Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Forty Four

It would be difficult, in a work so large, to pin point certain sections that were most crucial to understanding Tom's approach to Paul, but certainly one of them must be pp. 852-60, which are the subject of this post. Here Tom is dealing with the crucial proposition or thesis statement found in Gal. 2.11-21, or vss. 15-21 depending on whether you see the transitional comments about Peter in Antioch as part of the thesis statement or not. There is a definite coherency to Tom's argument here, … [Read more...]

Spiritual Formation at Eastertide– Rethinking Basic Assumptions

A couple of years ago I wrote a book for Abingdon entitled A Shared Christian Life, deal with the issue of spiritual formation in a Wesleyan form. I stressed, as I will stress in this post, that the primary place most human beings are going to get spiritually formed is in the context of the congregation-- whether it be congregational worship, or the sharing of the Eucharist, or on retreat with a Bible study group, or a fellowship meal in church or in a home. Spiritual formation is not … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Forty Three

Tom is right to stress that the notion of pistis Christou is not a comment on Jesus' faith in God, his religious awareness or even his trust of God as opposed to his own good works, or anything of that sort. No, it has to do with the faithfulness of Christ to fulfill God's purpose for him, including dying on the cross. On p. 841 he has once more explained his understanding of the righteousness of God as having to do with: 1) the divine character rather than a status of righteousness imputed or … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Forty Two

As is mostly well known by now, in the pistis Christou debate, Tom Wright stands with Richard Hays in suggesting that this phrase should be seen as a subjective genitive clause-- talking about a pistis which Christ himself has or exercises. On pp. 836ff. he pauses to well on Rom. 3.22, in light of Rom. 3.2. Let me add quickly that on this issue, I think Hays got it right in the first place. I actually read his doctoral dissertation while he was writing it on Galatians in the late 70s, early 80s … [Read more...]

Easter Redux— This time its Personal….

Easter means a lot of different things to different people, ranging from family reunions to big dinners to Easter egg hunts to down time from work, and none of those things in themselves are bad things. Easter however, at its most fundamental level is not about us, not about our celebrating ourselves and our families. It's about a once and future king, and a once and future event called resurrection.It is easy enough for ministers to preach even stem winding sermons about what happened to … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Forty One

Time and again, one of the major hermeneutical moves Tom Wright makes is what I will call the 'both-and' approach. For instance, on pp. 821ff. we hear that Christ has taken on both the role of Adam in ruling over creation and the role of the Messiah in rescuing God's people, and in Wright's view the purpose or mission of Israel to rescue the world. It's one stop shopping in Jesus. Christ becomes all things to all persons so by all means he may save some. The most fundamental question to be … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and Faithfulness of God– Part Forty

One of the most crucial sections in Wright's whole exposition begins on pp.815ff. Here he argues that the purpose for which God had intended Israel was fulfilled in and through Jesus the Messiah. Christ is the place where the God of Abraham and the people of Abraham meet, according to Wright. He is monotheism and election all wrapped up into one person. He will go on to argue that the death of Jesus on the cross brought to fulfillment the whole purpose of election (which was apparently to save … [Read more...]

The Tour Sandra Bullock Never Got in ‘Gravity’

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Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Thirty Nine

Beginning on p. 806, Tom discusses the issue of supercessionism (and the charge that his own approach to Paul is supercessionist). For those unfamiliar with this term, it has to do with the notion that the church has replaced Israel as the people of God, or even the church is the current phase of Israel as the people of God. Tom distinguishes three kinds of supercessionism: 1) hard supercessionism; 2) sweeping supercessionism, and 3) Jewish supercessionism. The first sort is the kind you … [Read more...]