This is NT Wright’s argument for the central importance of the resurrection. I guess the most commented on issue thus far has been his assertion that heaven is the interim place we go after death – into the conscious presence of God – prior to the resurrection into our renewed bodies and return to the renewed earth. It’s an excellent and accessible treatment of serious theology.
I also appreciated the fact that, like Scot McKnight’s A Community Called Atonement, Wright handled high theology with a deft hand, and without neglecting the critical ‘so-what?’ question. The last two chapters make a stab at the practical, this-worldly significance of his thinking. I wish more theologians did this as well as these guys do.
Couple of things though. I wondered sometimes whether he was tackling straw men in the form of the liberal and fundamentalist positions he set up. I know that at the extremes of both, they do exist, I just wonder whether they merit the attention of such a fine theologian.
Secondly, I got the sense, much like in McKnight’s book, that these men were really struggling to capture their thinking in reasonably sized, non-daunting books. Time and time again Wright says effectively, ‘I’ve only space for a brief treatment here’ or ‘I cover this in more detail in ….’. This was a little frustrating at times, particularly in his treatment of the ‘black sheep’ doctrine of the Ascension. He opened the door there, teased me with a peek inside then referred me elsewhere. I wanted more.
Nevertheless, this is a great read, and frequently, really inspiring.