What on earth is Tom Wright on about?

Here’s another quote from the forthcoming book of the great NT Wright (biblical scholar and evangelical Christian). Am I the only one to see a problem here? Wright says that after Jesus died, the actual terrestrial world we live in was completely changed, “radically”, he says. Heaven and earth are somehow brought together. Yet if we look at the world around us, our planet is much the same as it was before, during, and after, the time of Jesus. In fact it is much worse. The forces of evil stalk the world: famine, oppression, disease,  environmental degradation and so on. What on earth is Wright on about? Is it religious hyperbole? Perhaps a Christian can explain.


Categories: Bible, Christianity, God, History

13 replies

  1. Have things changed in that, despite all the pain and suffering evident in the world, God has now reached out in love to the world through the death of Christ, and through the ongoing redemptive work of the proclamation of the Gospel by the church? I’m not sure I see the problem.

    I wouldn’t say the world is ‘much’ worse – indeed, I would be tempted to say it is better, probably significantly so. While the world is full of evil, I would still suspect that the average life is happier, longer and healthier. I studied this a little a while ago, and I would say things are getting better, despite the news headlines.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks.

      I’m not sure how in the light of two world wars, mass abortion on demand, and an imminent environmental crisis (global warming) we can be too complacent about our modern situation.

      I would say the evil we face is unprecedented in human history.


    • There is one problem though.

      God has now reached out in love to the world through the death of Christ, and things have changed fundamentally through the ongoing redemptive work of the proclamation of the Gospel by the church.

      Heaven and earth are brought together, creating the cosmic “new temple”. God was reconciling the world to himself in the Messiah.

      And then He lets Islam happen… Mr. Wright’s God must have strange sense of humour.

      Liked by 1 person

    • In response to Paul

      The Two World Wars were horrific, but I’m not sure if collectively they killed more on the earth than other periods of mass wars, or even the accumulation of local wars. Additionally, I have heard that the influenza epidemic of 1918 killed more than WW1. This perhaps shows how mass casualties are (tragically) a regular part of human existence.

      While the death toll in the World Wars were horrific, I wonder if many of the deaths were quicker and more humane than in ancient battles – I would rather be captured by the British or Germans than the ancient Assyrians (admittedly I hear the Japanese camps were horrific).

      I consider mass abortion on demand to be horrific – yet I believe such an abortion culture, yea even infanticide culture, was common in ancient Rome.

      The environmental one is interesting – it could prove to be worse than anything we have seen so far, yet I am not sure. Even admitting human-caused global warming, I’m not sure if it’s effects will be worse than the benefits of the carbon-related activities that cause it (and I mean for third world development, not just rich westerners).

      Anyway I don’t know much about this topic – but I saw and flicked through an interesting book a while ago, with lots of charts and statistics about how, on average, things are getting better.

      In response to Burhanuddin1

      God has always allowed kingdoms and movements to rise and fall that are not his people. The book of Revelation explicitly says that God will allow false movements to come and mislead many, etc. It’s not always clear why God does these things, but I would say it fits with the Biblical model of what God does/allows in the world.

      Blessings (probably won’t reply again due to time constraints)


  2. A priest and Christian theologian friend of mine just emailed me this in response to my post about Tom Wright’s new book:

    Well be assured many Christians are baffled by this talk as well!

    It’s a sort of cross of Star Wars and Grand Designs

    I find by 6 pm on Fridays, after I’ve watched the news I’m ready for a glass of wine; generally this seems to work quite well. Then when I watch Channel 4 news at 7 everything seems much more manageable!


    I’d recommend the writings of the late, the Right Reverend David Jenkins, formerly Bishop of Durham and in particular his book “The Contradiction of Christianity” Like many of us Christians he believes Jesus was born, lived and died as a human…like the rest of us, wherein lies our hope.


    Liked by 3 people

  3. Some say that at 6pm on that fateful day, pork ceased to be unclean

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Does NT Wright Believe that Jesus Christ claimed to be God?


  5. Mr. Wright is probably after a lucrative Hollywood deal. “The Day the Revolution began”. Wow. Blockbuster potential. Lead Christian Bale?

    Liked by 2 people

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