Friday, March 31, 2006

Isn't She Beautiful?

Theology is a particularly beautiful discipline. Indeed, we can confidently say that it is the most beautiful of all disciplines. To find academic study distasteful is the mark of the philistine. The theologian who labours without joy is not a theologian at all. Sulky faces, morose thoughts and boring ways of speaking are intolerable in this field.
Who said this? And does anyone have a reference for me? [I know who said it, I just don't have a reference. And I'm sorting out all my quotes so that I have proper references for them...]

She said YES!

Well, to cut a LONG story very short, and for those with ears to hear, SHE SAID YES!
Don't know when we'll get married, probably at the end of this year. But right now I'm too excited to think about anything else other than the fact that SHE SAID YES!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Colossians - Links

As I'm busy working my way through Paul's letter to the Colossians, I thought I'd offer a few links that may prove helpful to some:

From Peter Kirby, we also gain this quote from Werner Kummel Introduction to the New Testament, who adduces several considerations in favor of authenticity (op. cit., p. 345):

If the substantive differences of Col can be understood on the basis of the concrete polemical argument of the letter, then there are substantive matters which support the assumption of Pauline authorship as well. (a) The assumed relationship of the writer to the readers corresponds in several points to Phlm: in both letters there are greetings from Epaphras, Aristarchus, Mark, Luke, Demas (Col 4:10 ff; Phlm 23 f); both letters mention the sending of Onesimus (Col 4:9; Phlm 12) and have special words for Archippus (Col 4:17; Phlm 2). These agreements do not occur in the same relationships and formulations, however, so that the thesis is unconvincing that the indubitably Pauline Phlm has been imitated by a non-Pauline writer only in these personal remarks. (b) The household admonitions in Col 3:18-4:1 show a remarkably small christianizing, especially in compraison with Eph 5:22-6:9, which is much less easily understood for a non-Pauline writer than for Paul himself. (c) In contrast to Eph, the use of the formulas en cristo and en kurio in Col correspond completely to Paul's usage. (d) J. Knox has pointed out that the letter, which was intended for Laodicea (4:16a) was probably addressed to the smaller city Colossae because Onesimus was from Colossae and Paul sought contact with the community in which Onesimus' master lived, since it was he to whom Phlm brought so grave a request. Besides, the unusually comprehensive rule for slaves is best understood (3:22-25) if the business with the slave Onesimus were to be settled at the same time. Even though all these arguments may not be of equal weight, together they strengthen the supposition that Col originated with Paul.

This seems to be quite sensible, and commentators like Wright and others have nuanced the argument for Pauline authorship to make it rather plausible. But the evidence must still persuade some who err on the side of scepticism.

Colossians - Hooker

O'Brien notes that scholarship has posited 40 different theories for the "Colossian Heresy" See [Colossians and Philemon, pg. xxxi]. But Hooker responds:

What was the situation in Colossae, and what was the relevance of what he says in this letter to that situation? Is Colossians an exception to the general rule, written by Paul when he was perhaps occupying his time in prison in writing pastoral letters without any particular or pressing purpose in mind? [316]

If false teaching exists, then it cannot be serious, either in character or magnitude; one glance at Galatians reminds us of the way in which Paul reacts when he feels that faith in Christ is being undermined. [316]

Exhortation to avoid a certain course of action certainly does not necessarily indicate that those addressed have already fallen prey to the temptation, as ever preacher and congregation must be aware. [317]

Even if the letter is written out of a general pastoral concern for the Christians in Colossae, rather than because of some dangerous error there, we may expect Paul’s words to reflect knowledge of the state of the church. Aspects of the gospel which he includes in his thanksgivings, as well as points which he emphasises in his exhortations, may well indicate tendencies within the community, new of which has obviously reached Paul. [320]

To suppose that belief in such forces can only be the result of explicit ‘false teaching’ in the Colossian Christian community is to underestimate the pressures of the pagan environment, and to forget the background of these converts. [323]

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Heresy in Colossae?

Morna Hooker's seminal essay Were there False teachers in Colossae? [M. D. Hooker, 'Were there false teachers in Colossae?', in B. Lindars and S. S. Smalley (eds.), Christ and Spirit in the New Testament (Cambridge, 1973), pp. 315- 331.] is quite possibly one of the best articles on Colossians I've ever read. Ok, I haven't read tons, but I've read quite a bit. Hooker begins by questioning the prevailing paradigm:
It seems to be accepted by all commentators and writers on Colossians that the basic reason for the letter’s composition was the existence of some kind of aberration in the Colossian community. Sometimes this is referred to as a ‘heresy’; more cautiously it is described as ‘false teaching’ or ‘error’. Its proponents are variously thought to be members of the Christian community spreading corruption from within, or outsiders attacking the church’s beliefs; the teaching has been interpreted as Jewish, as Gnostic, or as a mixture of the two. But that the Church was under some kind of serious attack, and that the letter was written to meet this attack, does not seem to be questioned. [315]
In attempting to reconstruct the situation behind Paul’s writings, the danger of circularity is inevitable; it is all too easy to use what hints there are in a letter to build a false picture of events, and then read this back into what is said. Our own attempt to answer the problem of Colossians can, of course, like any other, only use the evidence of the letter itself, and is open to the same danger of circularity. [319]
What we are questioning is the theory that they are under attack by a specific group of teachers who are advocating a particular doctrine which can be properly termed ‘the Colossian error’. [326]
Hooker offers substantial arguments that question the notion of a specific Colossian heresy. Before I carry on and offer my comments, what do you think? Is Hooker right to question the scholarly paradigm of Colossians being a direct respons to false teaching in the Church? Or are there others ways to understand and appreciate this letters contribution to the NT Corpus?
Comments, questions and criticisms are welcomed!
For those interested, I. H. Marshall also has a wonderful essay: Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earlier Christianity as well as Edwin M. Yamauchi essay: Pre-Christian Gnosticism, the New Testament and Nag Hammadi in recent debate. Marhsall's essay briefly touches on Colossians, while Yamauchi deals with the notion of Gnosticism in particular, without reference to Colossians.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


John A.T. Robinson, "The Destination And Purpose of St John's Gospel," Twelve New Testament Studies. London: SCM Press Ltd., 1962. pp.107-125. = New Testament Studies VI (1960), 117-31.
Ronald E. Clements, "Problem of Old Testament Theology," Symposium: The Old Testament in the Church Today. The London Quarterly & Holborn Review (January 1965):11-17.

Car Theft!

Injustice plagues society like a disease
Evil lurks around, eats us like fleas
Favourite hoody just got snatched
Feel the anger inside me, it just got hatched
Insurance can’t replace what I just lost
Sentimental value - can’t repay the cost
I don’t want another, I want what’s mine
Probably sold my goods for under a dime
Kodak the digital camera is no more
It was lying in my car, on the floor
Smashed up glass with a broken window
Who really did this? I don’t know
“Get busy living or get busy dying”
Is on a head - while I be crying.
Is this for real, what the heck!
Ripped out its socket is my tape deck
Shattered pieces on my front seat
It’s all messed up, nothing is neat
It’s just like society – it’s a disease
The darkness lurks, just like fleas…
Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Thoughts on McLaren

Brian McLaren is an engaging character, with a passion for the church and a heart for people. He listens carefully, honestly and courageously. I was quite impressed, even though at times I part ways with his understanding. I won't summarise his session, but rather point to something similar he did with my former teacher and emergent guru, Steve Taylor.
Brian has apparently just retired from full time pastoral ministy and is now in a liminal space, a place of transition into ________ He doesn't know. Possibly full time writing, possibly consulting, but he just doesn't know.
His topic was Being a Missional Church. Obviously being in South Africa, he engaged with David Bosch's seminal study: Transforming Mission. Brian worked through this powerpoint, which was quite helpful. Most helpful however was an off-hand remark about Michael Polanyi - with a quote from Polanyi's celebrated: Personal Knowledge. For ease of reference, I'll quote a little more than what Brian noted:
An art which cannot be specified in detail cannot be transmitted by prescription, since no prescription for it exists. It can be passed on only by example from master to apprentice. This restricts the range of diffusion to that of personal contacts.
It follows that an art which has fallen into disuse for the period of a generation is altogether lost. There are hundreds of examples of this to which the process of mechanization is continuously adding new ones. These losses are usually irretrievable. It is pathetic to watch the endless efforts -- equipped with microscopy and chemistry, with mathematics and electronics -- to reproduce a single violin of the kind the half-literate Stradivarius turned out as a matter of routine more than 200 years ago.
To learn by example is to submit to authority. You follow your master because you trust his manner of doing things even when you cannot analyse and account in detail for its effectiveness. By watching the master and emulating his efforts in the presence of his example, the apprentice unconsciously picks up the rules of the art, including those which are not explicitly known to the master himself. These hidden rules can be assimilated only by a person who surrenders himself to that extent uncritically to the imitation of another.
... practical wisdom is more truly embodied in action than expressed in rules of action... [1] Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge: Toward a Post-critical Philosophy (1958) pp. 53-54
This applies not only to the art of exegesis [Recall Ben Witherington's comment: Good exegetes are not born, they are made and moulded, and the process is more helpful and less painful if you are learning from the best.] but also to our relationships, and to authority. In fact, thoughts are brewing in my reflections as to how this relates to Vanhoozer's The Drama of Doctrine. But maybe more reflections on that, later...
McLaren finished his discussion with some helpful comments on how this relates to discipleship and working together. Although I think McLaren is at his best when he's writing, hearing his voice was a deep reminder that here is someone who is trying to take Jesus and the Kingdom seriously, even if I part ways on one or three issues... So well done Brian!

26% Evil!

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well. In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Well, at least I'm not as bad as Chris! And at least, I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you [IN ME!] will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

a day with McLaren

Well, I spent the day with none other than Brian McLaren today. [Why don't any serious NT Scholars come to Africa?] It was rather fun, with presuppositions and assumptions flying all over the place and being questioned left, right and centre. It was great fun. He spoke on Is Jesus the Only Way, and in characteristic form -> changed the question, addressed another question and left the audience with some more questions. Kinda like Jesus, but not as good as the Master. I'll hopefully post some more tomorrow after a session on "Being a Missional Church" which is his series title...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Setting the Record Straight

I'd like to publicly announce that Chris Tilling got it wrong, and that Eddie got it right! But then Eddie failed to notice a most heinous theological blunder which Chris made, which puts Eddie in the same category! What am I talking about, you may be asking yourself. Well, let's take a closer look....
Who said?
"True respect for the mystery can express itself, among other ways,
just in the attempt to understand it fully."
Well, Eddie was right: Wolfhart Pannenberg, and I think he said it in: Jesus: God and Man. But who said:
"It's Question that Drives us"
Certainly NOT Morpheus. And I'm shocked that no-one has picked this up. I think a healthy dose of The Matrix and repentance is in order... Shame on you... :)

Monday, March 20, 2006


Listen to these wise words from the eminent historian Craig Evans

A rigid, conservative view of Scripture is suspicious of the data concerning scribal errors, corrections, glosses and the like, in the transmission of biblical manuscripts, and very suspicious of the data indicating the activity of early scribes, including the evangelists themselves, in editing the final product, before being transmitted as authoritative Scripture. In the conservative mind, Scripture is not supposed to be this way—and usually ideas akin to dictation theories of inspiration are entertained. Conservative Bible teachers may assure students that dictation is not correct, but their treatment of some of these critical aspects of Scripture may well leave students with the impression that Scripture should be viewed in such a way. I find it intriguing that the admissions of people like Robert Funk, James Robinson, Robert Price, and Bart Ehrman, who describe their drift from their conservative Christian roots, run along these lines. When they discover that the contents of the Bible did not in fact drop down from heaven, they have a crisis of faith. When it turns out that not everything attributed to Jesus in the New Testament Gospels actually derives from the historical Jesus, they collapse. What a pity. I invite them to read again Acts 2 and perhaps a few of Paul’s letter. Christian faith is a response to the good news of what God has done in Christ, including above all the resurrection. Christian faith is not suppose to be a response to an inerrant New Testament which contains four Gospels that can be perfectly harmonized, free from scribal errors, emendations, and glosses.
Christian faith does not rest on a particular view of Scripture, as though it must be inerrant if the gospel message is to be true. I remind my students that Peter in Acts 2 proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus and his divine sonship; he did not proclaim the inerrancy of Scripture. In my view, Christians create a lot of their own problems by advancing a dubious apologetic concerning Scripture. This dubious apologetic sometimes comes back to haunt students, who in later years and after more study find their earlier teaching unpersuasive.
Thanks to Alan Bandy for making this available to us.

The Cambridge Companion to the Gospels

Series: Cambridge Companions to Religion Edited by Stephen C. Barton

The four gospels are a central part of the Christian canon of scripture. In the faith of Christians, this canon constitutes a life-giving witness to who God is and what it means to be truly human. This volume treats the gospels not just as historical sources, but also as crucial testimony to the life of God made known in Jesus Christ. This approach helps to overcome the sometimes damaging split between critical gospel study and questions of theology, ethics and the life of faith. The essays are by acknowledged experts in a range of theological disciplines. The first section considers what are appropriate ways of reading the gospels given the kinds of texts they are. The second, central section covers the contents of the gospels. The third section looks at the impact of the gospels in church and society across history and up to the present day.

  • The contributors include not only New Testament specialists, but also theologians and ethicists
  • The essays address subjects not usually covered in standard introductions to the gospels, including their impact on Christian lives, spirituality and worship
  • Interdisciplinary and international, the book will be of interest to an unusually wide audience, including theology students, religious professionals, academics, and theologically literate lay people

Contents Introduction Stephen C. Barton;

Part I. Approaching the Gospels - Context and Method: 1. What is a gospel? Loveday Alexander; 2. The fourfold gospel Francis Watson; 3. The canonical matrix of the gospels Richard B. Hays; 4. The gospels and ‘the historical Jesus’ Stephen E. Fowl; 5. The gospels and the reader Sandra M. Schneiders;

Part II. The Gospels as Witnesses to Christ - Content and Interpretation: 6. The Gospel according to Matthew Stephen C. Barton; 7. The Gospel according to Mark Joel B. Green; 8. The Gospel according to Luke John T. Squires; 9. The Gospel according to John Marianne Meye Thompson;

Part III. The Afterlife of the Gospels - Impact on Church and Society: 10. The gospels and the development of doctrine Frances Young; 11. The gospels embodied: the lives of saints and martyrs David Matzko McCarthy; 12. Praying the gospels: spirituality and worship Gordon Mursell; 13. Living the gospels: morality and politics Scott Bader-Saye.

Friday, March 17, 2006

αγαπην εν πνεθματι

Paul writes: ο και δηλωσασ την υμων αγαπην εν πνεθματι [Colossians 1:8]

Dunn [Colossians, pg. 65, italics mine] notes that:

The love that mirrors the love of God in Christ can only be aroused and sustained by the Spirit of God. The phrase carries overtones of an inspiration that wells up from within, charismatically enabled (Rom. 2:29; 1 Cor. 12:3, 9, 13; 14:16; 1 Thes. 1:5), and that depends on continued openness to the Spirit if its quality of unselfish service of others is to be maintained.
May your love in/by the Spirit be made known to others...

Revelation and Scripture

Chris Tilling offers some open and honest reflections on Propositional Revelation and Scripture, and a 2nd installment on the same theme. I must confess that I am close to Chris' position, but further nuancing and additions are inspired... [By his comments and not necessarily by GOD, of course!]
For example, I am quite happy to affirm that in the gospels we have the voice of Jesus, and not necessarily the words of Jesus. Although, even this dichotomy needs to be challenged at times. For the gospels may convey Jesus' teachings in Greek [assuming that Jesus didn't speak Greek, contra Stan Porter], but if they communicate the same thing, then they are still the words of Jesus. If I write: "Ek is lief vir my vrou." or "I love my wife." [Words I hope to announce in the future!] I am still communicating the same thing, despite the fact that it is in another language.
But let's take this further. If I was to act this out, or tell a story that somehow still conveyed this, then I am still communicating this. And unlike forms of postmodernity, I would contend that there are limits to interpretation so as to guard us from misunderstanding. In this way, I would suggest that the gospels, and their writers, adequately and sufficiently communicate what Jesus had communicated to them. So even if Jesus had told the story of the prodigal son in a vastly different manner, the way Luke has told it still captures the point(s) and message that Jesus was communicating. And that furthermore, the Spirit has adequately and sufficiently communicated to us a message from YHWH [however contextual] in the writings of scripture.
Of course, I have moved from Chris' original point at this stage of my comments, but this would be my $0,25 to add to the conversation.

Who Said?

And where did he say it?
"True respect for the mystery can express itself, among other ways,
just in the attempt to understand it fully."
I'll give clues later, but I'm actually quite serious in not knowing where he said this, I have an inclination towards a certain publication, but certainty alludes me...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Child Abuse?

Scot McKnight has some good conversation, again, on the Penal Substitution and the accusation of Child abuse. Check it out...

Fundamentals or Identity?

Chris Tilling and Ben Myers discuss what's the core of Christianity. I must confess that I am tugged towards Ben on this matter, with the comments of Kim Fabricus a necessary edition. Ben notes that:

So what are the “identifying beliefs” of Christian faith? It seems to me that there are two related ones: Christian faith is identified both by its christological character and by its trinitarian character. And at the core of both of these identifying characteristics is a single, central belief: a belief in the unity between Jesus Christ and God.

I would suggest that the instance one associates Jesus Christ with GOD, then one enters both a narrative and symbolic world. One cannot remove Christ from the narrative of Scripture/History. Thus, scripture must play some role in the identity of Christians. For without this backdop of narrative reference, both Christ and God become vague and obscure. Now we can debate the role that scripture must play [I'm liking Vanhoozer's comments on scripture as the "script for the church"], but I'm not convinced that it plays little or no role. It must have some authority in describing GOD's identiry, and thus shaping our identity, or else we become the determiners of meaning - and then relativism destroys the integrity knowledge.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Atonement - Again...

Scot McKnight has thoughts on a collection of essays by evangelical scholars, The Glory of the Atonement. McKnight notes that the emphasis of the book is Penal Substitution.

In short, this view believes the wrath of God (the Father) was poured out on the Son and absorbed by the Son. In this way, the balance of justice is maintained: sin brings judgment (wrath) and the wrath of God must be propitiated. The book’s emphasis is out of balance if one is seeking for anything like a comprehensive theory of atonement in the Bible — for there is more than one (the judicial) story.

My own thoughts on the matter have been variously discussed in Wrath and Atonement and here. I must confess I was rather disappointed with the collection of essays, and I hope McKnight's book brings a balance to the force by noting the range of stories that describe the accomplishments of the cross, resurrection and sending of the Spirit.
I'm rather surprised at this perspective, given the paucity of evidence for it's assertions. I'd like to see McKnight's notion of "protection" investigated more, as that seems exegetically and theologically promising. But not for this student, who is drowning in his own Drama of Doctrine...

Conversion & Loyalty

Phil Harland notes that there is now an online review (by Carolyn Osiek) of Zeba Crook’s excellent book on Paul, “conversion”, and patronage at BMCR:

Carolyn Osiek notes that:

In sum, Paul was not converted because he had a psychological crisis brought on by a vision, but because it was made clear to him that his patron, God, was asking something new and different from him, and the loyal response of acquiescence was the only way to go.

This seems a rather interesting proposal, and I wonder how evangelical scholars will respond. I especially like the emphasis on loyalty that this model commends. For example, can we be more specific about Paul's patron? Along the lines of including Jesus in that identity? [Ala Bauckham in "Paul's Christology of Divine Identity"] Did Paul conceive, as part of his mission, that he should persuade others to grasp the vision God had given him? And therefore by implication continue in the work that he himself had pioneered? How exactly was it made clear to Paul that his patron, YHWH, was requiring something radically different from him? Was the Damascus event this crucial point, or was it the beginning of a series of crucial turning points...?
Very interesting... Please be aware of Zeba Crook's online article: The Divine Benefactions of Paul the Client.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mama is a GENIUS!

Well, there's nothing like having the most fab MOM on planet earth! [Seen hiding behind Dr. Dre above... I'm treading on deadly ground posting pictures of "The Mom" but I'll risk this one...]
  • Traffic in Truth by Polkinghorne
  • Five Speeches that Changed the World by Meyer
  • Jesus the Seer by Witherington
  • The Climax of Prophecy by Bauckham
These lovely gems arrived today, and will be devoured this weekend, as I celebrate the FIRST weekend off in AGES! Yahoo, and add to that, that tomorrow I will have my Mama and my nephew ring me, well it doesn't get much better than that!
May God's grace spoil them as much as they've spoilt me! Heee hah!

It's Question that Drives us

In the beginning, an empty space. A word breaks the silence, bespeaks a universe; the world dawns. More words; nondescript space acquires shape, becomes a place for forms emerging from the dust. The stage is set. Action!

To be or not to be is not the question, nor our choice. We are “thrown into existence,” says Martin Heidegger. We simply find ourselves in a world. We are here, onstage, with many others. Unaided reason cannot tell us why we are here or what we are to do… Today we have more information about life, and more techniques for sustaining life, than ever before, but we remain flummoxed with regard to the questions of life’s meaning. We have mapped the galaxy, but we are still trying to get our bearings. We have mapped the human genome, but we are still trying to determine what we are. We need guidance as we seek to play our parts, prompting as we grope for our next lines.

Since Chris thinks that Kelly cheated, which I'm sure is just jealousy on Chris' part, I'll let him give the reference to this quote by a rising star among the 'postconservative' crowd. However, extra points go to the person who can state where the heading comes from.
[Hint: It's not a book!]

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Who Said?

Even though this book remains, I fear, unreadable for most people outside the guild of New Testament scholarship, the issues pursued here are of serious significance for the church. I have grown increasingly convinced that the struggles of the church in our time are a result of its losing touch with its own gospel story. We have gotten “off message” and therefore lost our way in a culture that tells us many other stories about who we are and where our hope lies. In both the evangelical and liberal wings of Protestantism, there is too much emphasis on individual faith-experience and not enough grounding of our theological discourse in the story of Jesus Christ. My hope, therefore, is that this book will continue to play some role in calling the church back to focussed primary reflection about the story of the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us in order to rescue us from the present evil age.
Disclaimer: If you're from New Zealand, and you've heard me preach, you may not answer!

Corporate Solidarity

Confession of sin in ancient Israel did not mean unravelling a lengthy laundry-list of personal peccadilloes, with the result that worship of God was turned into a narcissistic reflection on the self. Confession of sin in ancient Israel was a God-centred act of worship that included praise and thanksgiving. Confession of sin often meant recalling God’s gracious deeds for an ungrateful Israel, a humble admission that one was a member of this sinful people, a recounting of the infidelities and apostasies of Israel from early on down to one’s own day, and a final resolve to change and be different from one’s ancestors. Even apart from the question of one’s particular personal sins, one was part of this history of sin simply because one was part of this people.

In some cases, the great prayers confessing apostasy in the Old Testament are uttered by religious individuals who actually have taken no personal part in the nation’s apostasy, though they deeply feel their involvement in the deeds and fate of the people of Israel, from whom they draw their identity. This is the case, for example, with the deeply moving confessional prayers of Ezra [Ezra 9:6-15; Neh 9:6-37].[1]

[1] Meier, Marginal Jew II, 113–14

Friday, March 03, 2006

Accidental & Incidental

Mark Goodacre draws our attention to what he calls the “Forgotten Criterion in the Quest for the Historical Jesus” and "Forgotten Criteria in the Jesus Quest II: View Common to Friend and Foe." A similar form of this criterion is used by Paul Barnett in his book: Jesus and the Logic of History. Barnett makes the claim that:
Because [the letters of] Paul are innocent of any attempt to convey new information about the historical Jesus, such information as they do contain, being incidental, is the more valuable and must be taken carefully into account.[1]
Thus, it should be argued that not only accidental information in the gospels [as Mark points out with regards to the possibility of Jesus owning a home.] but also incidental information that may unknowingly fill us in on some juicy details of what the historical Jesus was like and possibly, what he was up to. Of course, now there will another massive discussion on whether or not the information is actually accidental or incidental but at least this may serve to enlighten us in some areas. As Mark is currently suggesting... Interesting discussion which could have some fruit for our studies... Yes? No? [1] Barnett, Jesus and the Logic of History, pg. 25. Italics mine.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


“Reality as we know it is the result of a creator god bringing into being a world that is other than himself, and yet which is full of his glory. It was always the intention of this god that creation should one day be flooded with his own life, in a way for which it was prepared from the beginning. As part of the means to this end, the creator brought into being a creature which, by bearing the creator’s image, would bring his wise and loving care to bear upon the creation. By a tragic irony, the creature in question has rebelled against this intention. But the creator has solved this problem in principle in an entirely appropriate way, and as a result is now moving the creation once more toward its originally intended goal. The implementation of this solution now involves the indwelling of this god within his human creatures and ultimately within the whole creation, transforming it into that for which it was made in the beginning.”[1]

[1] N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, pg. 97-98