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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tom Wright: Articles and sermons

I have recently been appreciating free access to articles by well-known theologians. Yesterday, I mentioned F. F. Bruce, and today Tom Wright. This is really just one more in a series of sites I enjoy.

This is from How Can The Bible Be Authoritative? on the Tom Wright Page.
    I have argued that the notion of the ‘authority of scripture’ is a shorthand expression for God’s authority, exercised somehow through scripture; that scripture must be allowed to be itself in exercising its authority, and not be turned into something else which might fit better into what the church, or the world, might have thought its ‘authority’ should look like; that it is therefore the meaning of ‘authority’ itself, not that of scripture, that is the unknown in the equation, and that when this unknown is discovered it challenges head on the various notions and practices of authority endemic in the world and, alas, in the church also.
    I have suggested, less systematically, some ways in which this might be put into practice. All of this has been designed as a plea to the church to let the Bible be the Bible, and so to let God be God—and so to enable the people of God to be the people of God, his special people, living under his authority, bringing his light to his world.
    The Bible is not an end in itself. It is there so that, by its proper use, the creator may be glorified and the creation may be healed. It is our task to be the people through whom this extraordinary vision comes to pass. We are thus entrusted with a privilege too great for casual handling, too vital to remain a mere matter of debate.
Note: I have revised this post to shorten the quote. The full article may be read at the link provided.


At Thu Apr 12, 07:49:00 AM, Blogger Jason said...

This is really interesting, Suzanne. Thanks VERY much for sharing it.

At Thu Apr 12, 09:54:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

I am enjoying tootling around seeing what is out there. It is quite amazing really.

At Thu Apr 12, 10:07:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Great quote. Thank you, Suzanne! The church really needs to understand that the biblical concept of "authority" is totally different from the worldly authority which (mostly) men try to exercise in the church.

In fact I was just listening again to my pastor's Palm Sunday sermon. One of his main points was that Jesus could have come in power and worldly authority to force humanity to submit, and indeed he will do so, but now he comes humbly on a donkey, to entice us with humility and tenderness into a relationship based not on fear but on love. We need more of this preached and practised in our churches.

Note also that I have tagged you for making me think, and that was before I read this.

At Thu Apr 12, 01:12:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Yes, I have been thinking a lot about "authority" and what it means in the Bible. It is a very interesting study because there are at least 10 different words or constructions in Greek which are translated by the English word authority.

Lots to think about. And thanks for the tag. I am in the middle of "Reading Lolita in Tehran" right now, so that should turn up on my blog soon.

At Fri Apr 13, 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Eddie said...

For Brits of my generation having a serious Biblical Scholar a Bishop of Durham is a real privilege. Not so long ago, the office of the Bishop Palatine was synonymous with the more extreme wing of modernist theology. Tom Wright is a breath of fresh air. Thanks for bringing him to a wider audience, Suzanne.


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