Search This Blog

Monday, January 14, 2008

N.T. Wright on Neo-Gnosticism

The radical dualism embodied in the “Gospel of Judas” has a good deal in commtom_wright.jpgon with the equally radical dualism embodied in the dispensationalist fundamentalism so popular in many parts of North America, and now expressed famously in the Left Behind novels. The main aim in both, after all, is to escape from this wicked world and go off to a different one, namely “heaven,” rather than (with the New Testament) to seek for God’s kingdom to come on earth as in heaven…


When applied in right-wing terms, this selective neo-Gnosticism can justify everything from the so-called “prosperity gospel” (if I am a faithful Christian, God will make me rich; I belong, after all, to his elite) to the idea that the American people possess a “manifest destiny” to bring order to the rest of the world…


When appjudas.jpglied in left-wing terms, selective neo-Gnosticism can justify everything from blatant syncretism on the religious front to complete disregard for classic moral norms…


Underneath both right and left, it is all the same religious belief, far more in tune with ancient Gnosticism than with classic Christianity: what matters is not the outward world, the wider community, or even the outward physical human being, but the supposed spark of true “identity” that lies within the individual.


- Nicholas Thomas Wright, Judas and the Gospel of Jesus: Have We Missed the Truth About Christianity? (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2006), p. 130-133.

No comments: