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The Last Word : Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture
From The Publisher:
“But what does Scripture say?” That question has echoed through a thousand debates in the life of the worldwide church in recent decades. All Christian churches are officially signed up to strong statements about the centrality of Scripture and its authority in their mission, life, doctrine, and discipline. But there is no agreement on what this might mean and how it might be worked out in practice.
N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham and widely respected Bible and Jesus scholar, gives new life to the old, tattered doctrine of the authority of Scripture, delivering a fresh, helpful, and concise statement on the current “battles for the Bible,” and restoring Scripture as a place to find God’s voice. Removing the baggage that the last 100 years of controversy and confusion have placed on this doctrine, he renews our confidence in the Bible, and shows that the Bible can still be an authority that guides our lives.
What do people mean when they say they believe the Bible is the "Word of God"? And why should they be at war with each other over the role of the Bible in the life of the church? Wright, an Anglican bishop and author of Jesus and the Victory of God, believes the church needs to re-examine the Bible's role in the life and piety of its people. Surveying biblical and contemporary history, he explains how the Bible, and the church's understanding of it, have been affected by the complex interplay of religion with reason, tradition, politics and culture. In true Anglican style, Wright takes a middle road between evangelical insistence on biblical inerrancy and the modernist tendency to dismiss biblical authority as an expression of "anti-intellectual pre-modernity." His final chapter, entitled "How to Get Back on Track," prescribes a path that integrates scripture more fully into the life of the church, proclaiming the Bible in such a way that it refocuses the believing community whose central focus is "the goal of God's kingdom." Wright offers sensible insights on the transforming power of God, very necessary in these times of skepticism and confusion. (Dec.)
—Publishers Weekly, Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Written by one of the leading Christian thinkers in the world today, a refreshing and accessible resource …."
—John R. Franke, Professor of Theology, Biblical Theological Seminary
"N. T. Wright opens for us a path beyond of the paralyzing polarization of "liberal" and "conservative."
—Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian
"A sane and helpful study of what it means to treat the Bible as the authoritative Word of God."
—Ben Witherington, author of The Brother of Jesus
"This wide-ranging whirlwind-tour account of Scripture channeling God’s authority…is masterly throughout."
—J. I Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College
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About the Author
N.T. Wright is Bishop of Durham and was formerly Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey and dean of Lichfield Cathedral. He taught New Testament studies for twenty years at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford Universities. Wright's full-scale work, Jesus and the Victory of God, is widely regarded as one of the most significant studies in the contemporary Third Quest of the historical Jesus. It follows The New Testament and the People of God as the second volume in his projected six-volume series entitled Christian Origins and the Question of God. Among his many published works are: The Challenge of Jesus, The Meaning of Jesus (coauthored with Marcus Borg), and What Saint Paul Really Said.
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