it has been redefined. It is now a re-creation project, started by acknowledging “Jesus is Lord.” Gone is original sin, repentance, judgment, and the need for a Savior who is crucified for your sin and my sin,
so that we might stand in holiness before the throne of God.2&3 God’s grace now consists of our election into the covenant, and our forgiveness is by default “assured” by covenant membership, thereby eliminating the doctrine of the atonement.
Wright in St Paul, p. 125: “Faith is the badge of covenant membership, not something someone ‘performs’ as a kind of initiation test.” To further compound this theological mess, as Rev. Richard Phillips points out, Bishop Wright states:
“Justification, at the last, will be on the basis of performance.” ...We are justified by faith in the present, but justification “occurs in the present as an anticipation of that future verdict, which is according to works”.
Wright in New Perspectives, p.8: “...God’s final judgment will be in accordance with the entirety of a life led – in accordance, in other words, with works.”
Wright in Saint Paul, p. 154: ...there is a different way of being human, a way characterized by self-giving love, by justice, by honesty, and by the breaking down of the traditional barriers that reinforce the divisions
which keep human beings separate from, and as often as not at odds with, one another.
1 Here are two quotes which embody N. T. Wright’s errant views on the significance of the cross:
“Easter is about the renewal of creation, renewal of the cosmos, into which we are introduced, like the disciples frightened and not knowing what is going on.
If we reduce it to a message of me and my new spirituality, we’ve only got ourselves to blame if people say it probably didn’t happen, it was just an idea in the minds of the disciples.”*
“We look back to the decisive event of Jesus and his cross and resurrection, we look on to God’s promise, which is not, not, not as I said yesterday that we will all go to heaven when we die in some disembodied platonic faraway place, but that God will make new heavens and new earth in which true justice will dwell. That’s the biblical promise.”**
*N. T. Wright, “God’s Future for the World has Arrived in the Person of Jesus,” Future of the People of God Conference, Open Source Theology, Hothorpe Hall, Leicestershire, U.K., 14 Jul 2004, at opensourcetheology.net, 26 Mar 2007 <http://www.opensourcetheology.net/talks>.
**N. T. Wright, “Reimagining Our Mission as God’s Agents of New Creation in the World,” Future of the People of God Conference, Open Source Theology, Hothorpe Hall, Leicestershire, U.K., 15 July 2004, at opensourcetheology.net, 26 Mar 2007 < http://www.opensourcetheology.net/talks>.
2 N. T. Wright essentially replaces “judgment” with “fixing the world.” The threat of judgment day has been removed. Language alluding to a final judgment, in which believers receive eternal life in heaven and unbelievers receive eternal damnation in hell, is removed, in favor of a “kinder, gentler” (and false) approach. Instead of a final judgment for sin,
N. T. Wright frequently speaks of “God putting the world to rights.” Referring to Acts 17:31, a verse which clearly refers to the final judgment, he substitutes judgment with renewal of the cosmos, or putting the world to right: “He [God] has fixed a day on which he will ‘put the world to right’. You know we only hear the word ‘judge the world,’ here ‘put it to rights by a man whom he has appointed.’ ”
N. T. Wright, “Understanding and Implementing Jesus’ Gospel in the Present,” Future of the People of God Conference, Open Source Theology, Hothorpe Hall, Leicestershire, U.K., 14 July 2004, at opensourcetheology.net, 26 Mar 2007 < http://www.opensourcetheology.net/talks>.&
3 On page 41 of What Saint Paul Really Said, N. T. Wright says: "In the present case, I am perfectly comfortable with what people normally mean when they say ‘the gospel’. I just don’t think it is what Paul means. In other words, I am not denying that the usual meanings are things that people ought to say, to preach about, to believe.
I simply wouldn’t use the word ‘gospel’ to denote those things." It is difficult to reconcile his statement with his position, since he denies the atonement and justification by faith. He occasionally makes statements like this one, but they always take a similar form, not in the form of a proclamation, but always in the form of an afterthought or a disclaimer to blunt the criticism of would-be objectors.
4 N. T. Wright specifically denies that Paul speaks of the atonement: “Paul does not say that he sees us clothed with the earned merits of Christ. That would of course be the wrong meaning of ‘righteous’ or ‘righteousness’.
He sees us within the vindication of Christ, that is, as having died with Christ and risen again with him” (New Perspectives, 14).
While Bishop Wright states that God’s vindication of someone is “their sins having been forgiven through the death of Jesus” (New Perspectives, 12), Jesus in no way atones for their sin.
Instead, in Jesus death and resurrection “the one God of all the world has been true to his word, has dealt decisively with the evil that has invaded his creation, and is now restoring justice, peace and truth” (Saint Paul, 109).
Surprised by Hope is an exploration of the truth regarding the afterlife in Christian thought… or, to put it more precisely, the lack of an afterlife. Wright seeks to lay out literally centuries of
misunderstanding regarding the whole concept of what we refer to as “resurrection,” and in its place more fully explain the actual Biblical truth. The misunderstandings, he recounts in a very detailed way,
regard how modern Christians often believe that when the Bible speaks of resurrection, they take it to mean our “Going to Heaven,” in that we envisage our earthly corpses being completely left behind
to decay when we die followed by an immediate transition of our “spiritual selves” (often referred to as the “soul” or “spirit”) to the dimension of Heaven, God’s dwelling place. The book’s concern is
to explicate Biblical truth on the matter and to show that this is in fact not what Jesus and the Apostles taught at all, but rather that when they encouraged us to pray “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,
on earth as in Heaven,” they meant it quite literally. The resurrection of the dead, as it is laid out in the New Testament, is based in the thoroughly Jewish theology that God will one day transform
(and is indeed transforming as we speak) the entire creation. Wright’s ultimate argument is that just as Jesus Christ underwent the transformation of a full bodily resurrection after He died and rose again,
so too will we be raised and transformed in entirely the same manner. He draws a lot of inspiration from 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul discusses how God will one day transform our current physical bodies to be spiritual bodies when the Kingdom comes,
and that because of what Christ has accomplished upon the cross, this is actually already happening in the current moment. The reality, then, as far as Jesus and the first Christians were concerned, wasn’t that we would leave this earthly plain at all,
but rather that the earth would be made into a new creation along with ourselves.
A Christian who holds fast to the Biblical truth, he argues, understands what the scriptures say in that the resurrection
from the dead means not only transformation for ourselves, but also the entire cosmos. God has begun a mysterious work in the universe because of what Jesus has accomplished upon that cross, and when we are awakened to that truth,
we become of a heart and mind where we ourselves will work for that transformation. The Christian who understands that God is not preparing to unleash His destructive wrath on a hopeless world, but rather
change the whole cosmos into the one it was always meant to be, has their attitude more conformed to working out God’s love,
peace, and justice in the here and now, since they are preparing for the time when that justice will come in fullness. Wright wishes the church, then, to be of a heart and mind where we embody such transformation in the present time,
knowing that our work does not happen in vain but will eventually be used by God when the Kingdom comes.
From Revelation for Everyone, p. 224:
Kingdom of God, Kingdom of heaven
... His [Jesus'] invitation to people to 'enter' the kingdom was a way of summoning them to allegiance to himself and his programme, seen as start of God's long-awaited saving reign.
For Jesus, the kingdom was coming not in a single move, but in stages, of which his own public career was one, his death and resurrection another, and a still future consummation another. ...
From Revelation for Everyone, p. 224:
When God renews the Whole creation, as he has promised, bringing together heaven and Earth, Jesus himself will be at the centre of it all, personally present to and with his People and ruling his world fully and finally at last.
The Christian hope picks up, and gives more explicit focus to, the ancient Jewish hope that JHWH would in the end Return to his People to judge and to save. Since the Ascension is often thought of in terms of Jesus 'going away',
this final moment is often thought of in terms of his 'coming back again', hence the shorthand 'second coming'. However, since the Ascension in fact means that Jesus, though now invisible, is not far away but rather closely present with us,
it isn't surprising that some of the key New Testament passages speak not of his 'return' as though from a great distance, but of his 'appearing' (e.g. Colossians 3.4; 1 John 3.2). ...
For the early Christians, the really important event - the resurrection of Jesus - had already taken place, and his final 'appearing' would simply complete what had then been decisively begun.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 26:
Heaven, in the Bible, is regularly
not a future destiny, but the other, hidden dimension of our ordinary life -
God's dimension, if you like. God made heaven and earth; at the last, he
will remake both, and join them together for ever.
From Surprised by Hope,
In the last two hundred years western thought has overemphasized
the individual at the expense of the larger picture of God's creation.
Surprised by Hope, p. 111-112:
So when Paul says 'we are citizenz of
heaven', he doesn't at all mean that when we're done with this life we'll be
going off to live in heaven. What he means is that the saviour, the Lord,
Jesus the King - all of those were of course imperial titles - will come from
heaven to earth, to change the present situation and state of his
people. The key word here is 'transform': 'he will transform our present
humble bodies to be like his glorious body'. Jesus will not declare that
present physicality is rebundant and can be scrapped. Nor will he simply
improve it, perhaps by speeding up its evolutionary cycle.
by Hope, p. 122:
Basically, heaven and earth, in biblical cosmology, are
not two different locations within the same continuum space or matter. They are
two different dimensions of God's creation. And the point about heaven is
twofold. First, heaven relates to earth tangentially, so that the one who
is in heaven can be present simultaneously anywhere and everywhere on the earth:
the ascension therefore means that Jesus is available, accessible, without
people having to travel to a particular spot on the earth to find him.
Second, heaven is as it were the control room for earth; it is the CEO's office,
the place from which instructions are given.
From Surprised by Hope,
The Trinity is precisely a way of recognizing and celebrating the fact
of the human being Jesus of Nazareth as distinct from, while still identified
with, God the father on the one hand (he didn't just 'go back too being God
again' after his earthly life) and the Spirit on the other hand (the Jesus who is
near us and with us by the Spirit remains the Jesus who is other than us).
From Surprised by Hope, p. 127:
C. S. Lewis of course did a great
job, in the Narnia stories and elsewhere, of imagining how two worlds could
relate and interlock.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 132:
The idea that
Jesus will 'come' to this world, invading it like a spaceman, smacks to many of
an older 'supernatural' or 'interventionist' theology which they have spent a
lifetime rejecting or, at best, reinterpreting.
From Surprised by Hope,
So when I (and many others) use the word 'eschatology', we don't
simply mean 'the second coming', still less a particular theory about it, but
rather the entire sense of God's future for the world, and the belief that
future has already begun to come forward to meet us in the present.
Surprised by Hope, p. 137:
First, when Jesus speaks of 'the son of man
coming on the clouds', he is not talking about the second coming, but, in line
with Daniel 7 the text he is quoting, about his vindication after suffering.
The 'coming' is an upward, not a downward, movement. In context, the key
texts mean that, though Jesus is going to his death, he will be vindicated by
events that will take place afterwards. What those events are remains
cryptic from the point of view of the passage in question, which is one good
reason for thinking them authentic; but they certainly include Jesus'
resurrection on the one hand and the destruction of the Temple, the system that
has opposed him and his mission, on the other. ...
From Surprised by Hope,
Second, the stories Jesus tells about a king, or master, who goes away
for a while and leaves his subjects or servants to trade with his money in his
absence, were not originally meant to refer to Jesus going away leaving the
church with tasks to get on with until his eventual second coming, even though
they were read in that way from fairly early on. They belong in the Jewish
world of the first century, where everyone would at once 'hear' the story to be
about God himself, having left Israel and the Temple at the time of the Exile,
coming back again at last, as the post-exilic prophets had said he would, back
to Israel, back to Zion, back to the Temple. In their original setting, the
point of these stories is that Israel's God, JHWH, is indeed coming at last to
Jerusalem, to the Temple - in and as the human person Jesus of Nazareth.
The stories are not, in that sense, about the second coming of Jesus, but about
the first one.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 139:
This results from a
confusion: if the texts which speak of 'the son of man coming on the clouds'
refer to AD 70, as I have argued that (in part) they do, this doesn't mean that
AD 70 was the 'second coming' - because the 'son of man' texts aren't 'second
coming' texts at all, despite their frequent misreading that way. They are
about Jesus' vindication.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 140:
case the word in question is the Greek word parousia. This is
usually translated 'coming'; but literally it means 'presence' - that is,
'presence' as opposed to 'absence'.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 143:
1 Thessalonians 4.16-17: ... The point to notice above all about these tricky
verses is that they are not to be taken as a literal description of what Paul
thinks will happen.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 146-147:
3.4 ... It's the same thing from a different angle, and this helps us to
demystify the idea that the 'coming' of Jesus means that he will descend like a
spaceman from the sky. Jesus is at present in heaven. But, as we saw
earlier, heaven, being God's space, is not somewhere within space of our world,
but rather a different though closely related space. The promise is not that
Jesus will simply reappear within the present world order, but that. when heaven
and earth are joined together in the new way God has promised, then he will
appear to us - and we will appear to him, and to one another, in our own true
From Surprised by Hope, p. 156:
In his appearing we find
neither a dualist rejection of the present world, nor simply his arrival like a
spaceman into the present world, but the transformation of the present
world, and ourselves within it,so that it will at last be put to rights, and we
with it. Death and decay will themselves be overcome, and God will be all
From Surprised by Hope, p. 162:
But the word for
'dwelling-places' here, monai, is regularly used in ancient Greek not
for a final resting place but for a temporary halt on a journey that will take
you somewhere else in the long run.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 164:
For a start, 'heaven' is actually a reverent way of speaking about God, so that
'riches in heaven' simply means 'riches in God's presence' (as we see when,
elsewhere, Jesus talks about someone being, or not being, 'rich towards God').
But then, by derivation from this primary meaning, 'heaven' is the place where
God's purposes for the future are stored up.
From Surprised by
Hope, p. 181:
Resurrection isn't 'life after death'; it is life
after 'life after death'.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 183:
therefore arrive, fourthly, at this view: that all the Christian departed are in
substantially the same state, that of restful happiness. Though this is
sometimes described as *sleep', we shouldn't take this to mean that it is a
state of unconsciousness.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 209:
we see 'salvation', as the New Testament sees it, in terms of God's promised new
heavens and new earth, and of our promised resurrection to share in that new,
and gloriously embodied, reality - what I have called 'life after life after
death' - then the main work of the church here and now demands to be
rethought in consequence.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 210:
'Salvation', then, is not 'going to heaven' but 'being raised to life in God's
new heaven and new earth'.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 211-212:
the question is 'how can I get to heaven despite the sin because of which I
deserve to be punished?'. the answer may well be 'because Jesus has been
punished in your place'. But if the question is 'how can God's plan to
resque and renew the entire world go ahead, despite the corruption and decay
which has come about because of human rebellion?', the answer may well be
'because on the cross Jesus defeated the powers of evil which have enslaved
rebel humans and so ensuring continuing corruption.
From Surprised by Hope,
... we see that if salvation is that sort of thing, it can't be
confined to human beings.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 238:
gospel', in the New Testament, is the good news that God (the world's creator)
is at last becomming king, and that Jesus, whom this God raised form the dead,
is the world's true Lord.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 273-274:
particular, the gospels (especially John), and the early practice of the church
as in Paul, reflect the very early understanding of the church that the
first day of the week, the day of Easter, has become a sign within the
present world and its temporal sequence that life of the age to come has already
broken in. Sunday, kept as a commemoration of Easter ever since that event
itself (a quite remarkable phenomenon, when you come to think about it),
is not simply a legacy of Victorian values, but a perpetual sign, joyfully,
renewed week by week, that all time belongs to God, and stands under the
renewing lordship of Jesus Christ.
From Surprised by Hope, p. 275:
In the eucharist, the bread and the wine come to us as part of God's new
From Surprised by Hope, p. 278:
The church that takes
seriously the fact that Jesus is Lord of all time will not only
celebrate quietly every time we write the date on a letter or document, will not
only set aside Sunday as far as humanly and socially possible as a celebration
of God's new creation (...), will not only seek to order its own life in an
appropriate rhythm of worship and work.
- From http://www.bbc.edu/journal/volume14_2/Roman-Catholicism.pdf Roman Catholicism and the New Perspective on Paul, Part 4, by Dr. Mike Stallard
However, it is possible to claim that the NPP actually provides the most common avenue for bridging the gap between evangelicals and Catholics in the matter of salvation. Roman Catholic Taylor Marshall notes
that he recently converted to Catholicism as a result of reading N. T. Wright, one of the major proponents of the NPP [New Perspective on Paul].
Taylor Marshall in Does N. T. Wright’s Theology Lead to Catholicism? The Catholic Perspective on Paul,
I started reading N. T. Wright at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) and along the way through my hiatus as an Anglican priest.
I believe that he provided the necessary paradigm shift for me to appreciate the nuances of the Council of Trent regarding justification.
N. T. Wright is a good enough biblical theologian to realize that Paul didn’t teach personal salvation by way of an imputation of alien righteousness.
That’s why the Anglican bishop has received so much attention – he’s a Protestant writing like a Catholic.
However, it is important to understand that Wright, in particular, has said that he has no real interest in becoming a Roman Catholic: ...
Thus, it is important to be fair to Wright who shows no movement in the direction of Rome other than spiritual kinship.
- The Pope [Benedict XVI] has been invited to speak at a conference in Durham, where Wright serves as Bishop (Department of Theology and Religion:
News – Durham University; Durham Invitation to Pope Benedict, 30 October 2009, https://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=8941:
The invitation is led by Dr Tom Wright both as Lord Bishop of Durham and as the University’s senior representative, ...
Bishop Wright said: “Durham has in recent years become a major global centre for ecumenical work and the close interlinking of Cathedral and University means that Durham is well placed to host an event which is simultaneously academic and ecumenically spiritual.”
- N T Wright< in Surprised by Hope, ch. 12.3: This, as we have seen, is what the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and the gift of the Spirit, are all about. They are not designed to take us away from this earth,
but to make us agents of the transformation of this earth, anticipating the day when, as we are promised, 'the earth shall be full of knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea'.
When the risen Jesus appears to his followers at the end of Matthew's gospel, he declares that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. When John the Seer hears the thundering voices in heaven, they are singing,
'the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he shall reign for ever and ever'. And the point of the gospels - of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, together with Acts - is that this has already begun.
- More on Wright at http://www.soundwitness.org/evangel/emerg_5_redefine.htm
- Wright essentially replaces “judgment” with “fixing the world.” The threat of judgment day has been removed. Instead of a final judgment for sin, N. T. Wright frequently speaks of “God putting the world to rights.”
- N. T. Wright is one of the most referenced authors by Brian McLaren.
- Brian McLaren wrote a back cover endorsement on Scripture and the Authority of God (2013).
- In Simply Jesus, the Further Reading list includes:
- Dallas Willard wrote a back cover endorsement on Surprised by Hope (2008)
- U.S. Catholic wrote a back cover endorsement on After You Believe (2012): "For those who feel the church has lost its way, Wright offers a roadmap to help guide its followers home."
- How God Became King (2012) has back cover endorsements from John Ortberg and Dallas Willard among others.
- Jesus and the Victory of God (1997) is back cover endorsed by Marcus Borg.
- Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters (2004), is back cover endorsed by Eugene Peterson
- Luke for Everyone (2004), ;is back cover endorsed by Eugene Peterson
- John for Everyone (2004), is back cover endorsed by Eugene Peterson
- Acts for Everyone (2004), is back cover endorsed by Eugene Peterson and
- The Day the Revolution Began (2016) is endorsed by
Scot Mcknight and
Fuller Theological Seminary
- 2009 February: Visiting Professor, Fuller Theological Seminary D Min. course
- 2009 April 29th, at North Phoenix for an event sponsored by Fuller Seminary Arizona
- 2011 November 16: Guest Lecturer, Fuller Seminary in Sacramento
- 2014 May 1-3 “Interpreting Paul for the Future of the World”
- The Resurrection of The Son of God: Christian Origins and the
Question of God, became "Book of the Year" by Association of
Theological Booksellers, 2003.
- Paul and His Recent Interpreters (2015) is back cover endorsed by Scot McKnight.
- Surprised by Scripture: Engaging Contemporary Issues (2014) is back cover endorsed by John Ortberg
- The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's
Crucifiction (2016) is back cover endorsed by John Ortberg.
N T Wright was guest author at the evolutionary creation site
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