N.T. Wright’s update on his project:
“Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Volume IV of Christian Origins and the Question of God) combines history and theology (exegesis being a branch of both), using the worldview-analysis outlined earlier. I shall examine (i) Paul’s characteristic praxis, stories and symbols, and his answers to the key worldview questions; (ii) his theology in terms of the revision, by means of Christ and the Spirit, of the central Jewish topics of monotheism, election and eschatology. At each point we see Paul in implicit dialogue and/or confrontation both with other Jewish readings of scripture and with hellenistic and Roman ideologies. His central aim was to found and maintain united and holy Christ-communities as a sign of new humanity to the wider world.
Theologically, this demonstrates a deep inner coherence throughout Paul’s theology, reconciling otherwise puzzling topics (e.g. the classic stand-off between ‘justification’ and ‘being in Christ’), and reframing ‘ethics’ and ‘ecclesiology’ in a more central and positive role than usual. Historically, I shall reconstruct Paul’s worldview and mindset in terms of a complex but coherent relationship (part derivation, part confrontation, part creative engagement) with the multiple worlds of C1 Judaism, Hellenism and Roman imperialism.”
1. I think at first the title was planned as Paul and the Justice of God, but then for those who was familiar with Wright’s works, (God’s) justice and (covenant) faithfulness are inter-related (if not synonymous) so the change is totally understandable.
2. I hope he didn’t keep following the footsteps of J.K. Rowling, where each subsequent volume of Harry Potter series keeps getting longer than the previous one. If current trend goes on, the fourth volume will reach 1000 pages, and that’s a heck lot of words to read. I wouldn’t mind at all if he did, though.