In this revised and expanded edition of The Last Word, Wright, Bishop of Durham, one of the preeminent Bible scholars of our day and author of such beloved works as After You Believe and Simply Christian, 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 hundred years of controversy and confusion have placed on this doctrine, he renews listeners' confidence in the Bible and explains that the Bible can still be a guide for their lives. This updated version includes two new case studies, taking a closer look at what it means to keep the Sabbath holy, and examining how Christians can defend marital monogamy in modern society.
©2011 N.T. Wright (P)2011 christianaudio.com
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
Scripture and The Authority of God is a reworking of a 2005 book, The Last Word and I think is the most accessible and best book of Wright’s that I have read.
The basic thesis of this book is that the authority of scripture is completely dependent on the authority of God. So there is no separate authority of scripture apart from God. This seems fairly uncontroversial, but it is important. The book opens with a fairly long discussion about how we currently understand scripture. This necessarily involves a discussion of the enlightenment, modernism, post-modernism and a variety of other subjects. It is not a wasted discussion and while it may be a little repetitive for people that are fairly conversent with Wright and with his line of thinking, it really cannot be skipped.
The next section is a long discussion of what it means for scripture to have authority and then how we should and should not read scripture. This center section is really the meat of the book. This is the section where I was most impressed and most convicted that the Evangelical world in general, and I in specific, do not spend enough time or effort in scripture itself. Evangelicals like to talk about scripture and we often read it, but we do not often really study and allow scripture to change us. Wright believes that while personal reading of scripture is very important, scripture needs to be the center of our corporate worship. I know my church, and many Evangelical churches, no longer have focused scripture reading. The sermons attempt to be scripture explication, but extended readings of scripture (more than 90 seconds) are just not a part of the average worship service.
The last section is entirely new to this edition of the book. Wright takes Sabbath and the idea of monogamy within marriage as models to help the reader learn how to appropriately read scripture and submit to its authority. (Longer review on my blog at bookwi.se)
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