Wednesday, February 3, 2010
N.T. Wright on the Faith of Abraham
"Paul's description of Abraham's faith...goes deeper than simply an account of heroic trust in the face of overwhelming odds. It is a deliberate reversal of his description of the degeneration of the human race in [Romans] chapter 1...What Paul is saying is that in Abraham's faith, and in faith of the same kind, human beings are put back together again and enabled to rediscover what a genuinely human life is like.
This is how it works. Humans ignored God, the creator (1,20, 25); Abraham believed in God as creator and life-giver (4.17). Humans knew about God's power, but didn't worship him as God (1.20); Abraham recognized God's power, and trusted him to use it (4.21). Human beings did not give God the glory he was due (1.21); Abraham gave God the glory (4.20). Human beings dishonored their own bodies by worshiping beings that were not divine (1.24); Abraham, through worshiping the God who gives new life, found that his own body regained its power even though he was long past the age for fathering children." (Romans for Everyone, pp. 77-78)