n.t. wright on the whole kit and kaboodle

October 26, 2008

The whole creation will be set free from its bondage to decay, to share the liberty of the glory of the children of God. And are you and I not going to work for that in the present? We won’t build the Kingdom of God by our own efforts in the present; it remains God’s gift by his grace and by his power. But we can produce signs of the Kingdom in love and justice and beauty and healing and fresh community work of all sorts, internationally, locally, all over the place. And thereby celebrate the whole biblical story, the whole biblical story.

–N.T. Wright, The Christian Challenge in the Postmodern World

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6 Responses to “n.t. wright on the whole kit and kaboodle”

  1. Alamanach Says:

    “And are you and I not going to work for that in the present? We won’t build the Kingdom of God by our own efforts in the present; it remains God’s gift by his grace and by his power.”

    OK, your blog is aptly titled. Help me out with this, because I’m in the middle of trying to write a big long blog entry on hope, and I’m still wrestling with the subject.

    It seems to me that we don’t work so much for our salvation– we are saved by grace. But isn’t God’s kingdom a different matter? There will be a new heaven and a new earth and we are a part of it, are we not? Our actions do count toward something in the building of that kingdom, don’t they? Please help.

  2. jt Says:

    Writing a post on hope? Hmm … a tough one. (Wish I felt I had something profound to say.)

    One small thought: I’ve been starting to believe that “hoping” is something really quite distinct from “wishing.” I think I used to get those two confused. (To hope was, to me, to muster up my deepest desire for a thing to happen or be. Now, I’d more likely place that in the category of wish.)

    Because of Christ, it seems to me that hoping is something more robust and sure (than a “deep desire within”). It’s linked up (somehow?) with a residing belief that, in the end — maybe in ways I’d never imagined? — Ultimate Good will, in fact, win-out. God’s redemption is underway … really.

    I think Wright does a good job of teasing out some of the ways we’ve been invited to live into this (kind of) hope. Though, I think I’m only beginning to flirt with the implications. Best of luck on your post; I hope to read it …

  3. Alamanach Says:

    You’re right, hope is more than wishing, because hope moves us to act. Hope often gets confused with faith. Faith is a special trust we place in God that He will keep His promises and things will turn out as they should. Hope is a special trust we place in our own efforts, that they will do some good. There are two ways in which hope can fail; one can fall prey to presumption or despair, both of which cause a person not to act.

    The thing we are hoping for is the Kingdom of God. By now I’ve read further in your blog, and I see where Wright draws a distinction between building the Kingdom of God and building ~for~ the Kingdom of God. I’m glad I’ve had that subtlty pointed out to me, and I think that gets me back on track.

  4. jt Says:

    “Hope is trust in our own efforts; that they will do some good.”

    Interesting take. I will be thinking about this. (And now all the more eager to read your fuller treatment.)

  5. Alamanach Says:

    It might be a while; I tend to be slow in updating my blog. But I’ll leave you a link once it’s up. Thanks for having this blog; though you weren’t aware of it, you’ve helped me find a good starting place for what I want to say on my hope post.


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