Monday, March 24, 2008

The World Ruled by a Death-Proof King

The fine edges of N.T. Wright's stuff on the atonement may be less sharp than others', but his stuff on the resurrection is better than anybody else's. Case in point: his doorstop-slash-book The Resurrection of the Son of God.
Wright's continuing call for a more biblical cosmology is not just reforming the way we view heaven, but revolutionizing the way we live our lives in the light of the kingdom that is "at hand."

Here's a quote from Wright's new book Surprised by Hope (HT: Darryl Dash):
The resurrection of Jesus offers itself, to the student of history or science no less than the Christian or theologian, not as an odd event within the world as it is but as the utterly characteristic, prototypical, and foundational event within the world as it has begun to be. It is not an absurd event within the old world but the symbol and starting point of the new world. The claim advanced by Christianity is of that magnitude: Jesus of Nazareth ushers in not simply a new religious possibility, not simply a new ethic or a new way of salvation, but a new creation....

We could cope – the world could cope – with a Jesus who ultimately remains a wonderful idea inside his disciples; minds and heart. The world cannot cope with a Jesus who comes out of the tomb, who inaugurates God’s new creation right in the middle of the old one.

The resurrection, like the cross, is a scandal. But it's a beautiful one. The resurrection retroactively verifies the kingdom reality Jesus taught and lived in his 3 years of ministry and it effectively sets in motion the "rapidly gradual" invasion of the new heavens and new earth.

Now that sin is killed and death is conquered -- now that real life is the kingdom reality ruled by a death-proof king -- what ramifications might this have on the way we view just about everything?
Shouldn't it move us in ways deeper and more fulfilling than sports, music, art, movies? Shouldn't it imbue our work, our play, our pain, our desires, our dreams with more resonance, more meaning, more hope?

Sin has no power any more. Death is dead.

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