colbert and n.t. wright
Welp, now having searched, I now realize this was new in the theology blogging world last week, but I just last night happened to stop to watch the The Colbert Report (silent "t") and was surprised to hear that his guest was biblical scholar and Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright.The interview itself was typical of Stephen Colbert: the only promise to guests is that they get the picture of their book on-screen: no expectation that they'll be able to get a rational sentence out without Stephen jumping in with comments about Republican heroes. But Wright did rather well, able to hit the one main point that he's been hitting for a little while now: that a Christian conception of heaven as the soul floating off to another place is not Biblical. Instead, Wright emphasized that the final stage after this creation is the "new heavens and new earth." (transcript by Jake Bouma)It's a point that originally heard from J.R. Woodward, and have further heard from Wright and others, and one I'm fairly certain I've come to agree with, in my slow progress to de-spiritualize everything (which has the ironic effect of making "everything spirtual."). Essentially I mean that in all aspects of my theology, I'm less seeing the "world" and the "body" and the "flesh" as the opposition to the Christian life I once caught in language from pastors all over. I still believe sin has damaged and tainted these, but that their re-making is the wonder of the Kingdom both now and later.
NT Wright:...the Middle Ages is when it started to go wrong. If you go back to the very early church, yes, resurrection was the standard doctrine. I’m not saying anything radically new that wasn’t in the New Testament in the early church. In the Middle Ages there’s a lot of stuff [that] comes from the Greek philosophers — people like Plato — which says that actually you have a soul and the soul ends up going off.. and so you don’t need a body anymore.
NT Wright: Yeah, well, absolutely. I mean the whole point about this is that most Christians have this vague idea of going to heaven. It’s something that may happen to you –Stephen Colbert: — No, mine’s very specific. You get a harp, and I’ll have a mint julip, and I’ll ask Ronald Reagan questions.
(Again thanks to Jake Bouma for his transcript)