FIRST off, MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I hope that you thoroughly enjoyed this Christmas season with your family or whoever you celebrated this season of Christ's birth with.
SECONDLY, get ready for a long post. Don't be discouraged by the length! Please read on! If you've clicked on a link to get here, then you might as well spend at least a couple minutes reading what's been on my mind, no?
The topic of my post is actually about this man:
Who is he?? Here is a small excerpt from his site:
He is one of today's best know and respected New Testament scholars. Born in 1948, he studied for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and was ordained as Junior Research Fellow and Junior Chaplain at Merton College, Oxford. From 1978 to 1981 he was Fellow and Chaplain at Downing College, Cambridge, and then moved to Montreal as Assistant Professor of New Testament Studies at McGill University. He returned in 1986 to Oxford as University Lecturer in New Testament, and Fellow and Chaplain of Worcester College, Oxford. He became Dean of Lichfield in 1994, and Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey in 2000.
In other words, this guy knows his New Testament (N. T. Wright). He is, at the current time, probably the most reliable source of New Testament history, culture, and background information in the world. His intricate knowledge of how Greeks, Romans, and Jews thought, wrote, and behaved during this time period is unrivaled in theological circles. Having been exposed to him in my Christian, Life, Faith and Ministries class through the book Simply Christian, and having been referred by my cousin, Matthew Grimes (who is currently working towards his doctorate in organizational studies at Vanderbilt), to read some material of his, I picked up one of Wright's books at the Family Christian Store to gain an idea of who this guy was and where he was coming from.
The book is called Surprised by HOPE: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. Boy, does he have some interesting things to say, and I'm only half way through the book! If I believed everything this wise scholar had to say, there would be no basis for my desire to become a missionary! That's pretty radical stuff. I agree with the general thesis of his book, which I'll explain later, but some of the explanations and reasoning behind this thesis of his come out of nowhere and I must disagree with him.
From what I've gleaned thus far from reading it, the basic outline follows the message of Jesus' resurrection. He makes the claim that the emerging church is so heavily insistent upon a disembodied "soul" that will one day spend eternity in heaven. This hope, according to Wright, is a false one. Instead, the hope that should be the excitement of the church is the hope that one day all believers in Christ will be resurrected in BODILY form with Him and rule and reign on earth...the new earth that is. This is just an oversimplified version of his thesis, but you get the idea.
Well, truth be told, I agree with this theology! HOWEVER, little bits and pieces of his doctrine began surfacing as I read it that made me question his validity. He is a "Kingdom of God" preacher, so he will tell you that "the Kingdom of God is at hand" and we must be a part of God's kingdom here on earth by taking care of it, feeding the hungry, caring for the needy, giving money to the poor. These types of acts are even mentioned in James 1:27.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
- God was and is forever
- He created the universe
- Man became inherently sinful after the fall and needs a Savior
- God sent His son in human form (fully God, fully man) born of a virgin to redeem the world
- Jesus lived a perfect sinless life and died and rose again, defeating death and providing a way to the Father for those who would repent and be forgiven
anymore?? let me know if I forgot something =]
Without these beliefs, one cannot call themself Christian. Within the boundaries of these doctrine, the extemporaneous beliefs about how long it took God to create the universe, post-millenial vs. pre-millenial, and all arguments concerning the book of Revelation (sarcasm) are not extremely important, or rather "life and death" important.Lord, gives us an ear for wisdom and a heart of understanding! You give freely to those who ask for discernment. Let us not ask in vain Lord.