Thursday, March 29, 2012
King Jesus: N.T. Wright and Vernard Eller Whistle a Similar Tune
By Brian Nixon
Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS) -- I just started reading N.T Wright’s newest book, How God Became King (Harper One, 2012). Like many of Wright’s books, it’s a combination of biblical/historical concepts mixed with inspirational ideas and lovely word pictures.
And then page after page Wright whistles the same melody, showing how Jesus’ life, actions, teachings, and ultimately his death, resurrection, and ascension (the full Gospel picture) demonstrate that Jesus is indeed King.
The tantalizing—and challenging question—posed by Mr. Wright is what shall we do in light of this fact? In other words, how is Jesus being King affecting our life, actions, and role in the world?
To pick up the tune Wright is whistling, you must pick up the book to read.
Now turn-back the clock forty years and cross the Atlantic from the United Kingdom to America to greet another tunesmith: religion professor, Vernard Eller (1927-2007). As professor at La Verne College in Southern California, Eller wrote many books whistling the melody of the kingly rule of Christ. As a matter of fact, one of his books is just so named: King Jesus’ Manual of Arms for the Armless.
Like Wright, Eller believed that Jesus, as the Messiah, inaugurated a new existence, namely, God’s kingdom. And we Christians have the obligation to walk in obedience to the kingdom principles.
King. Kingdom. Kingly rule.
To steal from a popular movie title, why all this “King’s Speech?”
Well the answer is fairly simple: because Jesus is king, and we as Christian profess to be followers of Jesus, we must live under his kingly rule, according to His kingship and his authority.
The ramification of this truth—our role in God’s kingly rule—has far reaching implications, outlined in both books: How God Became King and The Promise.
How are we to do this? As Wright states in his book, follow the lead of Jesus: “Put God’s kingdom first—put first the revelation that, as the gospels have been eager to tell us, this is the story of how God became king!”
The bottom line is this: more than any other topic, Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God and His role within in that kingdom. With this, it is of great importance for Christians to understand our role within God’s kingdom, reveling in the fact that we have been invited to make wonderful music with the King, a performer in his orchestra, culminating with a symphony of eternity.
It’s a tune worth whistling.
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This review is the personal view of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.