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N.T. Wright on the Dangers of Neglecting the History of the New Testament

the new testament

N.T. Wright has served as the Bishop of Durham, among other pastoral roles, and was recently appointed as Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall at the University of Oxford. He previously served for several years as Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. N.T. Wright has written over 80 books for both academia and laity, including his latest, The New Testament in Its World.

Key Questions for N.T. Wright

-How can pastors and ministry leaders find a healthy balance between “going deep” and honoring scripture while still connecting well with their congregations? 

-What are the dangers when church leaders fail to examine history and literature alongside of their theology?

-What are contemporary ministry leaders missing the most when it comes to understanding the New Testament?

-How do we wrestle with an issue like women in church leadership in light of the New Testament? 

Key Quotes from N.T. Wright

“We all have our particular gifts and we shouldn’t be ashamed of the fact that there are some gifts that we might have thought we were going to be given in ministry which we don’t have.”

“If somebody has an academic bent…then good, God needs those skills…And likewise if somebody has the real pastoral ability to spend hours working with, say, children in need.”

“In every generation, God seems to call some people to do this odd business of being both/and people.”

“A church cannot survive on brilliant pastoral care alone. Churches these days more than ever need clear, well-researched, well-thought-out teaching.”

“The danger [with ignoring history and literature during Bible study] is that we assume that the first century writers were centrally interested in the topics which centrally interest us and in the same way and that they used similar language and vocabulary to address them.”

“A little bit of history will then challenge the easy assumptions that we would otherwise make.”

“We in the modern West have actually shrunk the gospel into being a message simply about how I get to heaven, rather than a message about how God and God’s life and God’s Son and God’s Spirit come to earth to dwell with us and to transform earth so that it becomes the New Heavens and New Earth.” 

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Jason serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at PastorServe, a ministry committed to strengthening the Church by serving pastors through personal coaching and church consulting. He also hosts FrontStage BackStage, a podcast and YouTube show, that helps pastors embrace healthy, well-balanced leadership as they develop a sustainable rhythm for life and ministry. Prior to joining the PastorServe team, Jason served as Vice President of Ministry Mobilization at Outreach, Inc., and as the Executive Director of the National Back to Church Sunday movement. Additionally, Jason served for nearly two decades in pastoral leadership, primarily as a lead pastor, in several contexts, including church plant re-launch, multisite church, multiethnic urban church, and an established suburban church. His experience as a lead pastor has provided numerous opportunities to coach and mentor pastors across the country. Jason and his beautiful wife, Monica, are the proud parents of six children and live on Anastasia Island, Florida. @jasondaye