Thoughts to Ponder are my musings regarding community, things of the Spirit, and living as a Christ-follower. I don't offer the words of a professional or an expert; just a fellow traveler and explorer. Please don't take my musings more serious than I do. I've discovered a long time ago that I do not hold the keys of knowledge or wisdom. If I did, I misplaced them somewhere...typical.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Conversations with N. T. Wright

"You know that old saying, give someone a fish and you feed them for a day; teach someone to fish and you feed them for life. Paul's whole motto seems to be that if you merely give someone a dogma, you may keep them on the straight and narrow for a day, but if you teach someone to think Christianly, they'll be able to be sustained, even when you're not around writing letters to them. And so a lot of Paul's letters are really helping people to grow up and think Christianly for themselves, because Paul knows there'll be many, many more issues that they have to face, that he won't have time to write letters to them about. But if they will actually learn to think Christian, they can do it for themselves...

"Paul, as a good Jew, sees the whole project of the creator God for the world, as focusing on human beings. God made the world and made human beings in his own image to be put in charge of the world. The problem is that human beings failed to honor God and so didn't do the task of looking after the world in the right way, so the world is in a mess. I mean that's cutting a long story very short of course. And so if the world is to be put back to rights, at some point human beings have got to be put back to rights, becuase they're the kind of key cog in the machine which is out of gear. And the out of tgearness of human beings is, in shorthand sin, and sin is not, as many people in the Western world imagine, the breaking of some arbitrary moral codes that a rather distant God has laid on us as a way of keeping us out of mischief. Sin is the failure to be genuinely human.

"And God holds out before people, the chance to be genuinely human, and so to be stewards of God's wonderful world, and healers of God's wonderful world, and to be a sinner is to say, 'I don't want to follow that vocation, I want to go my own way, and I want to take my orders from the world instead of from God.' So from that point of view, Paul is bound to be bothered by sin, because it's what's getting in the way, but is sin as failure to be genuine humanes, rahter than sin as breaking some distant moral code or other."

- N.T. Wright, Interview Austrailian Broadcasting Corporation "The Spirit of Things," April 30, 2006

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your use of N.T. Wright´s interview and book. Ditto to you assesement that Simpñy Chrisitan is worth reading.