Theological, Social, & Political

Wright argues that the three should not be separated when we explore Jesus’ summons to life in God’s kingdom: “It was because Jesus’ agenda was ‘theological’ from first to last that it was ‘social’, envisaging and calling into being cells of followers committed to his way of life. Jesus, like the founder(s) of the Essenes, and like John the Baptist, apparently envisaged that, scattered about Palestine, there would be small groups of people loyal to himself, who would get together to encourage one another, and would act as members of a family, sharing some sort of common life and, in particular, exercising mutual forgiveness.

N.T. Wright argues that this triad should not be separated when we explore Jesus’ summons to life in God’s kingdom:

“It was because Jesus’ agenda was ‘theological’ from first to last that it was ‘social’, envisaging and calling into being cells of followers committed to his way of life. Jesus, like the founder(s) of the Essenes, and like John the Baptist, apparently envisaged that, scattered about Palestine, there would be small groups of people loyal to himself, who would get together to encourage one another, and would act as members of a family, sharing some sort of common life and, in particular, exercising mutual forgiveness. It was because this way of life was what it was, reflecting the theology it did, that Jesus’ whole movement was thoroughly, and dangerously, ‘political’. And to recapitulate, the main characteristic of the cells that Jesus called into being was of course loyalty to Jesus himself. This, I suggest, lies behind the saying in Matthew 18:19-20, ‘If two of you agree on earth about any matter which they may ask, it shall be done for them by my father in heaven. For where two or three gather together in my name, I am there in their midst.'”

Now attach to this idea a 21-century application as discussed by Andrew Jones:

“Worship is justice. And there is a devotional life that is bigger than one’s personal time with God. This is what i am thinking today… To worship is to reestablish justice. To call up and maintain the devotional life is to help establish justice, to shift the world towards RIGHTness.”

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