July 01, 2008

N. T. Wright on the Colbert Report: Resurrection

N. T. Wright appeared on the Colbert Report to discuss his take on resurrection, heaven, and new creation. I haven't gotten to Surprised by Hope yet, but this little clip is an entertaining way of getting at his main points. And Wright sure handles himself well. It makes for fascinating watching.

I think the main thrust of Wright's arguments are spot-on. I especially like that he is seeking to recover a new-creation thrust to the doctrine of last things, reclaiming this important facet of the biblical teaching that is often ignored in a "heaven is a great place up there" theology. Paul, among others in the Bible, obviously has a strong eschatological vision of heaven as fellowship with God (I think especially of Philippians, with its sweeping vision of a better life beyond this one), but I think this vision makes the most complete sense, and the best theological sense, when completed with a connection to resurrection and new creation. If Christ had just been glorified but not resurrected (what seems to be more in line with the thinking of someone like J. D. Crossan), then an idea of heaven as a great place up there would fit pretty well. But the resurrection is decisive for how we think, and Wright seems very good on this point.


joydriven said...

Hi, there--from a first-time reader. Should I explore further into your blog to discover what your thoughts on N.T. Wright's other writings are, or is this entry pretty representative of your take on his works overall?

James K. said...


Thanks for your comment. You're more than welcome to explore my blog, though I haven't interacted extensively with Wright. I find I greatly appreciate his scholarship, especially as it relates to Historical Jesus studies and the resurrection, though I don't agree with him at all points. I can suggest a couple posts, though, that discuss his work a bit:

On N. T. Wright and issues in Anglicanism:

On Wright's book Paul: In Fresh Perspective:

I welcome your thoughts, and thanks for reading. I'd also recommend the N. T. Wright page (http://www.ntwrightpage.com/), an unofficial Web page with tons of his writings and lectures.

And last, if you're especially interested in Wrights take on heaven, life after death, etc., Scot McKnight at JesusCreed.org is in the midst of a sermon on Heaven that will at least somewhat engage with Wright's latest book.

So it's nice to meet you, Joy. Enjoy.