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The Revolution 8 (final): The revolution continues

Eighth (and last!) post on N.T. Wright, 2016. The day the revolution began: Reconsidering the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion. London: SPCK.The previous post (The Revolution 7) in this series on Tom Wright's book is here.Introduction In Parts 1-3 of The day the revolution began Tom Wright has shown us that when Jesus died on Good Friday, something happened that made the world a different place. Early Christians saw his death as the ultimate victory over evil, the dawn of ‘the age to come’. The first sign of that difference came when Jesus was gloriously raised from the dead. With wickedness and suffering still pervasive, though, it felt and feels as if the ‘present age’ has yet to end. In the midst of this, the mission of Jesus’ followers is to work for the kingdom of God, announcing God’s amnesty to sinners wordwide. But a mission that promises only that the forgiven will go to heaven ignores Jesus’ claim to be launching the kingdom of God. Mission requires Jesus’ followers to be G…

The Revolution 7: What happened on Good Friday? Romans 3:21–26

What happened on Good Friday? Romans 3:21–26Seventh post on N.T. Wright, 2016. The day the revolution began: Reconsidering the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion. London: SPCK.The day the revolution began is divided into four parts, and this post is an attempt to summarise much of the sixth chapter of Part Three. The previous post (The Revolution 6) in this series on Tom Wright's book is here.Wright returns here to Romans 3:21–26. He does so because, he says, it summarises a first-generation Christian interpretation of Jesus’ death. To quote his conclusion: Romans 3:21–26 ‘does not, then, focus on the point that most of us, including myself in earlier writings, have assumed. Paul is not simply offering a roundabout way of saying, “We sinned; God punished Jesus; we are forgiven.” He is saying, “We all committed idolatry, and sinned; God promised Abraham to save the world through Israel; Israel was faithless to that commission; but God has put forth the faithful Messiah, his own self-rev…

The Revolution 6: What happened on Good Friday? Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapters 1–8

Sixth post on N.T. Wright, 2016. The day the revolution began: Reconsidering the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion. London: SPCK.The day the revolution began is divided into four parts, and this post is an attempt to summarise the fifth chapter, and bits of the sixth, of Part Three. This and the following chapter are the most complex chapters of the book, partly because Wright raises a number of issues early on, which the reader has to hold in memory for answers later; partly because (with good reason) Wright’s exposition does not follow the order of Paul’s presentation in Romans; and partly because, as is unavoidable with Romans, the argument is intricate. I recommend the interested reader not to rely on my summary in this and the following post, but to read what Wright has written.The previous post (The Revolution 5) in this series on Tom Wright's book is here.Wright sees Romans as ‘an extremely subtle and careful composition’ with four sections: chapters 1–4, 5–8, 9–11 and 12–16. B…