N. T. “Tom” Wright has just released another paradigm-shifting book suggesting a new, more scriptural way of understanding the atonement, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. Wright delves deeply into how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus accomplish our salvation.
(Rom. 7:9-11 NET) 9 And I was once alive apart from the law [Torah], but with the coming of the commandment [Sin] became alive 10 and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life [immortality] brought death [loss of any hope of immortality]! 11 For [Sin], seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died [lost hope of immortality].
Who is “I”? Most commentators debate whether “I” refers to a non-Christian in need of the Spirit or to someone already saved but struggling against Sin. Certainly, most if not all Christians have experienced the tension between wanting to do right and being unable to do right — both before and after baptism. And the rest of chapter 7 could certainly be read either way.
But Wright believes that “I” refers to Israel or, more generally, mankind. Continue reading