Scripture and the Authority of God by N.T. Wright

I am a big fan of N.T. Wright and he has had a big impact on my faith and approach to faith. So when I saw Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today on sale for $3 on Kindle I scooped it up.

Here is a rather lengthy synopsis:

Scripture & Authority“But what does scripture say?”

That question has echoed through a thousand debates in the life of the worldwide church. All churches have officially endorsed strong statements about the centrality of scripture and its authority in their mission, life, doctrine, and discipline. But there is no agreement on what this might mean or how it might work in practice. Individuals and churches struggle with how to respond to issues such as war, homosexuality, and abortion, and especially how to interpret biblical passages that discuss these topics. These disagreements often serve to undermine our confidence in the authority of the Bible.

Bishop and Bible scholar N. T. Wright delivers a new model for how to understand the place of scripture and God’s authority in the midst of religious confusion. Wright gives new life to the old, tattered doctrine of the authority of scripture, delivering a fresh, helpful, and concise statement on how to read the Bible today, restoring scripture as a place to find God’s voice.

In this revised and expanded edition of the previously titled book The Last Word, Wright provides two case studies that delve into what it means to keep Sabbath and how Christians can defend marital monogamy. These studies offer not only bold biblical insights but also showcase Wright’s new model for how to interpret scripture and restore its role as the church’s main resource for teaching and guidance. Removing the baggage that the last 100 years of controversy and confusion have placed on this doctrine, Wright renews our confidence in the Bible and shows how it can once again serve as the living Word of God for our lives.

I found it to be an interesting and thought-provoking look at the subject of the authority of scripture. Wright gives a history of Christian thinking on scripture and its authority down through the ages; comparing and contrasting approaches and arguing for his own.

I read this in fits and spurts and I feel like I need to go back and re-read it to get greater clarity. But, not surprisingly given my appreciation for Wright, I think Wright is correct to see the proper approach in narrative and context within the church as the people of God. Anyone wrestling with the place of scripture in the life of the church and in the wider world would do well to read this book. 

Those looking for more of Wright’s views on scripture can check out the newly released Surprised by Scripture: Engaging Contemporary Issues which I hope to be able to read soon.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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