Friday, April 16, 2010

Wheaton Theology Conference - Nicholas Perrin

I had trouble connecting to the wireless at Wheaton in the afternoon so this update had to wait til dinner time. Perrin's talk was very witty and very learned and a little beyond my level of experience at times to fully grasp him so I thought that I would comment only briefly. One of the nice things about listening to Perrin is that you are listening to someone who has made digesting Wright's work a major goal. We is simply soaked in Wright's theology and Wright's paradigm for understanding Jesus.

Perrin began with a sketch of how we got to where we are today in historical Jesus studies, including the two major schools of thought, one rooted in Bultmann and the other in Dodd. Wright obviously belongs to the latter school.

Next Perrin moves into a time of expounding upon some of Wright's key contributions to the historical Jesus discussion. One was how Wright effectively showed the weaknesses of the methodology employed by many within the 3rd quest (such as double dissimilarity). Another was the understanding of Jesus as summing up Israel and its entire historical trajectory. Perrin thinks very highly of the whole exile/restoration metanarrative.

Perrin did pose a couple of of questions to Wright, and one that I thought was very important. Wright claims that the repentence Jesus preached was a call for abandoning revolutionary intentions, it had eschatalogical and political overtones to it. It was a call for Israel to abandon one set of intentions for another, so that the exile could end. The problem is that it's fairly difficult to see how personal repentance fits in.

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I'll try to post something on Wright's talk late tonight (no guarantees though). I'd love to cover this afternoon's Q&A but it covered way too many topics. Hopefully that audio will be available because it was helpful.

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