N. T. Wright from this Year’s Lambeth Conference

Posted on August 5, 2008. Filed under: Theological Crap |

Below is a link to a speech written by N. T. Wright for the Lambeth Conference entitled The Bible and Tomorrow’s World. Based off of his book The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture he talks about how and where the bible gets its authority. As he says in his speech, “When the risen Jesus commissions his followers for their worldwide mission, he does not say ‘all authority in heaven and earth is given to – the books you people are going to go and write.’”

We must then ask ourselves what the bible is for. Wright says, “Basically, I believe that scripture is the book through which the church is enabled to be the church, to be the people of God anticipating his sovereign rule on earth as in heaven, and that this fleshes out what our formularies say in a three-dimensional and energetic fashion.” He then goes on to say that the bible must be looked at as a story, but not in the sense that we usually attribute to it. We can see that the bible has a narrative but then how can a narrative be authoratative?

The answer is to look at it like a 5 Act play (of course Wright goes into more detail than I can here but it is fascinating), “I commend the five-act model to you as a creative and fresh way of understanding and using the Bible for all it’s worth. But it is of course particularly designed to explain how the great story of the Bible is designed to point us to our mission and to equip us precisely for that mission.” According to Wright, the play is not over. Christians are living through the 5th Act of the play. Ending the first section of his speech Wright asks the question, “How can scripture form us for mission in tomorrow’s world?”

I’m not going to ruin the second part. It’s worth reading and I do hope that you’ll check it out.

Here is the outline as it stands in his speech:
Introduction
Scripture and the Authority of God
Scripture as the vehicle of God’s Authority
God’s authority and God’s Kingdom
Scripture and the Story of God’s Mission
Scripture and the Task of the Church
Foundation: Bible and Culture
The Bible and Gnosticism
The Bible and Empire
Postmodernity
Conclusion

For the entire speech: The Bible and Tomorrow’s World

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