The Work of the People

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What Tom Doesn't Know


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NT Wright on what questions he asking.


  1. Wright answers that he does not know “thousands of things,” but “the reward for getting one answer is three more questions.” This makes life exciting. What is the benefit of not having all the answers? How does not knowing help us to seek answers? 
  2. Wright continues to speak of the notion of sacrifice. Usually, when Christians think of sacrifice there is a tendency to “collapse the notion of sacrifice into some version of penal substitutionary atonement.”How might a more robust view of sacrifice be helpful in understanding the Old Testament and therefore God’s work in the world? More broadly, how might Christians use scholarship to explore difficult questions of the faith?

1. The notion of “penal substitutionary atonement” interprets Christ’s work on the cross as substitution for our deserved punishment. Jesus’ death was a sacrifice that appeased God’s wrath. This is a version of “substitutionary” atonement emphasized by Reformed theologians and is also known as the “forensic” theory. It is an expansion of Anselm of Canterbury’s (11th century) “satisfaction theory.”

Questions written by Phuc Luu.


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