Sundays With St. Paul: “From Worldview to Theology”…

This is part of a series I’m writing for Near Emmaus. Feel free to read it there or read other posts by other bloggers.

With this past week being Spring Break, my Paul and the Law class didn’t have any discussion forum, which of course allowed me to watch a little more Doctor Who. It also allowed me to read a bit more from N.T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God.

Although I’m still wading through the first chapter, I found his “From Worldview to Theology” section interesting (36). Here Wright summarizes several of the terms scholars have used to discuss what Paul’s main point of emphasis was and what other points, if any, were secondary. To help illustrate his point, he shared four different diagrams:

Diagram 1
Diagram 1 (pg. 39)
Diagram 2
Diagram 2 (pg. 39)
Diagram 3
Diagram 3 (pg. 39)
Diagram 4
Diagram 4 (pg. 41)


The first is a simple collection of the terms, while the second (“classic Lutheran”) and third (“Reformed”) display which seemed to be more important and which seemed to be less important. Wright’s own diagram (the fourth one) contains all those terms into the same bubble, which he describes as a gathering together of puzzle pieces that had been separated onto several different tables. “Only when they have been brought together again in a single, initially confusing, mass can they be sorted out properly and fitted together into a more compelling, if inevitably more complex, single picture,” (44).

Given all of what has been discussed in this series thus far, what do you think of each of these diagrams? What do you think was Paul’s main focus (i.e. being “in Christ” or “the law”)? If none of these diagrams suits you, how would you rearrange them? Would you add or take anything away? And if you’ve read Wright’s book, is there anything he says that might help clarify the above arrangements?


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Cherokee / Whovian / Sherlockian / Aspiring Auror / Lover of Jesus, Scripture, and creativity / MATS Student at George Fox Seminary.

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