Book Review: The Day the Revolution Began

In-Between People: Avoiding Idolatry

Does the Christianity you know live up to the Jesus you love?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

an excellent review of a first class book.


Great review Carmen. I’m very interested in reading this book.

Thanks for the review of N. T. Wright’s new book. I will definitely order it. I have appreciated and enjoyed the books that I have of his, and his talks/sermons on You tube. You tube is a tremendously valuable resource for access to speakers such as Wright, Keller, Zacharias and Lennox and others.

Just to point out and I would guess it is somewhere in the book, Hebrews is not generally thought of as being a product of the writing of Paul by the largest portion of New Testament Scholars.


Thanks so much, Carmen.

All Wright’s “three errors” of traditional Christianity shed light on popular Adventism. We’ve got, in particular, to overcome “platonized eschatology,” which continues to divert the attention of our leaders to the next world, despite our putative interest in the doctrine of creation.

It is so ironic: to INSIST on (a literal version of) the creation doctrine, while ignoring that doctrine in conventional discussion of our mission, which focuses on words–a last-day “message”–and downplays our responsibility (see Genesis) to take care of the world God made.


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this excerpt from Luther and the Reformation, R.C. Sproul describes the moment of awakening Martin Luther had as he read Romans 1:17, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’”


He says, “Here in it,” in the gospel, “the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, ‘the just shall live by faith.’” A verse taken from the book of Habakkuk in the Old Testament that is cited three times in the New Testament. ** Luther would stop short and say, “What does this mean, that there’s this righteousness that is by faith, and from faith to faith? What does it mean that the righteous shall live by faith?” Which again as I said was the thematic verse for the whole exposition of the gospel that Paul sets forth here in the book of Romans. And so, the lights came on for Luther. And he began to understand that what Paul was speaking of here was a righteousness that God in His grace was making available to those who would receive it passively, not those who would achieve it actively, but that would receive it by faith, and by which a person could be reconciled to a holy and righteous God.

Now there was a linguistic trick that was going on here too. And it was this, that the Latin word for justification that was used at this time in church history was—and it’s the word from which we get the English word justification—the Latin word justificare. And it came from the Roman judicial system. And the term justificare is made up of the word justus, which is justice or righteousness, and the verb, the infinitive facare, which means to make. And so, the Latin fathers understood the doctrine of justification is what happens when God, through the sacraments of the church and elsewhere, make unrighteous people righteous.

But Luther was looking now at the Greek word that was in the New Testament, not the Latin word. The word dikaios, dikaiosune, which didn’t mean to make righteous, but rather to regard as righteous, to count as righteous, to declare as righteous. And this was the moment of awakening for Luther. He said, “You mean, here Paul is not talking about the righteousness by which God Himself is righteous, but a righteousness that God gives freely by His grace to people who don’t have righteousness of their own.”

And so Luther said, “Woa, you mean the righteousness by which I will be saved, is not mine?” It’s what he called a justitia alienum, an alien righteousness; a righteousness that belongs properly to somebody else. It’s a righteousness that is extra nos, outside of us. Namely, the righteousness of Christ. And Luther said, “When I discovered that, I was born again of the Holy Ghost. And the doors of paradise swung open, and I walked through.”

“”“I have often reflected that if the Reformers had focused on Ephesians rather than Romans or Galatians, the entire history of Western Europe would have been different.” (33)""

Luther says different. The book of Romans changed his entire spiritual understanding of the gospel and
this changed Europe and the world. So Yes Western Europe would have been different, it would have remained
under papal control and eternal night…

Thank you for this. Perhaps, my sentence wasn’t constructed to portray Wright’s intent on omitting Hebrews. Simply stated, I gather that including discussion on the book of Hebrews would make the book too lengthy. I assume Wright is saying that is for another time and place.

Thank you for this. You have obviously put some time into studying the reformation. My impression is not the Wright was criticizing Luther, rather Wright was describing how Luther’s writings have been used.

I have seen other scholars also state that Luther’s thoughts have been skewed to lead to outcomes that might be different than his original intent. By the way, I have visited Luther’s home in Wittenberg. Great man. Flawed like all of us.

You will have to read the book, if you haven’t already.


I agree. Many strands within the SDA church take part of this trilogy: Platonized eschatology, moralized anthropology and paginated soteriology. I also believe a big strand of thought within the denomination offers a way forward.

I was also struck with the repeated theme in the book—that God wants to do something bigger and more Cosmic.

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Sounds very much like Wright is describing AG Maxwell’s " Larger View" of the plan of salvation. This aligns very nicely with the Great Controversy or Cosmic Conflict picture about Christ’s death vindicating God’s character rather than an appeasement to an angry God. At one ment for the universe rather than Atonement to a bloodthirsty God. God’s faithfulness being vindicated!!
Thanks Carmen. Looks like a good read.


I’d like to share some thoughts from my journey which came to mind when reading your review.

You suggest that Bishop Wright is advocating, ‘a massive repentance and willingness to rethink almost everything.’ It’s a difficult and risky thing to reexamine all that one has been taught by one’s faith group. Very few do it. As with most any foundational change on an individual or corporate level, a crisis of some kind is usually the required impetus. Perhaps Christianity (and Adventism in particular) is being pushed there.

You wrote, 'Does the Christianity you know live up to the Jesus you love?'
A profound question which prompts other questions. What limits on Christ’s love does one’s theology impose? Are they really divine or are they human in origin?
You also wrote that ‘Idolatry could be in the form of an inaccurate view of God’, and we become what we behold. I agree. If there is something lacking in one’s concept of God, will not the ego look elsewhere for meaning and satisfaction? Isn’t that the source of idolatry? (Paul said he counted everything as rubbish when seen against ‘the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord’).
Also, if our image of the Creator is flawed, how can our reflection of Him (our purpose according to Bishop Wright) be otherwise?

You mention that many things we regard as orthodox in fact may not align with the beliefs of first century Christ followers. I believe Christianity needs to experience a paradigm shift - a return to this primitive truth. Please examine this account of some important beliefs of the early Christians:

Here is a book I wish anyone having a ‘willingness to rethink almost everything’ and thus consider a different understanding of God’s plan for humanity would read. I first came across it several years ago. It was instrumental in my own radical ‘repentance’. Further studies have only verified its truth to me:

Thank you for sharing. I’ll check out these links.