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Let Tom Wright help you make sense of the changes in social, economic and political culture that challenge Christians today. In a debate where even the language can be confusing (neo-gnosticism, neo-imperialism and postmodernity - and even faith terms like Trinitarian) Tom Wright helps ordinary Christians understand and respond to searching questions about key aspects of faith in our 21st century culture.
Trying to make the gospel heard and understood in the modern world, he helps you to reconsider key aspects of the biblical story that reveal unexpected connections between ancient and contemporary world-views.
The outcome of Tom’s criticism of common secular assumptions and their attempt to control the story of creation, power and truth - past and present, is a call for Christians to give fresh voice to God's truth in today's intellectual, social, economic and political arenas on a global and local community level.
Tom Wright is the widely respected former bishop of Durham and current Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Andrews University. His many influential and readable examinations of applying faith to the world today include Simply Jesus, Simply Christian and How God Became King. Tom is also the editor of the ‘For Everyone’ New Testament guides and commentary series.
This book will become an essential guide for anyone looking to understand how they can make it known that the gospel is not only still relevant, but vital to the future of the modern world.
Creation, Power and Truth by Tom Wright was published by SPCK in July 2013 and is our 13645th best seller. The ISBN for Creation, Power and Truth is 9780281069873.
For a taster of Tom Wright’s thinking on the three threats to faith, neo-Gnosticism, neo-imperialism and postmodernity – and the threat they pose to the establishment of a just, fair and purposeful human society - here’s a clip from his lecture “Kingdom, Power and Truth: God and Caesar Then and Now” given as part of St Andrews University: Distance Learning Programme, ‘The Bible and the Contemporary World’ on Tuesday 14 September 14 2010.
"Three of the big issues which shape our public life today, I have suggested, are Gnosticism, empire and postmodernity, which are toxic enough in themselves but particularly deadly in combination. Gnosticism declares that the world of space, time and matter is trivial or irrelevant, that some human beings have a divine spark within them which needs to be discerned and lived out, that for this you need, not the death and resurrection of Jesus but rather illumination or enlightenment which you might get from him or indeed from somewhere or someone else, and that when this enlightenment has come it will lead you not to the world of politics, of working for justice and peace, but to the cultivation of your own spirituality.
"Gnosticism flourishes, historically, in a world where empires control the lives of so many that outward change seems unimaginable. By the same token, empires encourage Gnosticism, because, whereas someone who declares that ‘Jesus is Lord’ may draw the conclusion that Caesar is not, someone who says ‘Jesus has shown me that I am a spark of light needing to be set free from a wicked world’ is unlikely to cause much trouble.
"Today’s global empire is of a different sort from earlier ones, since the iron grip of America and not least its financial institutions is imposed on the world not through political institutions – indeed, if that were the case, local groups might have a chance to vote for their actual rulers, which at present they do not – but through economic pressures and the accident of the West being the ‘last man standing’ at the end of the Cold War.
"But, as many have pointed out, the ‘novus ordo saeclorum’ announced on every dollar bill was and remains a powerful evocation of Virgil’s hailing of the empire of Augustus as a ‘new order of the ages’; the ideology of the Enlightenment thus reinforces the apparently effortless superiority of the west, with all the malign consequences (as well as the obvious good ones) that have followed. Again, many Christians in today’s world have simply gone along for the ride.
"Postmodernity has, of course, made all this much more confusing. Truth-claims have been unmasked as power-claims, which has then opened the way for all kinds of spin and smear as the gloves of civilised debate and public discourse come off and all sides try to scratch each other’s eyes out with whatever dirty tricks come to hand (there’s a case in point in the courts as we speak). Postmodernity has, I believe, the God-given role of announcing to arrogant modernity that all its righteousness was always a mess of filthy rags – in other words, of preaching the secular equivalent of the fall, of total depravity; but it has no gospel with which to follow up the bad news.
"The big stories have been deconstructed into little fragments; the once-powerful notion of the self has been torn apart into competing impulses and prejudices; and truth itself is ‘stranger than it used to be’. And notice how well this goes with Gnosticism and with empire. It is precisely the Gnostic claim that things are not what they seem; that’s the insight that made Dan Brown a millionaire several times over. And it is precisely the imperial claim that we, the powerful, create our own truth: truth is what we decide it will be. When Pontius Pilate asked Jesus ‘what is truth?’, he was expressing his own cynicism at someone else, in a position of utter weakness, having any truth to bear witness to. The only truth is what comes out of the barrel of a gun, or the scabbard of a sword."
|Author / Artist||Tom Wright|
|Publisher||SPCK (July 2013)|
|Number of Pages||144|
|Page last updated||3rd August 2016|