May 25, 2004


Category: Theology - Christology :: Permalink

Here are a few paragraphs from “Life After Life After Death,” a Christianity Today interview with N. T. Wright about his The Resurrection of the Son of God:

Does the resurrection give us a mandate for social change? Because resurrection is a creation-affirming doctrine, it also goes with the desire to change injustice in the present. That’s why I love the epigraph at the beginning of the book’s final part — a quote from Oscar Wilde’s play Salome, where Herod hears about Jesus raising the dead. He says, “I forbid him to raise the dead. This man must be found and told I don’t allow people to raise the dead.” Herod knows, as all tyrants know, that if somebody is going about raising the dead, then their power has met a greater power.

If you believe in resurrection, you believe that the living God will put his world to rights and that if God wants to do that in the future, it is right to try to anticipate that by whatever means in the present. It is your job as a Christian, in the power of the Spirit, to anticipate that glorious final state as much as you possibly can. Live now by the power that is coming to you from the future, by the Spirit. It is up to us to produce signs of resurrection in the present social, cultural, and political world.

How does that apply to the academy?

Within the Enlightenment world of the last two centuries, we see a horror of the idea that God might actually act in the world. They want God banished upstairs so they can get on with running the world downstairs. But with the resurrection, we have God saying, “No, I want to put things downstairs to rights, thank you very much. I started doing it with Jesus and you’d better get in line.” That’s a shock to liberal theology, just like it’s a shock to all kinds of other tyrannies — and liberal theology has become its own sort of tyranny.

Posted by John Barach @ 12:41 pm | Discuss (0)

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