Quotes from Bishop N.T. Wright, p2


See the last post for the context of these quotes – I had the opportunity to sit in close quarters with Bishop Wright for 3 days and listen to how he responded to our conversations.  Some more quotes:

“The last scene in Revelation is not us going to Heaven, but Heaven coming down to earth.”

“The context of evangelism must be both justice and beauty. We are new creations in Christ, so if we are not doing justice and doing beauty it won’t resonate with people because it is not Jesus.”

“Go and tell people that God is becoming King and that it is coming through me.”  (The message of Jesus)

“Tragedy and chaos accompany new moves of God.  For Jesus it was the Cross by which the Kingdom message came through.  For Paul the ‘crucifixion’ happened through Acts 27 when he was shipwrecked.  This is what brought him to Rome, which brought the message of the Kingdom to the whole world through his unhindered witness in the world capital.  It is unusual that the Kingdom will come to bear without chaos, some personal suffering and tragedy, and furniture flying around.”

“Evangelism is through word and deed declaring that Jesus is becoming King through the death and resurrection.”

“There are two starting points for evangelism.  Luther points us to the law bringing people to a realization that they are disobedient and guilty and need salvation.  Romans 2 shows us that God’s kindness leads us to repentance.”
“How much of this does someone have to believe to be a Christian?  Very little – if you have some idea of who Jesus is and some idea of who you are and some idea that God comes to us through Jesus on the Cross then there is enough of a spark.  If people will respond to the love of God that is the start.”

“You are not justified by faith by believing in justification of faith.  It is not belief but faith that connects us to God.  A child can have faith and grab onto something without a great deal of belief or understanding.”

Another way to say it: “Connecting as much of yourself as you know to as much of Christ as you know.”

“Crisis points are not something we can manufacture but something that the Holy Spirit does.  If you drive from England to Scotland the topography does not change as you move from one country to the other.  But you have driven into a new country.  Eventually you will figure out that you are there.  What often happens is that friends will say, “You seem different,” and they begin to realize that they travelled into a new country without even fully realizing it. (Look at the difference between the conversion moment that Lydia experienced that was relational and non-crisis and then the jailer who had an earthquake.  Imagine that conversation a couple of days later.  “What, you didn’t have an earthquake.  How did you become a Christian?”)

“Modernism stressed uniformity – that we are all at the end of the day the same (which was very similar to what Caesar tried to do).  Postmodernism stresses embracing the other, which is the only moral rule left in many circles.”

“In culture there are always some things you have to give up and some things you have to maintain.   When Paul would talk to Gentiles he would tell them they were now becoming part of the Jewish narrative.  So, for instance if you were a dedicated Roman you would have consistently been taught that you were part of a rich Roman history and that your allegiance was to the Caesar.  But then Paul would come and say that is not the right narrative – you had to drop that one and step into a narrative that was a thousand years of a Jewish promise of a Messiah that was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ.”

“The point of baptism is not that you validate who you already are.  It is to die to that and to leave it to God who comes out on the other side.”

“Romans 14: How do you tell the difference between the differences that make a difference and the differences that don’t make a difference?  Paul clearly says in Galatians 3 that being born a woman or male or Jew or Gentile or slave or free are not the differences that make a difference when it comes to who you are in God.”

Authentic multiethnicity according to NT Wright: People loving one another and the neighbors around them in need.

“In the Eucharist we share together not bread and water, but bread and wine.  Bread is the staple food of the poor and wine is the drink of the luxurious, and together the rich and poor eat together; those who need physical and spiritual liberation come to the same table.” (Shane Claiborne)

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