Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Quote from N.T. Wright

Perhaps it's dangerous to be quoting N.T. Wright here. After all, that could get me pegged as one of those weirdos on the fringes of Christianity. Suffice it to say that I don't know enough about Bishop Wright to be able to defend or critique him. However, when I run across a good quote, I'll always steal it. So, a little reminder about the nature of the Kingdom from Bishop Wright:
But the cooling of ardour which some have embraced as a virtue, leaving room for tolerance, for generosity of heart and mind, for openness to fresh truth – that is all very well when you apply it, as we have often done, in the world precisely of private opinion. But when you are in Caesar’s world, where truth comes out of the barrel of a gun, or in his day the sheath of a sword, tolerance can simply be a fancy name for cowardice. The claim that ‘Jesus is Lord’ was never, in the first century, what we would call a religious claim pure and simple. There was no such thing as religion pure and simple. It was a claim about an ultimate reality which included politics, culture, commerce, family life and everything else you could think of. And if you stop saying ‘Jesus is Lord’ out of deference to the private opinions of your friends and neighbours, Caesar smiles his grim smile and extends his empire by one more street. After all, the great eighteenth-century virtue of tolerance was developed not least by those who were keen on extending their geographical or industrial empires, and who didn’t want God breathing down their necks to stop them. Keep religion in the private sphere and we’ll run the public square. And to that idea Luke says a clear No; and so must we.
Emphasis is mine. Source:


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