Simply Jesus: Where Space, Time, and Matter collide

The star cluster Pismis 24 Stephen Hawking in his book – A Brief History of Time describes the quest to understand the universe we live in:

And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in. … if we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.

Throughout the book Hawking describes general relativity, quantum mechanics, and string theory, trying to help those of us who are not uber-physicists get a handle on how the universe works.

But Wright reminds us that the way space, time, and matter are viewed and studied today are very different than how first century Jewish people would have understood them and how they fit within them. Their worldview would center on their covenant relationship with God. Continue reading

Simply Jesus: Why other messiahs failed

In chapters 6-10 Wright has been focusing on the what question. What did Jesus say and do? What were the miracles and stories intended to communicate? The answer in a nutshell is:

God’s kingdom, God’s sovereign and saving rule, really is breaking in, on earth as in heaven.

Wright looks at the teachings of Jesus (chapter 8) and makes several observations.

  • Jesus’ stories remind his hearers that the promises of the OT are coming true now, just not in the ways they expected. (storms #2 and #3 in Wright’s Perfect Storm illustration)
  • Jesus’ stories confronted the existing “forces in power”.
  • Jesus’ stories challenged his hearers. Telling them that when God becomes king, laws are not enforced more strictly but hearts are transformed and people are remade from the inside out.

Together the miracles and stories tell us that the kingdom of God and the renewal of all things is both a present and a future reality. Continue reading

Simply Jesus: On Miracles

A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature, and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as could possibly be imagined. … Nothing is esteemed a miracle, if it ever happen in the common course of nature. … There must, therefore, be a uniform experience against every miraculous event, otherwise the event would not merit that appellation. – David Hume (On Miracles)

In chapters 6 and 7, Wright explores Jesus’ miracles and asks us to consider what they mean? Before tackling their meaning, Continue reading