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May 11, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Quotes from NT Wright The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is

Imago Dei explained by NT Wright:

“The key is that humans are made in the image of God.  That is the equivalent, on the wider canvas, of Israel’s unique position and vocation.  And bearing God’s image is not a fact, it is a vocation.  It means being called to reflect into the world the creative and receptive love of God.  It means being made for relationship, for stewardship, for worship—or, to put it more vividly, for sex, gardening and God.  Human beings know in their bones that they are made for each other, made to look after and shape this world, made to worship the one in whose image they are made.  But like Israel with her vocation, we humans get it wrong.”

(NT Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, p. 183).

“We worship other gods and start to reflect their likenesses instead.  We distort our vocation to stewardship into the will to power, treating God’s world as either a gold mine or an astray.  And we distort our calling to beautiful, healing, creative many-sided human relationships into exploitation and abuse.  Marx, Nietzsche and Freud described a fallen world in which money, power, and sex have become the norm, displacing relationship, stewardship, and worship.”

(NT Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, p. 183).

These other quotes are mostly various expressions of the purposes of Jesus ministry and Christianity and the church more broadly:

“Following  Christ in the power of the Spirit means bring to our world the shape of the gospel: forgiveness, the best news that anyone can ever hear, fro all who yearn for it, and judgement for all who insist on dehumanizing themselves and others by continuing pride, injustice, and greed.”

(NT Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, p 184-185)

“Is it developing in the service of true relationships, true stewardship and even true worship, or is it feeding and encouraging a society in which everybody created their own private, narcissistic, enclosed world?”

(NT Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, p. 185-86).

“When Jesus announced the kingdom, the stories he told functioned like dramatic plays in search of actors.  His hearers were invited to audition for parts in the kingdom.  They have been eager for Go’d drama to be staged and were waiting to find out what they would have to do when he did so.  Now they were to discover.  They were to become kingdom-people-themselves.  Jesus, following John the Baptist was calling into being what he believed would be the true, renewed people of God.”

(NT Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, p. 43)

“Some he commissioned to share in the work of announcing the kingdom, including the actions, the hearings and table-fellowship, which we shall see later, turned the announcement into symbolic praxis.  To take up the cross and follow Jesus meant embracing Jesus’ utterly risky vocation—to be the light of the world in a way the revolutionaries had never dreamed of.”

(NT Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, p. 47)

“When you study the Gospels, looking at the unique and unbeatable message, challenge, warning and summons of Jesus to Israel, you are looking at the unique foundation upon which Jesus’ followers must now construct the kingdom-building, the house of God, the dwelling place for God’s spirit…

In case anyone should think this is all too arbitrary, too chancy, we are promised at every turn that the Spirit of the master architect will dwell in us, nudging and guiding us, correcting mistakes, warning of danger ahead, enabling us to build—if only we will obey—with what will turn our to have been gold, silver and precious stones.”

(NT Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, p. 182).

“Paul speaks of this in Romans 8 and 1 Corinthians 15: the creation itself will receive its exodus, will be set free from its slavery to corruption, death itself will be defeated, and God will be all in all.”

(NT Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, p. 178).

“What Jesus did was unique, climactic, decisive.  That, indeed, is the ultimate theological justification for the continuing quest for the historical Jesus.”

(NT Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, p. 181).

“John wants his readers to figure out that Easter day is the first day of God’s new creation.  Easter morning was the birthday of God’s new world.”

(NT Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is, p. 175)

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