Building on his 2004 Hulsean Lectures, Wright sheds new light on Paul---his world, legacy, and theology. The Bishop of Durham discusses the apostle's Jewish roots, attitude toward the Roman Empire, and experience of the risen Christ; and summarizes the main theological contours of Paul's thought---monotheism, election, and eschatology---and their relevance for the contemporary church. 195 pages, softcover from Fortress.
Tom Wright has been responsible for many 'fresh' and invaluable insights into Jesus, Paul, and a host of other biblical concerns, and his ability to present the fruits of his studies in the full spectrum from tomes that will have you visiting the physiotherapist if you pick them up too quickly, to shorter, more compact and accessible forms (as in the case of this book) means that his work can be enjoyed by a much wider group within the church. One refreshing aspect of 'theologizing' that he has offered to the world that is often overlooked is his ability to focus more on the direction of his work than merely the conclusion. He openly and honestly admits often that he is in process on many issues himself; he has referred to some of his major works as 'What I think I think about ___'; and has quipped that he mentions to his students that a percentage of what he has taught them is probably wrong, but he is unsure which percentage it is. What the church DOESN'T need is more stroppily dogmatic flags prematurely cemented into the ground and then defended to the death; Tom encourages his readers to follow him as he explores Truth, to fall in love with the idea that our imperfect grasp of that Truth can always be tweaked and reevaluated ... that excitement of discovery can belong to every generation in the Christian church. This book is a good example of how Wright can make a well-studied area (Paul and his theology) seem exciting, fresh and new.
N.T. Wright ushers in the much needed revolution of biblical thought for the 21st century. His "Fresh Perspective" on Paul will definitely incite rebuke among those who are committed to reformed theology. Wright offers the church an amazing gift of original Pauline thought. His claims are consistent with what we know of 1st century Judaism and his scholarship brings together the Old and New Testaments. God's covenantal faithfulness is at last fully displayed through Jesus the Messiah. Wright causes his readers to rethink ekklesia and presses them to view the problem of evil in an entirely different manner. What is God doing about evil? He is setting apart a people for himself. Because of the Messiah... this set apart people is accomplishing God's purpose for creation and displaying to the world he keeps his promises! This book will for sure be one of the most influential writings of the 21st century.