Virtual reality is an interesting thing. With the help of technology it is now possible to make unreal things look entirely real— and scary. The above is a picture of Herod’s hand built seaport. It’s clearly a painting and not a picture of course, but with CG it would be possible to create such a scene that is convincing to the naked eye. See for example the scene at the beginning of the movie Alexander where the harbor and the… Read more

On p. 1021, Tom again broaches the subject of theosis, or divination. Though he does not give us a succinct definition of what he means, I take it that he is referring to God dwelling within his people, not just in their midst but actually within them “Christ in you the hope of glory”. Col. 1.27. Another way of putting this would be the Spirit of the Lord dwells in his temple, the temple being both individually and collectively the… Read more

One of the regular critiques of Wright’s views from the Reformed side of the equation comes from folk like Carson and Seifrid who stress that in the Hebrew Bible the term berith and the term sedeq almost never occur in close proximity. Tom counters this observation by pointing to Gen. 15. But this is problematic as well, because in Gen. 15 itself, Abram’s faith is credited as righteousness PRIOR to there even being a covenant made between God and Abram…. Read more

In this post we cross the Rubicon of p. 1000 in Tom’s tome. That is to say, we cross the two-thirds mark in this massive study. It is worth pointing out that there is a lot of repetition in this detailed study. A lot. The reason for this is, at least in part,because so many seem to have misunderstood, or misrepresented, or simply rejected what Tom has said in the past, sometimes said in passing, that here he wants to… Read more

The following is a helpful post by James Howell, my friend and fellow Um minister, who pastors at Myers Park UMC. —- The Examined Life Socrates was right: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The depressing vanity of our culture is that we just seem to live thoughtlessly, bouncing from one experience to the next, too busy to stop and wonder about the Why of it all. Everything we read about Socrates indicates that (1) he was exceedingly wise,… Read more

I am not a Roman Catholic, but I love the churches of Rome. Where else on earth is there such a concentration of hallowed houses of worship, sermons in stone and light, in art and architecture, that reveal so completely the antiquity and historical density of the Christian faith? That is why I was delighted to see George Weigel’s beautiful new book, Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches (New York: Basic Books, 2013). Many of the churches in Rome are built… Read more

Tom, on p. 984, makes much of Phil. 3.2 ‘we are the circumcision’. He is right that this is a statement about who is part of the new covenant community, namely all Jews and Gentiles who confess Christ and have been indwelt by the Spirit, and worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. It will be noted that what Paul is talking about with this metaphor (for his audience is not all Jews, and indeed Paul warns against the… Read more

The rest of the discussion of the Galatians material is basically just a re-run so we will move on to the discussion of 1 Corinthians which begins on p.976. Tom will argue in regard to judgments made now in the church, that it is bringing forward the final judgment into the present, just as he has argued that initial justification is the bringing forward of final justification into the present. The discussion kicks into high gear on p. 977. He… Read more

Here is the third post of Hurtado on Wright– reposted here… “Israel” and the People of God: Wright & Response by larryhurtado In this posting I query another of Tom Wright’s major emphases in his mammoth new work, Paul and the Faithfulness of God (see my previous postings on the work here and here). This concerns his emphatic view that in Paul’s view “Israel” becomes effectively the church, or more specifically becomes simply all those who put faith in Jesus…. Read more

“Paul and the Faithfulness of God”: 2nd Posting by larryhurtado Yesterday, I posted on Tom Wright’s 2-vol opus on Paul, and in this and a couple of subsequent postings I’ll offer further comments about some features of this work. My first observation in yesterday’s posting was that it’s massive, 2 volumes, over 1600 pages. Wright seems to have taken this opportunity to lay out extensively his views, not only on Paul, but on a wide panoply of other/related matters as… Read more

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