NT Wright, Surprised by Hope 3

The final third of Wright’s amazing book focuses on the response of the church to the reality of the new heaven and new earth.  Shaping the church for its mission in light of its destination.  It’s the conviction of hope put into practice.

Here’s what I found remarkable:

  • p.207, “He has enlisted us to act as his stewards in the project of creation.  And, following the disaster of rebellion and corruption, he has built into the gospel message the fact that through the work of Jesus and the power of the Spirit, he equips humans to help in the work of getting the project back on track.”
  • p.209, “Martin Luther’s words about the proper reaction to knowing the kingdom was coming the next day being to go out and plant a tree.”
  • p.217, “The present system of global debt is the real immoral scandal, the dirty little secret – or rather the dirty enormous secret – of glitzy, glossy Western capitalism.  Whatever it takes, we must change this situation or stand condemned by subsequent history alongside those who supported slavery two centuries ago and those who supported the Nazis seventy years ago.  It is that serious.”
  • p.219, “…much conservative theology, not least in the United States, where it counts heavily at the moment, has also served to reinforce the dominance of the West.  The Cold War years enabled the United States to build up its persona as God’s answer to communism.  Many conservative churches there still live by the belief that what’s good for America is good for God…”
  • p.226, on preaching, “God works as a result of prayer and faithfulness, not technique and cleverness.”
  • p.231, “But the shoulder-shrugging functionalism of postwar architecture, coupled with the passivity born of decades of television, has meant that for many people the world appears to offer little but bleak urban landscapes, on the one hand, and tawdry entertainment, on the other.  And when people cease to be surrounded by beauty, they cease to hope.  They internalize the message of their eyes and ears, the message that whispers that they are not worth very much, that they are in effect less than fully human.”
  • p.253, “Christian holiness consists not of trying as hard as we can to be good but of learning to live in the new world created by Easter, the new world we publicly entered in our baptism.”
  • p.283, “What you do with your body in the present matters, he insists, because God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.  Glorify god in your body because one day God will glorify the body itself.

pages read= 295 ~ year to date= 5769 ~ 2009 goal=9,000 ~ (64%)

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