Chris Wright Posts
August 13, 2012 by Jason Hood
A few quotes on the book of Job:
In [Job] suffering is a basic reality rooted in a mystery.
Somehow, in God’s design, there is, within the boundaries of the cosmos, chaotic energy, which from the human perspective is mysterious, inexplicable, and traumatic; this chaos is hostile to life. For reasons unknown, God does not eliminate the chaos but sets boundaries to it.
Thus, God says to the sea, “You proud waves”—there’s arrogance and defiance in the imagery of the sea—“thus far and no farther!” Within the ordered universe of God, there is a place for floods, fires, and hurricanes, but they are always bounded.
Bruce Waltke, Old Testament Theology, 12.
When God does come to Job in the whirlwind, it is not to convince him that God really does have reasons (although it may, in fact, do this); it is instead to still the tempest in his soul, to quiet him, to restore his trust for God. The Lord gives Job a glimpse of his greatness, his beauty, his splendid goodness; the doubts and turmoil disappear and are replaced, once more, by love and trust.
Alvin Plantinga, Warranted Christian Belief, 497-8.
I can’t imagine how this makes sense, in a world where God is good; but I can imagine a world where it will all make sense.
Christopher J. H. Wright, The God I Don’t Understand
We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
James 5:11 (NAS)
July 15, 2012 by Jason Hood
One of the many great features in Zondervan’s Biblical Theology for Life series are the wonderful sidebars sprinkled throughout the texts. Here’s one gem from Chris Wright’s volume on mission:
I was leading a Langham Preaching seminar in Argentina. Over breakfast I was chatting with teh main organizer of the event–the leader of the national movement. I commended three men in particular who were helping to lead and teach during the seminar–all of them Argentinian Christians in secular professions, but committed to Bible teaching. My friend immediately said, “yes, they are good preachers, but that’s not all. They are good husbands, good fathers, and good citizens.” I asked her why she included the last item. “Because,” she said, “they are committed to staying here in Argentina, not trying to get to the United States. They are honest, they work hard and they pay their taxes. They are a blessing to our country.” That’s authentic, biblical, Abrahamic, Pauline, integral mission in the public square.
The Mission of God’s People, 2340 Comments
May 22, 2012 by Jason Hood
It is perhaps some relief that a book which for so many people is somewhat inaccessible . . . at least has a structure which is easy to grasp. It is a structure which reflects . . . the core theological truth of biblical faith: judgment precedes grace.
As it was for Israel in exile, so it is for us and all people: we have to hear and accept the bad news about the reality of our sin and the terribleness of God’s just reaction to it, before we can respond with joy and gratitude to the good news of God’s incredible mercy, grace and purposes for ourselves and for his world. This is the message of Ezekiel…
Chris Wright, The Message of Ezekiel, 42.0 Comments
September 20, 2011 by Jason Hood
Part of finding Jesus in the OT is noting the way in which his approach to God’s law reflects that found in the OT. Notice what’s happening in these verses quoted by Chris Wright (taken from Psalm 119:57-64):
You are my portion, O LORD; I have promised to obey your words.
I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.
I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
The earth is filled with your love, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
“[T]he Psalmist interweaves his wonder at the promise, the grace, the goodness, love and salvation of God with his determination to live according to God’s law. He delights in the law because it enables him to please the God he loves.
There is much in the life and teaching of Jesus which reflects the ethos of Psalm 119 - a Psalm which rejoices in the law, but rejoices more in the richness of relationship with God himself which is then expressed through diligent obedience.”
Christopher J. H. Wright, Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament, 194-5.1 Comment
September 2, 2011 by Jason Hood
Chris Wright, in his very useful commentary on Deuteronomy (NIBC), comments on the “missiological significance” of Deuteronomy (page 8):
Deuteronomy is a book for people on the move, literally at first, spiritually and morally thereafter. It sets Israel on the boundary of the land and looks beyond that boundary to what lies in store for Israel as it moves into the future with God.
Furthermore, it is a book addressed in the name of a God on the move–Yahweh, the God who has been dramatically involved in Israel’s past movements, and indeed also in the movements of other nations on the great chessboard of history.
It presents, therefore, a God of sovereign worldwide purpose and a people with a sharp spiritual mandate and moral agenda.
Earlier Wright fleshes out some of the dynamics between God’s mission and our mission:
[T]he detailed requirements of God on Israel are all founded upon the grace of God manifested in their history. This is not only a structural matter but is also reflected in the way the very vocabulary of Israel’s response to Yahweh in chapters 12-26 mirrors that of Yahweh’s actions toward Israel in chapters 1-11. This [is the] priority of grace and divine action within the covenant framework…