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The Last Word by N. T. Wright
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The Last Word (edition 2005)

by N. T. Wright (Author)

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1,2081211,970 (3.97)6
In Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today, Widely respected Bible and Jesus scholar, N. T. Wright gives new life to the old, tattered doctrine of the authority of scripture, delivering a fresh, helpful, and concise statement on the current "battles for the Bible," and restoring scripture as the primary place to find God's voice. In this revised and expanded version of The Last Word, leading biblical scholar N. T. Wright shows how both evangelicals and liberals are guilty of misreading Scripture and reveals a new model for understanding God's authority and the Bible.… (more)
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Title:The Last Word
Authors:N. T. Wright (Author)
Info:HarperCollins (2005), Edition: 1st, 146 pages
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Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today by N. T. Wright

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I started and finished reading this having begun Dale Martin’s *Sex and the Single Savior,* which takes an anti-foundationalist approach to reading Scripture. Martin provides some great critique to Wright’s focus on historical criticism, especially that at some level Wright’s emphasis is so strong that it raises the question of how anyone read the Bible well and faithfully in the past, before the historical-critical method existed.

Wright indeed gives disappointingly scant attention to both premodern and postmodern readings of Scripture in this book. He also doesn’t address theological readings which are not his own model (Creation Fall Israel Jesus Church). Part of this has to do with the relatively narrow and non-exhaustive scope of Wright’s book, but I still wish he had treated those subjects more thoroughly.

What still brings this up to a 4-5 star book after those critiques is 1) that Wright is writing as a pastor to the Church, and this pastoral emphasis shapes every page and 2) the conversation about sources of authority in the church through the framework readers of Hooker and Wesley have given them (Scripture, Tradition, Reason, Experience).

As a United Methodist pastor turning to Wright while United Methodism appears to be flying toward schism, his writing about how these sources of authority interact is just terrific. He is especially helpful in speaking about how for Hooker and Wesley (and most of the Christian Tradition) reason is a particular kind of reason—not just the ability to think rationally, but reasoning within the Church, with its Scripture. Reason is thus a traditioned form of theological reasoning with the Scriptures. Experience, meanwhile, insists Wright, is no source of authority at all but rather the end of authority, if we take “experience” to mean that my individual experience determines my theology, rather than that experience is an important shaper and affirmer of our theology from other sources of primary authority.

Five stars not because it’s perfect but because it helps me think and understand and speak better of Scripture, theology, and God to the people of God.
( )
  nicholasjjordan | Nov 13, 2019 |
Logos Library
  birdsnare | May 16, 2019 |
This is an excellent, very accessible (non-academic) book which guides the reader away from shallow readings of Scripture and replaces that with a thoughtful method centered on the authority of God as exercised through Scripture. Wright does a good job of avoiding external priorities overlaid on Scripture by various camps and includes two intriguing case studies. ( )
  LauraBee00 | Mar 7, 2018 |
From the Back Cover: "But what does scripture say?”
That question has echoed through a thousand debates in the life of the worldwide church. All churches have officially endorsed strong statements about the centrality of scripture and its authority in their mission, life, doctrine, and discipline. But there is no agreement on what this might mean or how it might work in practice. Individuals and churches struggle with how to respond to issues such as war, homosexuality, and abortion, and especially how to interpret biblical passages that discuss these topics. These disagreements often serve to undermine our confidence in the authority of the Bible.
Bishop and Bible scholar N. T. Wright delivers a new model for how to understand the place of scripture and God’s authority in the midst of religious confusion. Wright gives new life to the old, tattered doctrine of the authority of scripture, delivering a fresh, helpful, and concise statement on how to read the Bible today, restoring scripture as a place to find God’s voice.
In this revised and expanded edition of the previously titled book The Last Word, Wright provides two case studies that delve into what it means to keep Sabbath and how Christians can defend marital monogamy. These studies offer not only bold biblical insights but also showcase Wright’s new model for how to interpret scripture and restore its role as the church’s main resource for teaching and guidance. Removing the baggage that the last 100 years of controversy and confusion have placed on this doctrine, Wright renews our confidence in the Bible and shows how it can once again serve as the living Word of God for our lives. ( )
  TomCulbersonSr | Jan 20, 2017 |
In this short book, Wright attempts to answer the sticky question of how a text can claim to be authoritative. That question becomes an occasion to ruminate on a variety of different contemporary approaches to scripture, and to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Wright is an elegant writer, and I thought his arguments about how to approach scripture in liturgy, devotional reading, and politics were persuasive and thoughtful. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
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US title: The Last Word; UK title: Scripture & the Authority of God.
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In Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today, Widely respected Bible and Jesus scholar, N. T. Wright gives new life to the old, tattered doctrine of the authority of scripture, delivering a fresh, helpful, and concise statement on the current "battles for the Bible," and restoring scripture as the primary place to find God's voice. In this revised and expanded version of The Last Word, leading biblical scholar N. T. Wright shows how both evangelicals and liberals are guilty of misreading Scripture and reveals a new model for understanding God's authority and the Bible.

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