Here is a quote of N.T. Wright wisely criticizing the academy’s over-attachment to tradition. He is nearly calling for reform on the topic of traditional beliefs about the often-misunderstood idea of Jesus’ ‘parousia‘. Parousia simply means ‘presence’ or ‘arrival’. It sometimes get’s translated as ‘second coming’ but it does not mean ‘second coming to end the world’, although it gets treated that way by many mainstream traditions. It is the Greek word used in the New Testament to describe the first-century arrival of Jesus’ presence into his Kingdom, or corporate body and hearts of believers in AD70. This was posted by Peter Leighthart on his page on First Things. It engendered a surprising amount of positive attention, especially given how pointed it is. Of course, a shorter way of saying it might simply be, “everything must change”!
N.T. Wright’s long-awaited forthcoming Paul and the Faithfulness of God is full of juicy little polemics, few juicier than this one: “The scholarly construct of a ‘parousia’ in which the space-time universe would cease to exist, followed by the second-order construct of a ‘delay’ in this event which then precipitates a new sort of Christian self-consciousness, has been an enormous black hole in historical understanding into which legions of scholars have sucked one another through the gravitational forces of their unremitting zeal for ‘the traditions of the fathers’ –‘the fathers’ in this case being Schweitzer, Bultmann and their various successors. Woe betide those who break the traditions! The wrath of the blessed guild of biblical scholars, who wear their fringes long and their phylacteries broad, will fall upon them! As Philo said about the thousands of Pharisees with sharp eyes, ready to spot any infringement and pounce on it, so in our world too there are those who have ways of making their traditions prevail.”
“What happens with Genesis 3; and I do think there is a historical correlate. OK, Genesis one, two, and three is wonderful picture language, but I do think there was a primal pair in a world of emerging hominids, that’s the way I read that. … But it seems to me that just as God called Abraham and Sarah out of a welter of wandering nations and said I’ve got a special purpose for you, the way that I see it is that God called one pair of hominids and said “OK, this place is a bit chaotic, you and I together, we’re going to have a project. We’re going to plant this garden and we’re going to go out from here and this is how it’s going to be.” So when Cain goes off he founds a city. Excuse me, who else is in the city? … And ancient Jewish readers knew this perfectly well, they knew that this was not the first ever humans or anything like them.” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2014/01/23/evolution-death-adam-wright-rjs/ via Tim Martin