Christian Humanist Profiles 33: Simply Good News by N.T. Wright

PROFILESWRIGHTThe good news of Jesus, Messiah, Son of God.  Thus begins the gospel according to Mark, and the notion of gospel, proclamation, announcement has been at the core of Christian confession for as long as there have been Christians.  Yet that central news has given way in this historical moment or that, whether to an attempt at a timeless philosophy or to a regime of self-help and good advice.  In his 2015 book Simply Good News, N.T. Wright calls Christians once again to tell the old, old story as news, to insist anew that our word to the world be that God has done something and is doing something and will do something again.

6 comments
CWP
CWP

It's always good to hear from Tom Wright, whose historical juxtaposition of the Gospel proclamation with the propaganda machine of Augustan imperialism was fascinating. I was intrigued though, if not a little surprised, by Wright's exegetical take on Satan/the accuser/Beelzebub, which have these various terms to 'heuristically' point towards an inscrutable/ineffable force of evil ('powers & principalities &etc), and which seem to depersonalize and de-individualize the Satan figure. I have similarly heard other evangelical scholars argue that the New Testament authors take on the language of 'demons' as an act of contextual theology &/or subversion, given the common belief in such spirits (cf. Socrates' benevolent daimon as a famous example)--the point was that Christ is Lord over all such forces of negation--and not because they necessarily believed in such beings. I am not opposed to such interpretations on principle--mostly just curious about them--but I cannot see how they do not brush up against the various demythologization programmes promulgated by modern liberal Protestantism.


ChenBuLei
ChenBuLei

Ahhh.  So refreshing.  This interview with N.T. Wright is the mouthwash I needed to get the bad taste of Pete Rollins out of my mouth.  Thank you, Nathan.  And thanks to Ms. Filipic - she has some serious skill as the CHP press liaison.  She's been booking some fabulous interviews for the CHP hosts. 

kristenfilipic
kristenfilipic

@ChenBuLei Thank you so much!  Although the on-air folks do the hard part so trying to pitch the podcast is pretty easy when they turn out such good episodes.


Peter Rollins was not our most typical guest.  I hope you also found Michael Allen to be detoxing.  :)

frater
frater

Very good interview. I just found it weird that he puts the blame for modern individualism/subjectivism on Middle Ages Catholicism. This looks much more like a Protestant thing.

When he spoke about purgatory I immediately thought about the major prayer for the dead in the Catholic Church: the Requiem Mass. And can one really say its all about personal salvation in detriment of the objective transformation of all reality after listening to the Mass Sequence (e.g., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Emd3H5AfNuw), with its claim that nature and death will be dumbfound at the resurrection of the dead, who obey the command of the judge.

I guess I'll have to read the book to understand his point, but it doesn't look right to me.


Anyway, congratulations on the interviews—especially, IMHO, this one and Milbank's.



ngilmour
ngilmour moderator

@frater Good comment.  You've put your finger on why I pushed back a bit on the Dante front--besides the fact that I could never live down missing an opportunity to talk Dante with N.T. Wright, I did want to complicate the historical picture he put forth.