Friday, November 18, 2005

The Lordship of Jesus and the Empires of the World

Some talking points from Wright's lecture:

  1. The problem of postmodernity within empire and empire within postmodernity. (Postmodern criticism doesn't succeed against empire, but colludes with it.)

  2. The Lordship of Jesus against the lordship of Caesar.

  3. How can we be people of New Creation within postmodernity, within empire?

Wright said some fascinating things last night and it was difficult to scribble notes fast enough, but I would like to share a couple of items. Though Wright believes that Christians must go through postmodernity (rather than stay in modernity), he believes we ought to punch through to the other side. In modernity, the I carved up the world as it saw fit. It distanced itself from God - God became something I did in my solitude and had no part in the rest of my life. Modernity's hamartia, or flaw, is the problem of evil. And postmodernity's God-appointed task is to preach the Fall to modernity. But we also need redemption from the Fall.

  1. Empire actually co-opts postmodernity's critique by turning, or spinning, postmodernity against itself. In other words, as postmodernity speaks truth to empire, empire simply says to postmodernity, "What is truth?" So postmodernity fails in its critique of empire.

  2. God's "new" way of knowing is love. Love celebrates the other as well as the close relationship. All knowing should partake of the model of love.

  3. The metanarrative, or big story, of modernism is pulled down by postmodernity. But underneath both is God's story: love, Jesus, New Creation. And God's story is not a power story, but a love story. It reached its climax in Jesus and is waiting to be implemented through us in the power of the Holy Spirit. The vocation of love, therefore, is the appropriate Christian critique of empire.

3 comments:

Jamie Dawn said...

That was a head spinner. The final point #3 makes sense to me. My feeble mind can't take too much high thinking at a time. I understand the story of love though, and I agree with that last point.

Phil said...

Any chance that there will be MP3s of the lectures?

Scott said...

Phil, I hope they post it at ntwrightpage.com, but they haven't yet. I would like to listen to them again - I just couldn't keep up with the notes.

Jamie, a lot of it is a head spinner because I've ripped only several points out of context. It's much easier to understand when you hear it, much better explained, by Tom Wright.