Wednesday, 19 July 2017

N T Wright Quote

"...My desire this evening has been to spread out on a larger canvas the many ways in which the things which defined and demarkated Israel are seen by Paul to have been taken up and reworked in Messiah and Spirit. From that perspective the many remaining exegetical questions and puzzles can I think in principle be solved.

That's not easy - there are many ongoing problems - not least, when people who glimpse only part of the picture think that we're saying that Paul has then 'replaced' Israel, and then they proceed to do the same in a theological move which does away with history altogether in favour of a pure vertical interception or revelation or something.

No! Paul remains a deeply Jewish thinker, conscious that what the world needs is the Jewish message that has been funnelled down onto and expressed decisively and shockingly in Messiah and Spirit, and the Messiah's death and resurrection particularly.

The world needs the message about the One creator-God; and the equally Jewish message about His Son who died and was raised to deal with sin and to launch God's new creation; and the equally Jewish message and indeed reality about the Divine Spirit Who has come to dwell in the midst of God's people as the sign and foretaste that one day the earth shall be full of the knowledge and glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea!

Paul's deeply Jewish theology, radically reconceived around Jesus and the Spirit, is a bigger and more dynamic thing than many schemes have begun to realise. By asking the question about Israel, and by exploring Paul's thought with that in the middle, I hope that tonight we've been able at least to glimpse that size and to sense that power.

There are many areas in today's Church and world, where even a small dose of genuinely Pauline theology really would go quite a long way..." - N T Wright

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