A Reformation & Revival Journal Interview with N. T Wright: Part Two -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 11:2 (Spring 2002)
Article: A Reformation & Revival Journal Interview with N. T Wright: Part Two
Author: Anonymous

A Reformation & Revival Journal Interview with N. T Wright: Part Two

In this issue we conclude the interview Travis Tamerius conducted with N. T. Wright in Washington, DC, in November, 2001. Tom Wright is one of the freshest voices within orthodox evangelical Christian thought today and is a major contributor to both the study of the historical Jesus and the theology of the New Testament. He is an unusual academic theologian because he is comfortable in the work of the parish as well as in the world of academic New Testament study. He serves as canon theologian of Westminster Abbey in London.

RRJ — You have one foot in the church and one foot in the academy. How does your participation in the liturgy of the church shape your study and how does your historical study shape your participation in the worship of the church?

NTW — Well, I am a lifelong Anglican, though I wobbled once or twice as a student and wondered whether I should be somewhere else. I just find so many bedrock reasons for

where I am that I can’t imagine what it would be like not worshipping day by day in this style. When I am on the road and away from the community I try to remodel it somehow. It’s not so easy to do in a hotel room. The regular reading of Scripture, within the context and framework of prayer, helps me know that as I do this my brothers and sisters are praying the same way and thus I’m still part of that community on the other side of the Atlantic.

Evangelicals have usually dismissed this but liturgy has something to do with modeling the way God puts the world to rights and then glimpsing it in the dramatic action of both the Eucharist and the morning and evening prayer in the Anglican tradition. These are really such simple things. It includes a reading from the Old Testament, a reading from the New Testament, and it is all framed and flanked with prayer and Scriptural responses. It’s pretty much the Bible from start to finish. The bits that are not Bible are the creed and some of the key prayers and collects that are all cloaked in Scripture. There’s a sort of a liturgical time and space here. When you step into this you are glimpsing the way God actually intends the world to be and envisioning it in a powerful sense. This is actually what I think Revelation 4 and 5 are all about. The elders are casting their crowns before the throne. This is the heavenly reality that corresponds to the church worshipping on earth. This is not a vision of the future. This is a vision of the spiritual depth of the present.

Again and again, I come back from the details of...

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