( Epub ) ⚇ Surprised by Scripture ☦ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free

I finished this book nearly three weeks ago, but I couldn t review it until now because I hadn t transcribed all my notes yet Because there were a lot of notes Because this book is amazing.The premise is simple N T Wright tackles a variety of modern subjects like politics, feminism, and many using the Bible as a reference and, again and again, finds surprising relevance for modern problems from this ancient scripture.I don t think I could really do the themes of the book justice with a handful of quotes, but I ll do my best to summarize in my own words.1 Scientism is not new Scientism, meaning the kind of hyper rationalism of the New Atheists and the like, is in Wright s mind just the most recent form of Epicureanism Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, founded around 307 BC Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention.Wright draws a pretty straight line from there to the Enlightenment, and criticizes the philosophy as being essentially a philosophy for the privileged and also of being so myopically analytic reductive that it loses sight of greater truths He quoted Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on this one Science takes things apart to see how they work Religion puts things together to see what they mean 2 Love is the highest form of knowing This is a really big one for me because the connection between knowing and loving is a big part of the way I see the world and I think a subtle but important part of Mormon theology It definitely plays a huge role in the philosophy of Orson Scott Card, which I think is where I first got the notion.3 The historicity of scripture This was a really important one Wright s view is the one that makes the most sense to me scripture is to be taken literally when it wants to be taken literally There are two accounts of Genesis chapters 1 and 2 and they contradict on some pretty basic points like whether God created Adam or the animals first Ergo, says Wright, we re clearly not supposed to read the Creation story literally But the Resurrection of Christ, he argues persuasively, makes absolutely no sense as mere metaphor It can t be just a symbol because that doesn t fit either the textual presentation or the subsequent history This is, by far I think, the healthiest attitude to take towards scripture, and it was really refreshing coming from someone outside my faith community The lights still burn If you have read much of NT Wright nothing in this collection is likely to surprise you as it really involves the themes and perspectives he has been developing in his last few books It is, however, interesting to see him use this lens to explore a variety of topics in smaller chapters.Wright s theme throughout is how Western Christians have allowed the modern mindset of rationalistic and epicurean approaches to culture and knowledge shrink their faith into an internal personal belief disconnected from public life and history Conservative fundamentalists have attempted to lock everything down into totalistic doctrinal systems and then use that as a cudgel in the culture wars Liberals have so disconnected the faith from historical context and events, and from the specific stories of scripture, that their spiritualized, personal approaches threatens to float away into vague moralism.Wright, in contrast, wants to use what historical research might teach us, and read scripture as its authors intended rather than with the philosophical assumptions of the modern age He seeks to navigate between the fundamentalism of the right and the vague spiritualism of the left Sometimes this comes off as a nearly impossible threading the needle, or as if only Wright has tried to find this balance, but I think Wright is largely on track in that the future lies not in rejecting either history or meaning but a historically informed, culturally engaged, and story driven faith. Since falling in love with the works of N.T Wright over a year ago, I have recognized in his works how the overarching theme in all his works that with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the new creation has begun to break into our world, that God has declared himself the king of this new world, and that we as Christians are called, as his image bearers, to reflect His goodness in all things and to share the Gospel with everyone has a political dimension to it Sometimes Mr Wright has touched upon this in his recent popular works, but usually has chosen to do so in a tangential way In this book, Mr Wright begins to articulate fully how the message of the Gospel challenges the world and its underlying philosophies Mr Wright points out how modern Western pop culture, in America especially, has adopted the Epicurean thought of the Enlightenment Epicurean meaning that God, or the gods, are probably far off if they exist at all and have very little to no effect on our day to day lives, so we shouldn t worry about them at all Mr Wright ties this in with Europe s implicit and America s explicit split government and religion as well as culture s split between science and religion In this series of essays, Mr Wright makes a powerful case for taking up the thoughts of the Old Testament Jews and New Testament believers, where faith and public service were not as divided as they are today and science was used to explore the intricacies of God s created world, not used to proclaim the death of God Each chapter comes from a speech or essay that Mr Wright wrote in the past and has been edited for this book to give some thematic flow and it mostly works As with any work of collected essays speeches, this book can seem a little disjointed at times, but Mr Wright and his editors have done a fantastic job of trying to tie it all together I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know how revolutionary the message of the Gospel is even in our modern world and how the message of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is still the message that the world needs to hear. A true mixed bag Some chapters were very good, and a number of them were lame The three stars is therefore an average. ( Epub ) ♌ Surprised by Scripture ♺ A Thoughtful And Provocative Collection, In The Vein Of The Intellectual Spiritual Classic The Weight Of Glory, From N T Wright, The Influential Bishop, Bible Scholar, And Bestselling Author Widely Regarded As A Modern C S LewisAn Unusual Combination Of Scholar, Churchman, And Leader, N T Wright Hailed By Newsweek As The World S Leading New Testament Scholar Is Not Only Incredibly Insightful, But Conveys His Knowledge In Terms That Excite And Inspire Christian Leaders Worldwide, Allowing Them To See The Bible From A Fresh Viewpoint In This Challenging And Stimulating Collection Of Popular Essays, Sermons, And Talks, Wright Provide A Series Of Case Studies Which Explore How The Bible Can Be Applied To Some Of The Most Pressing Contemporary Issues Facing UsHelpful, Practical, And Wise, Surprised By Scripture Invites Readers To Examine Their Own Hearts And Minds And Presents New Models For Understanding How To Affirm The Bible In Today S World As Well As New Ideas And Renewed Energy For Deepening Our Faith And Engaging With The World Around Us Intellectually overwhelming while presenting one question yet answering another in just about every chapter There were plenty of worthwhile components to this assembly of talks given by Wright It would be a 3.5 for me overall but Goodreads doesn t do half stars I came away wanting conclusive thoughts. A collection of essays in which N T Wright tackles contemporary issues through the lens of scripture Most of the essays were worthwhile reading Some of the issues include ordaining women, science and religion, politics, art and the apocalyptic, and others As is typical of Wright, he weaves the theological and philosophical foundations that undergird popular culture and society and addresses them through the Christian faith s emphasis that Jesus has fundamentally changed history and the world As such, it calls for us to live out resurrection. Definitely one of Wright s least helpful books, in my opinion, but not because the content is ultimately bad Rather, almost every essay here has been covered in a monograph length work outside of this volume Some essays even say that the current essay was directly adapted from another book There is a lot of helpful information here, and if you re not well read in Wright s literature, you will learn a lot from reading this book If you want bite sized previews of other books, this one would be a good choice But if you re interested in learning the ins and outs of his theology, I recommend reaching for at least a full length, even popular level, book. This is a collection of essays speeches on various topics Wright revamped for book form The uniting theme of the book is the way Enlightenment thought has permeated modern Western culture and subtly affected thinking in regards to science, religion, and politics in ways many do not realize Wright addresses many sticky contemporary issues and challenges Christians to not just accept common thought, but really try to figure out what the God of the Bible thinks on these issues.As each chapter related to a different topic and was originally directed at different audiences, I found them to vary in the way they got me thinking and how much I got out of them But they definitely all got me thinking Some of the essays felt very heady and the conclusions for some particularly the science ones felt so deep as to be a bit vague Others I found highly readable and on point, especially those on politics and engaging modern culture And others I felt like I had already read which is my fault since I have already read Simply Jesus and I m in the middle of Wright s exhaustive tome on the resurrection A very good read if you want to address some of the blind spots of Western culture and subtle negative ways Enlightenment thought has influenced modern culture Feel free to skip around and just read the essays of most interest to you They are in no specific order, and I felt that some of the best were toward the end. Short Review variety of articles bundled together in a new book On the whole, these are mostly issues that Wright has dealt with fully in his full length books But there are a couple of issues that are either new or better dealt with here, particularly his chapter on Women in Ministry and his take on Epicureanism Because of Wright s style long narrative to explain why many traditional readings are missing the actual point of the issues because of a lack of understanding of the original writer s , readers or culture these shorter 15 20 page chapters means that he spends a lot of time referring the reader to his books for a fuller picture.It is not that this is a bad book, just that if you have read a lot of Wright as I have then you will be disappointed that these shorter takes are less helpful than his longer works If I had the option, I would give it a 3.5 stars Click through for the full review on my blog