Thursday, August 10, 2006

Terrorism, Total Depravity, and Resurrection

Can you believe this?

This is so scary. It's hard to believe that apparently, we were within days of another 9/11 or worse!

Anyone who doubts that Adamic blood coarses through our veins richly should be disabused of that notion immediately. Man, are we weak and wounded by the Fall!

......Deeply desiring our full new humanity within a completely new creation....longing for the 'not yet' of resurrection hope.....but realizing we have a job to do and the grace to do it in the 'already'.

"Easter is about the beginning of God's new world. John's Gospel stresses that Easter Day is the first day of the new week: not so much the end of the old story as the launch of the new one. The gospel resurrection stories end, not with “well, that's all right then,” nor with “Jesus is risen, therefore we will rise too,” but with “God's new world has begun, therefore we've got a job to do, and God's Spirit to help us do it.” That job is to plant the flags of resurrection—new life, new communities, new churches, new faith, new hope, new practical love—in amongst the tired slogans of idolatrous modernity and destructive postmodernity.It can happen. By God's grace it will happen. The fact that today we may not see it happening is neither here nor there. Sometimes it only takes three days."

- N.T. Wright


jason said...

Where's the quote from? I think it's an intriguing idea, but I'd like to see more evidence for it.

Mark Robinson said...

It's from a meditation found here:

When I read the Gospel of John (especially the last few chapters) in a more metaphorical, less metaphysical way (to use heuristic alliterative categories here), or to modify the clever use of a phrase by a beloved WTS prof, if I get an anglican eye for the presbyterian guy, the symbolic resonances (i.e. gardener evoking Eden in 20:15) between creation and the Resurrection seem very plausible. I think that Wright spells some of them out toward the end of "The Challenge of Jesus".

Paul seems to do quite a bit of this, especially when dealing with new creation themes. Cf 2 Cor. 4:6 and 5:17 where creation and ressurection union are related.

Wright's mind seems to be running along very biblical tracks here.

Anonymous said...


Great posts. So, are you coming up to Chicago with me?

- Sam

jason said...

Speaking of John 20, what are your thoughts on this:

Mark Robinson said...

Sam "the man" Boyd: Good to hear from you!
I'm actually still working through exactly where I'm going to be. Chircago is a real possibility. I should know a lot more this coming week.

Jason: This is a really good moving meditation. I haven't thought through what the parameters/controls (if any) are for symbolic readings. At points, Dennison's read feels maximal symbolic to me ,but the corporate personality aspect (individual= Israel) is fascinating and suggestive. On the whole, He seems to be reading the Bible in an eminently biblical way.

What say ye?

jason said...

I was just curious for your thoughts because I think Dennison would be much less about the whole "new creation planting" thing and more about focusing on our life in heaven that is hidden in Christ. He does emphasize that in losing your life you find it and are free to serve here on earth, but I think it's something quite different from what Wright is talking about.

That's why I linked the sermon - I think you definitely see the heavenly communion emphasis there. Dennison was a heck of a reader and preacher of Scripture; even where I think he's a little overboard it's very thought provoking and not easy to dismiss.

Mark Traphagen said...

I'm coming to this discussion late, so I don't know if the participants will see this, but here goes...

I'm realizing that it is more and more grieving to me when I hear heaven and earth being dichotomized to the point of almost being set against each other. Why can't I both appreciate Dennison's "not of this world" and Wright's "new garden" emphases? I see both in the Bible.

I hope to avoid the extremes that I am sure neither writer wants to lead us toward. I don't think Dennison advocates some kind of abstract pie-in-the-sky piety that has no effect in working for mercy and peace in this world, neither do I think Wright wants us so "work in the garden" minded that we forget "the things which are above." Shouldn't we be both/and?

I've been intrigued lately by Keesmaat and Walsh's reading of Colossians in Colossians Remixed where they demonstrate how highly subversive of Caesar's empire that document was. In particular, they point out how Paul mixes language of "set your affections on things above" with language that has to do with direct, radical, visible, tangible action here on earth.

It seems to me that such a view is consistent with the already/not-yet eschatology we have learned at WTS.

Mark Robinson said...

"I'm realizing that it is more and more grieving to me when I hear heaven and earth being dichotomized to the point of almost being set against each other. Why can't I both appreciate Dennison's "not of this world" and Wright's "new garden" emphases? I see both in the Bible."

well put....totally agree with you bro. lets start a new mantra...o wait...its been used before - "on earth as in heaven".