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I ordered a used copy of the book. Wright does seem like a conservative/ evangelical author, but very scholarly and well-respected by Borg, Crossan etc. I admired the one work I’ve read by him, The Meaning of Jesus.

I can read Wright and still vote Left, right? J

 

I know you were joking, but it's worth noting that Wright is anti-imperialism (anti-war on terror, promotes debt forgivesness for developing countries, etc.) and promotes social justice in most ways. He's conservative in the sense of taking the Bible as the anchor (though it is an anchor that must be carefully studied), he's against the inclusion of homosexuals in the church (marriage, ordination, etc), and he's pro-life. So, he's frustrating sometimes, but I at least have points of contact with him. It is extremely difficult to engage people who have worldviews that are fully incompatible with one's own. For example, regardless of how articulate a dominionist is, I'm unsure I would want to read a 500+ page by one.

Edited by Nick the Nevermet
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Nick,

 

My concern would be if an author (Wright in this case) allows their theology to motivate their historical analysis and conclusions. I am interested in knowledgeability and objectivity. I am not interested in apologetics or religious hostility. Looking at the reviews of this book on Amazon, which are overwhelmingly positive, and his academic background (20 years of teaching at prominent universities) he seems to have met my test.

 

George

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Nutts I wish I had read this yesterday. NT Wright was on Milt Rosenburg last night for 2 hours talking about his new book "Simply Jesus". I recorded it but the recording didn't turn out too good. I planon listening to it tonight. The podcasts are usually up in a day or two. I will post the address.

 

From what little I listened to he is a traditional christian with an open mind. I didn't hear anything to alarm me into thinking he would allow his beliefs would get in the way of objectivity.

 

steve

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My concern would be if an author (Wright in this case) allows their theology to motivate their historical analysis and conclusions. I am interested in knowledgeability and objectivity. I am not interested in apologetics or religious hostility. Looking at the reviews of this book on Amazon, which are overwhelmingly positive, and his academic background (20 years of teaching at prominent universities) he seems to have met my test.

 

Steve's description is a fair one, from what I can tell.

And while my inner-postmodernist wants to rail against the structure of this comment (objectivity can be divorced some normative belief, blah blah blah), I agree with the point. Proud assertions of moral righteousness are never a good substitute for systematic analysis. That path leads to truthiness as defined by Colbert.

 

At any rate, a quick search of youtube videos will reveal he's not some blind ranter driven by rage at the other. A while back I posted in the link forum to a conference on Wright. His speeches are very long (IIRC, one is about an hour), but if you watch 5 minutes, I think you'll have your concerns put to rest.

Edited by Nick the Nevermet
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I prefer that an author keep historical issues (Jesus was crucified dead and buried) separate from matters of faith (The third day he arose again from the dead). The former is subject to historical investigation, the latter is a matter of faith and tradition.

 

I don't object to benign statements of faith, but I do object when they are asserted as historical fact or universal truth.

 

George

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I prefer that an author keep historical issues (Jesus was crucified dead and buried) separate from matters of faith (The third day he arose again from the dead). The former is subject to historical investigation, the latter is a matter of faith and tradition.

 

I don't object to benign statements of faith, but I do object when they are asserted as historical fact or universal truth.

 

George

George, Last night in the small part I listened to he spoke of the Resurrection that Jesus was crucified as fact because it can corroborated by others not connected with the church but the matter of the resurrection he felt happened as well because he feels the movement would have stopped had he not rose from the dead. I felt he made a very clear distinction between what is historical and what is his faith.

 

As soon as the podcast is uploaded I will post it here.

 

steve

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George, Last night in the small part I listened to he spoke of the Resurrection that Jesus was crucified as fact because it can corroborated by others not connected with the church but the matter of the resurrection he felt happened as well because he feels the movement would have stopped had he not rose from the dead. I felt he made a very clear distinction between what is historical and what is his faith.

Steve, Thanks. That sounds fine to me.

 

George

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, with 5 days until the book is available on Kindle, I thought it would be a good time to do a roll call of sorts. Based on this thread, it seems like there are 3 definite people interested in the reading group:

  1. Me, serving as facilitator
  2. GeorgeW
  3. Steve / Murmsk

Additionally, there seem to be a few "Maybe" people:

  1. Mike
  2. Yvonne

Is that accurate? Anyone else interested in joining? I'm leaning on a few people in PMs, but that's private for now.

 

Also, if the book is not available on/by Monday the 21st, I'll be sending an e-mail to the publisher asking for a status update on its availability.

 

 

So... yeah. Consider this thread officially bumped :)

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I emailed the publisher the other day and asked about the Kindle version (thinking that it might 'kindle' a little urgency). I was told, "It will come soon." (Hopefully, their "soon" and ours are in the same era.)

 

Assuming market economics works, it wouldn't hurt for others to ask/encourage as well. The email address is CustomerCare@augsburgfortress.org

 

George

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Nick,

 

I think will wait (8 more days). However, if you and others would like to start, I will catch up when the Kindle version is ready. We will be traveling quite a bit during December, so carrying a Kindle would work a lot better for me.

 

George

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Waiting is fine for me; I have more time to read in December into January than I will during Thanksgiving.

 

I will be getting this for myself and reading it regardless of whether people here do (in truth, I already have a library copy). It would be nicer, however, if I'm not reading alone.

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I will be getting this for myself and reading it regardless of whether people here do (in truth, I already have a library copy). It would be nicer, however, if I'm not reading alone.

 

I plan to get it in any event as well.

 

George

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I've been thinking about it and I'll be honest -- I'll probably be participating minimally throughout this book discussion. I have nothing against the book choice, except at present I just don't think I'm personally interested enough in the historical debate surrounding the origins of Christianity, or in a long defense of any particular methodology, to get really involved in the book all the way through. I have no problem with an academic book such as this but my mind is more drawn to theology and philosophy than historical method at present. That being said, I do have access to this book, and I'll definitely keep up with the thread, and when I see something of interest I'll try to weigh in.

 

Peace,

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

If Wright's book proves an untenable choice, there were a couple of suggestions that held interest for me at least. The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition: From Plato to Denys -- but the price, as was already mentioned, is kind of steep. The Reformation also sounds engaging. Those two would get my vote.

 

Here are some books that came to mind by way of suggestion as well. I am not by any means intending to hijack this thread, but to offer suggestions perhaps for other discussions as well.

 

The New Being -- A classic series of scriptural/theological meditations/sermons by Paul Tillich.

 

On the Mystery: Discerning Divinity in Process -- A tour through process theology and more by Catherine Keller

 

The Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God -- Elizabeth Johnson explores themes in a contemporary theology

 

Adventures in Missing the Point -- Brian Mclaren and Tony Campolo dialogue in a topical exploration of the theology of the emergent church

 

Deconstructing Theodicy: Why Job Has Nothing to Say to the Puzzle of Suffering -- An interesting investigation of theodicy from an approach through comparative philosophy and religion.

 

The Dark Interval: Towards a Theology of Story -- brief, readable book by John Crossan on narrative theology

 

Myth and Ritual in Christianity - One of 'philosopher-entertainer' Alan Watt's better works, this is a look at Christianity through the lens of his understanding of the so-named perennial philosophy

 

In the Valley of the Shadow: On the Foundations of Religious Belief -- Accomplished bible scholar James Kugel offers mature reflections and thoughts on faith and religious meaning

 

Anything from the Conversations with Scripture series

 

Buddhism, Christianity, and the Question of Creation -- Representing a subject of great personal interest, this series of essays is a powerful example of Buddhist-Christian dialogue that is creative and challenging

 

Visions of God -- Karen Armstrong offers introduction and commentary on texts by four medieval Christian mystics.

 

The Theology of Paul -- biblical scholar James Dunn offers and comprehensive, academic, yet highly readable, work on Paul's theology.

 

 

Peace,

Mike

Edited by Mike
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Another book I would suggest is the book Paul Among the People by Sarah Ruden. Like what scholars like Crossan and Borg do by placing Jesus in his historical context, Sarah Ruden seeks to understand the teachings of Paul by placing him in the historical context of his pagan surroundings and she places the most controversial teachings of Paul within the context of the pagan culture that surrounded Paul and the early Christians. There's also a new book by Spong out I want to read: Reclaiming the Bible For A Non-Religious World.

Edited by Neon Genesis
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I purchased Bishop Spong's latest book several weeks ago and read it cover to cover. The Bishop knows the Bible from cover to cover and how each verse is related to other verses. This book (Reclaiming The Bible ---------) analyses the bible about as thoroughly as it can be done.

 

I have, in my personal library, every book published by Bishop Spong. His book, "Liberating The Gospels" probably tells many people more about the New Testament than they really wanted to know. He made a statement in this book ("Reclaiming ******) which supports what he told us in the previous book:

 

Page 179, 2nd ppg.: "Most Christians are not consciously aware of the fact that the gospels themselves were actually born in the synagogue and are largely shaped by the liturgical patterns of the Jews."

 

If you have any interest in scripture this is an excellent book. Bishop Spong knows the bible inside and out!

 

Hal

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