No time for blogging this week. We had a home inspection to attend to for one thing. (You gotta love that. They take these kids away from their drug addicted, abusive/neglectful parents, set the bar really low for their eventual return, but my wife and I go through rigorous, continual training and open our home to inspections by people we don’t even know after raising a whole family and launching our own into college and the military! I mean, I get it, but only just barely!!!) Anyway, the shoring up of deficiencies (and I mean nit-picky stuff!) takes a lot of time, energy, and focus.
But also, and even more importantly, Mrs. Agent X bought me the new N.T. Wright book for my birthday. And I really can’t tear myself away from it. Sorry, I am a slow reader – especially with two infants to care for in the mix. But this book ROX! I highly recommend it. It is a study in reconsidering the atoning death of Jesus and what that really means for us and for the creation. Wright strips away all pie-in-the-sky, dualistic/Platonic theology, and challenges the whole “works contract” (as he terms it) idea that there are two competing ways of getting to heaven: 1) live by the strict moral code perfectly or 2) Jesus lives by it perfectly and then takes God’s arbitrary punishment in your place.
These two ideas are common in modern, Western Christianity and require a lot of unlearning so that we can finally understand what the Bible is really about and how the death of Jesus actually achieves God’s goals for his creatures and creation within the story/context of the Scriptures. If you are not already familiar with these challenges, I expect you would not want to read the book, and would probably resist its message. On the other hand, if you want to be challenged with actual Scripture and not just pop-religion, this book is definitely for you.