Friday, June 17, 2011
One more thing with N. T. Wright
Wright stated throughout this book that the resurrection of Jesus was not merely an event that opened the way for people to go to heaven. In fact, he was adamant that heaven is not the final destination for any humans; the final resurrection is. His take on the resurrection of Jesus is that it inaugurated the kingdom of God in this present age. Not that it is complete, but that it has started. Part of our responsibility, then, is to work toward advancing the reign of God. This leads him to the conclusion that "we must envisage a world in which the present creation...is enhanced, taken up into God's larger purposes...but certainly not abandoned." God said that the creation is very good. Corrupted; yes. But, still very good. If this is true then our spirituality works out in the every day lives of those who follow Christ. It's not just to get people saved, whatever that actually means. According to Wright, it would be a holistic approach to revealing God's redemption of, not just humankind, but the entire creation. As a worshiping people, Wright sees us as "the people who feast at Jesus' table [being] the ones in the forefront of work to eliminate hunger and famine;...those who pray for the Spirit to work in and through them [being] the people who seem to have extra resources of love and patience in caring for those whose lives are damaged, bruised, and shamed." These people are then in a position to speak of Jesus, to encourage others to join with them in worshiping Yahweh, and to follow Christ. Our mission is not to swell our numbers with souls waiting to abandon ship, but to make disciples to change the world.