An (open) N.T. Wright Question

Wright places considerable weight on his thesis that the Gospel is very much an anti-imperial polemic/attack/rhetoric. Does this thesis hold up to close scrutiny?

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2 thoughts on “An (open) N.T. Wright Question

  1. Joel April 23, 2014 / 3:53 pm

    Sort of – I think the “subversion of empire” stuff in general makes a lot of good points but easily gets carried away with itself. You have to slant pretty hard with readings of the Gospels that make imperialism the central theme – but at the same time, the empire is there and is sometimes criticized. And I can buy that there is an implicit critique in the epistles at times – but again, really not the central concern of Paul et al. Revelation, however. does attack Rome pretty directly if you reject dispensational/hyper-preterist readings. I would say that Romans 13/”render unto Caesar” and Revelation’s portrait of Babylon the Great have to be held in tension when we think about the Gospel and earthly governments. But I’m just a layman.

    And NT Wright’s talk of “theocracy” is one of his weaker points (and I like him) and borders on dangerous – I’m not sure if even he knows what that looks like in practice.

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    • whitefrozen April 23, 2014 / 5:05 pm

      Good thoughts – what interests me is the lack of interest in the subject by non-theologians. I don’t if I’ve ever seen any treatment on criticisms of empire in the New Testament from a sociological/historical perspective.

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