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Out of Ur posted a hilarious spin on the Chuck Norris craze (or should that be a hilarious round-house kick???) in relation to the ever prolific writing pastor-theologian N. T. Wright (thanks for pointing me to this Marc).

Here are a few of the highlights:

For too long, Chuck Norris has been the benchmark for superhuman acts of power and justice. We’re setting that right.

From Wright fans John Raines, Kevin Emmert, Drew Dyck, and Paul Pastor comes this list of adoration for everyone’s favorite bishop-scholar-warrior-guru.

You call it idolatry. We call it reality. POW!

Keep kicking, Tommy-gun!

1. N. T. Wright doesn’t parse nouns. They decline themselves before him.

2. When James Dunn came up with the New Perspective, it was already old to N. T. Wright.

(for the rest of the twelve they came up with see HERE)

And here are a few of my own:

Just for fun what would you add?

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The pastor-theologian

“When I was at seminary back in the early 1970s, my tutor told me firmly one day that I would have to choose between being an academic and being a pastor. I decided, sitting there in his office, that I was not going to make that choice… That has resulted in a lifetime of shifting from one foot to the other, as it were, in a world for which for whatever reason — and this is odd in the history of the church…theologians of the past have mostly been pastors — think of Augustine or Luther or whoever — they were pastors, they were preachers, they were teachers, they worked with people, they prayed with people, they didn’t sit in a study and do a cerebral thing away from that, and I fail to see why we should collude with this split world of post-Enlightenment ‘either the brain or the heart’…”

N.T. Wright, here.

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You read that right…Der Führer has something to say about N. T. Wright on the issue of justification. Who knew he was such a fan of Piper’s. 🙂

My own critical engagement with N. T. Wright on the issue of justification is not nearly so funny. But I enjoyed writing it.

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Cover of "Surprised by Hope: Rethinking H...

Cover via Amazon

N.T. Wright just has a way with words.  Regarding the “work of salvation, in its full sense,” he summarizes that it is

“(1) about whole human beings, not merely souls; (2) about the present, not simply about the future; and (3) about what God does through us, not merely what God does in and for us.” (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, NY: HarperOne, 2008, p.200, original emphasis)

Salvation is not simply about any notion of saved “souls”, but about saved “wholes” (p.199) [make sure that one is read and not simply heard…or its homophone might make for a humorous aside].  God is working out the redemption of creation…not simply disembodied “souls” nor even simply of some chosen, but removed few.  The whole world (cosmos) shall be renewed, even as it is already underway through the reconciling work of Christ by His indwelling, empowering, life-giving Spirit.

In relation to this, he discusses the “kingdom” and thus God’s reign over all which is being carried out in the present (though awaits final consummation and revelation).  He writes,

“God longed…to re-establish his wise sovereignty over the whole creation, which would mean a great act of healing and rescue.  He did not want to rescue humans from creation any more than he wanted to rescue Israel from the Gentiles.  He wanted to rescue Israel in order that Israel might be a light to the Gentiles, and he wanted thereby to rescue humans in order that humans might be his rescuing stewards of creation.  That is the inner dynamic of the kingdom of God.” (p.202, original emphasis)

This is salvation…the work of the kingdom now as foretaste of the kingdom come.  The salvation of all we are…the salvation of creation groaning for redemption and the “revealing of the sons of God” (Rom.8:19).

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I’ve nearly finished with N. T. Wright‘s Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the ImageMission of the Church (HarperOne, 2008) and have indeed been surprised.  I wasn’t sure what I’d discover in this volume, but Wright has once again offered an accessible, significant and timely book.  This volume should be required reading of pastors in particular as we think through more carefully our theology of “heaven” and the Resurrection.  I discovered (to my pleasant surprise) that he essentially posits (of course in a far more developed and articulated fashion) what I wrote elsewhere about “abandoning heaven.”  The pop-theology notion of “heaven” is utterly deficient as any form of Christian belief or hope.

I believe his message (and the one that has been stirring in me of late) must be taken seriously especially in my own fellowship (the Assemblies of God) wherein we seem to hold to an escapist notion concerning both death and the “rapture of the Church.”  The good news is transformative…it is redemptive.  It is not escapist.  The world (indeed the whole cosmos) belongs to the redemptive plan of God in Christ.

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Mike Bird posted a video interview with N. T. Wright about what he would want his children to know after he is dead…his answer: look to Jesus!  I’d be interested though in thoughts on his comments as I have my own thoughts about an existentialist approach to Jesus.

On a slightly totally less serious note…check out the following interview of N. T. Wright by Stephen Colbert on the topic of “heaven” HERE.

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I just watched an interesting (and helpful) interview (HERE) with N. T. Wright on the recent controversy caused by Rob Bell‘s “Love Wins.”  I’d be interested to hear your responses to Tom.

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