Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mental Homework

Commenting on the book of Romans, N.T. Wright says:

For Paul, the mind is central to Christian character: virtue is the result of thought and choice. ...[T]his helps us... to understand the exhortation in chapter 6 to "reckon yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (6:11). This is calling for an act, not of guesswork, nor of fantasy or speculative imagination, but of mental deduction: you are in the Messiah; the Messiah has died and been raised; therefore, you have died and been raised; therefore, sin has no right to hold any sway over you. That mental homework, and that alone, is the basis for the appeal which follows instantly: "So don't let sin reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its desires" (6:12). All of this -- and much more, actually, but at least all of this -- stands now behind Paul's deceptively brief instruction at the start of chapter 12: don't let yourselves be squeezed into the shape dictated by the present age, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.1

1.  N.T. Wright, After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters [Harper One: New York, NY; 2010] pp. 154-155 

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