Paul: In Fresh Perspective

I’m reading through N.T. Wright’s Paul: In Fresh Perspective for my class on, you guessed it, Paul.  This is my first time reading it… I know, I’m a little late to the game.  Thus far I’ve read chapter 1 (Paul’s Word, Paul’s Legacy) and chapter 2 (Creation and Covenant) and have really enjoyed it.  I’ve been rather perplexed by Paul since our Greek reading class through Romans last semester–the more we waded through Paul’s argument the more we all came out with different opinions!  Wright has helped to clarify some ideas for me, in particular with these themes of creation and covenant, and I’m looking forward to the rest of this book as well as his new book on Paul (Paul and the Faithfulness of God) coming this November.

I could quote this book all day long, but for now a rather long sentence on the problem of sin and death:

“When we begin with creation, and with God as creator, we can see clearly that the frequently repeated warnings about sin and death, referred to as axiomatic by Paul, are not arbitrary, as though God were simply a tyrant inventing odd laws and losing his temper with those who flouted them, but structural: humans were made to function in particular ways, with worship of the creator as the central feature, and those who turn away from that worship — that is, the whole human race, with a single exception — are thereby opting to seek life where it is not to be found, which is another way of saying that they are courting their own decay and death.” (p35)