Posted by: Ken Brown | February 24, 2009

NT Wright on the Return of the King

Naturally I’m not the first to see a connection between Tolkien’s trilogy and the incarnation. N.T. Wright titled the final chapter of his book Jesus and the Victory of God “the Return of the King.” His focus is mostly on the Synoptic Gospels, rather than John (and he betrays his own replacement theology at points), but his conclusion is excellent:

I suggest, in short, that the return of YHWH to Zion, and the Temple-theology which it brings into focus, are the deepest keys and clues to gospel christology. Forget the ‘titles’ of Jesus, at least for a moment; forget the pseudo-orthodox attempts to make Jesus of Nazareth conscious of being the second person of the Trinity; forget the arid reductionism that is the mirror-image of that unthinking would-be orthodoxy. Focus, instead, on a young Jewish prophet telling a story about YHWH returning to Zion as judge and redeemer, and then embodying it by riding into the city in tears, symbolizing the Temple’s destruction and celebrating the final exodus. (pg. 653)

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