Who “attended” those earliest churches?

On the basis of a new approach at looking how to discern the social makeup of the earliest Christian house churches, one based more on housing space occupied than on ideal social types, Peter Oakes has offered to us a new way of thinking more realistically and concretely about who was in the earliest house [Read More...]

Monotheism in a Christian Framework: NT Wright

At the heart of Paul’s theology is classic Jewish monotheism (not so much later philosophical and theological monotheism), and NT Wright opens with a sketch of Jewish monotheism and then shows how Paul reframes Jewish monotheism. First Century Jewish Monotheism Wright begins with Akiba being martyred, and in the act of dying reciting Shema as [Read More...]

From Worldview to Theology, NT Wright

From Worldview to Theology NT Wright, in his Paul and the Faithfulness of God, volume 2, opens up with a sketch of his plan, which I will sketch briefly before we get to Wright’s own proposal: Paul’s theology is thoroughly Jewish from top to bottom, and it therefore revolved around three major themes: Monotheism: God is [Read More...]

NTWright, Paul, the Law and Jesus

Once one opens reading Paul through the Story/stories at work, everything falls into place. Such an approach, followed by NT Wright in his new Paul and the Faithfulness of God, permits Wright to explain two major, major issues: the law and Jesus. Where does the Torah/Law fit in all this? It all begins with a recognition [Read More...]

At the Heart of the Apostle Paul: The Story

Symbols and praxis need a story in a worldview to make sense. Famously, Bultmann stripped the New Testament of its mythology, but notice how N.T. Wright, in his Paul and the Faithfulness of God, describes Bultmann’s agenda: The main problem with Bultmann’s proposal, in addition to the muddling of different senses of ‘myth’, is that [Read More...]

The Unity of the Church — NT Wright

NT Wright, in his Paul and the Faithfulness of God, makes a claim many need to hear today, both those who diminish the church for kingdom work and those who do “Pauline theology” exclusively through the lens of soteriology and make the church where the saved land on Sunday mornings. Not so for Wright: the [Read More...]

NT Wright and the Supersessionism Question: What did Paul do?

One of the distinguishing discussions today in Pauline studies is whether or not Paul was a “supersessionist,” and the issue is Paul thought the church “replaced” Israel in such a way that now God no longer worked with Israel but with the church. To get ahold of this one means knowing how the whole Bible [Read More...]

Rome as Empire and Emperor Worship

I have been reading theological books for forty plus years. In that time only one truly great piece of writing stands out as a book deserving reading for the poetry of its prose, and that was Albert Schweitzer’s Quest of the Historical Jesus, a book with a story so good and a conclusion so wrong. [Read More...]

From New Perspective to Fresh Perspective to … what’s next?

In N.T. Wright’s earlier work on Paul he advocated a pioneering orientation we now call the New Perspective, in part because Wright himself used that expression but even more because J.D.G. Dunn called the whole movement that. Then less than a decade ago Wright wrote a little book on Paul that added to the new [Read More...]

Paul the Pharisee

The apostle Paul emerged into faith in Jesus as the Messiah out of the Pharisaic way of life. What was that like? This is one of the highlight questions Tom Wright asks in his new Paul and the Faithfulness of God, and to answer that question he prepares us with a lengthy and winding discussion [Read More...]