The Rt. Rev. Wright doesn’t mince words, does he?

May 23, 2013

wright on bible reading

When we Christians think of salvation, we often think it means “going to heaven” when we die. Isn’t this the way we often—or usually—speak of it? This Sunday I’m preaching on heaven. Sort of. With the qualification that  “heaven” refers to that place where heaven and earth—a transformed earth—become one on the other side of resurrection. If that’s what heaven is, however, then salvation means much more than we usually think. N.T. Wright puts it this way:

And if God’s good creation—of the world, of life as we know it, of our glorious and remarkable bodies, brains, and bloodstreams—really is good, and if God wants to reaffirm that goodness in a wonderful act of new creation at the last, then to see the death of the body and the escape of the soul as salvation is not simply slightly off course, in need of a few subtle alterations and modifications. It is totally and utterly wrong. It is colluding with death. It is conniving at death’s destruction of God’s good, image-bearing human creatures while consoling ourselves with the (essentially non-Christian and non-Jewish) thought that the really important bit of ourselves is saved from this wicked, nasty body and this sad, dark world of space, time, and matter! As we have seen, the whole of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, speaks out against such nonsense. It is, however, what most Western Christians, including most Bible Christians of whatever sort, actually believe.[†]

N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope (New York: HarperOne, 2008), 194-5.

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