Thursday, June 4, 2009

More on Simply Christian

In order to keep the posts flowing, I am going to be posting some thoughts on N. T. Wright's book, Simply Christian. This will keep me consistent in posting (and will bore the few readers I have left). I do this for me and not for anyone else (just to keep my reading, writing and editing skills sharp).

Wright on the "Echoes of Beauty" in Creation:
One of the things I appreciate about Wright is his ability to retell the grand narrative of the Bible. Here he discusses the beauty of creation and yet, there is something noticeably wrong with this good creation.
We say that the present world is the real one, and that it’s in bad shape but expecting to be repaired. We tell, in other words, the story we told in the first chapter: the story of a good Creator longing to put the world back into the good order for which it was designed. We tell the story of a God who does the two things which, some of the time at least, we know we all want and need: a God who completes what he has begun, a God who comes to the rescue of those who seem lost and enslaved in the world the way it now is.
The idea of God coming to the rescue on the one hand, and of God completing creation and putting it to rights on the other, is highlighted in the book that bears the name of one of the greatest ancient Israelite prophets: Isaiah. In his eleventh chapter the prophet paints a picture of a world put to rights, of the wolf lying down with the lamb, and of the earth being filled with God’s glory as the water covers the sea…If the earth is full of God’s glory, why is it also so full of pain and anguish and screaming and despair? (Emphasis mine; good question, though).
The prophet has answers for all these questions (but they aren’t simple answers). What we must notice at this stage is that both in the OT and in the NT, the present suffering of the world – about which the biblical writers knew every bit as much as we do – never makes them falter in their claim that the created world really is the good creation of a good creation. They live with the tension…They do it by telling a story of what the one creator God has been doing to rescue his beautiful world and to put it to rights.


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