The Christian Challenge to Empire

God in Public: How the Bible Speaks Truth to Power Today, by N. T. Wright

Continuing on my journey of the necessity of Christian cultural foundations if liberty is the objective….

There is much in Wright’s work on this topic regarding theology; as you know, I try not to bring this into the discussion.  I look at Christianity as it was foundational to the liberties present in Western Civilization (and absent virtually everywhere else); I look at the Church (or churches, in our fractured era) as institutionally both large enough and with the right message – well, the right message if they would actually utilize the Gospels instead of the state-worshipping talking points.  It is with this in mind that I work through Wright’s essays.

Wright suggests that Christians who look for a future of glory are missing their calling today; this is because they misunderstand the meaning of the Resurrection.  My concern here is not a theological interpretation of the resurrection; my concern is liberty, therefore the call for Christian leaders to act today, in this world:

…God’s life-giving power is unleashed in works of justice and mercy and healing and beauty and hope already, in the present.  The Gnostic, like the fundamentalist, can never understand why we Christians are called to work for justice and health in the present world, but with the resurrection there is no question.  Of course we are.

God in Public: How the…
N. T. Wright
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I can’t say much about the Gnostics, but regarding the fundamentalists: After the resurrection, Jesus sent his disciples out into the world.  He did not call for them to pray for rapture and Armageddon; urge unconditional…

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