My Review of N.T. Wright’s New Release

If you aren’t aware, N.T. Wright recently came out with a his newest release, The Paul Debate: Critical Questions for Understanding the Apostle. I appreciate Baylor Press sending a review copy to me! Wright continues to offer thoughts at the table of Pauline studies, this time as a response to the critiques of his massive work, Paul and the Faithfulness of God.

Over at The Pneuma Review, I have just contributed a review of this recently published work. I’ll let you head over there to read the review, but here are a few thoughts from the article: Continue reading

N.T. Wright Engages Critics

The Paul DebateThe man pops out books like no one else’s business. And he’s one of the few who is able to engage at both the scholarly and popular level.

As a colleague of mine recently remarked, no one can ever take up Pauline studies (or New Testament or Jesus studies, for that matter) from now on without pouring over Wright’s works. He’s done that much work and has had that much effect over the past few decades!

Well, he’s throwing another work into the masses, set to go live on October 1st of this year.

The title?

The Paul Debate: Critical Questions for Understanding the Apostle.

What’s the gist of this shorter, 100-page or so work? Continue reading

Rethinking Romans

JustificationThere is a lot of rethinking going on these days with regards to Paul’s writings, especially centred around the renowned letter of Paul to the church in Rome. Or we call it Romans.

The rethinking doesn’t simply centre around the ‘new perspective on Paul’ and justification, but this encompasses both the whole letter and the multiple parts of the whole.

Author’s such as Andrew Perriman are challenging us to read Romans in its first century, city of Rome context, which was prior to establishment of what became known as western Christendom (I say ‘became’ knowing that Christendom has fallen in western Europe).

Still, Perriman is asking us to consider what is going on for Paul, a second-temple Jew writing to a Jew-Gentile church in the capital city of a majorly pagan empire. What did it mean then? Not what did it mean to Luther as he stood against the imperial Roman Catholic Church of his day, nor even what it means from a ‘new Pauline perspective’.

Perriman’s book is entitled The Future of the People of God: Reading Romans Before and After Western Christendom, of which I posted a review of the book here.

Whether one agrees with the new Pauline perspective, with Tom Wright being its most popular, but not the only, proponent, I believe he offers some great thoughts in his book Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision.

With the quote below, he offers a ‘thought experiment’, asking this: What if the Reformation had started with Ephesians and Colossians, rather than Romans and Galatians? Continue reading

What Saint Paul Really Said

I have a plethora of books which I’ve finished in recent months and would like to ‘catch-up’ on some reviews. So here is the first of about 6 or 7 that I hope to post over the coming weeks. Hold me to it!

Recently I viewed a video teaching in which one theologian made a humourous remark about N.T. Wright having now published more books than he himself has read. It seems that Wright does churn out one book per year (or more?), with his new one being released in a week’s time, How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels.

But a few months back, I purchased a copy of one of Tom Wright’s earlier works from 15 years ago. That book was not about Jesus and the Gospels, but about Paul – What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity?

The book stands within a long line of works on Pauline studies that has come out over the past century. And that is just how Wright begins the book – looking at specific writings on Pauline studies from the past 100 years, including such people as Albert Schweitzer, Rudolph Bultmann, W.D. Davies, Ernst Käsemann and E.P. Sanders. Wright lays out the questions and perspectives that each of these men have brought to the table as they tried to grasp the teaching of the greatest convert to Christ in the history of mankind. This, of course, laid the groundwork for Wright to jump in and make his own contribution, one that has normally been identified within the framework of the ‘new’ Pauline perspective. Continue reading

New Testament Theology for Today

One of the more recent theological stirrings in the past few decades is the rethinking of some deeply important biblical perspectives, especially with regards to some cherished New Testament passages. Now this is not new, per se. A refocus and readjustment of biblical and theological perspectives has gone on for centuries following the finalisation of the canon of Scripture. It’s not just something special from the past few decades, nor the past few centuries since the Reformation. Such has always been taking place within the church.

But, with each generation, there are particular aspects of our biblical and theological approach that will be challenged. Challenged for change. Challenged for good change. Continue reading