Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter's Challenge to Empire (by N.T. Wright)


Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter's Challenge to Empire (by N.T. Wright)

The Cost of War

Jesus came with a job to do, to complete the work to which Israel was called. This work, from the call of Abraham onwards, was to put the human race to rights, and so to put the whole creation to rights. As the gospel writers tell the story, this task was to be accomplished by Jesus bringing about the sovereign healing rule of the creator God. Jesus was addressing the question, "What might it look like if God was running this show?" And answering, "This is what it looks like: just watch." And then, "just listen." In what he did, and in the stories he told, Jesus was announcing and inaugurating what he referred to as "the kingdom of God," the long-awaited hope that the creator God would run the whole show, on earth as in heaven.

But the problem was, and is, that other people are still running the show. Other kingdoms, other power structures, have usurped the rule of the world's wise creator, and the forces of evil are exceedingly powerful and destructive. Jesus' task of inaugurating God's kingdom therefore necessarily led him to meet those forces in direct combat, to draw upon himself their full, dark fury so as to exhaust their power and make a way through to launch the creator's project of new creation despite them. That is one clue at least to the meaning of Jesus' crucifixion...

Read the rest HERE at the God's Politics Blog.

Dr. N.T. Wright is a New Testament theologian and the Bishop of Durham in the Church of England. He is the author of many books, including Surprised by Hope, and Evil and the Justice of God. This post is adapted from his lecture "Where is God in ‘The War on Terror?'".

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