THE LAST WORD: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture, by N. T. Wright. HarperSanFrancisco, 2005. Pp. 146. (BS480.W83 2005).
Echoing through a “thousand debates” in the life of the Church is the question: “But what does Scripture say?” There is, however, little agreement by the churches endorsing the authority of Scripture as to what it means and how to apply this doctrine to life.
THE LAST WORD, by the Bishop of Durham, England, is a good historical summary of the range of views in the Church on how to interpret “authority.” In the last chapter Wright shows how “evangelicals” and “liberals” misread scripture. In good Anglican style the author takes a middle road, but it is a high road. His final chapter is “How to Get Back on Track.” He says: “We must recognize the vital importance of genre, setting, literary style, and so on, and the all-important differences these things make to how we read the relevant texts.” (P. 121).
Formerly Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey, Wright has taught New Testament at Cambridge and Oxford. His published titles include THE CHALLENGE OF JESUS, THE MEANING OF JESUS (coauthored with Marcus Borg), and WHAT SAINT PAUL REALLY SAID. A “Book Bite” on his JESUS AND THE VICTORY OF GOD was printed in our service bulletin December 4, 2005, and can also be read on the Library link of the St. Philip’s website.
…The Library Committee