Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Brief Look at Neil Elliott’s The Arrogance of Nations: Reading Romans in the Shadow of Empire (Part 1):

First off if you liked Colossians Remixed, you will like this book, although it is geared more towards an academic crowd. It is a challenging read that promises to both confound as well as challenge.

Full disclosure, I am a big Elliott fan, and wish this book was published before I submitted my thesis, because I certainly would have changed some things.  I love reading books that offer new answers to some really old questions, namely because they are fresh, but also because they make you think through your positions.  Now my convictions on Paul are pretty loosely held, so if you are threatened by new interpretations, you may not care for this book.  But I have read too many books on Paul that are a mere regurgitation of what everybody already knows, and offer very little to keep but a rehashing of all the overplayed theological arguments in Romans, just picking sides along the way.   This book reminds me of one of my mates synopsis of the movie "The Last Temptation of Christ" and why it was his favorite Jesus movie...

“Because it is the only movie about Jesus where I don't know what is going to happen next.”

Now to be fair Elliott doesn’t just make up stuff, he offers good arguments for what he says, and his conclusions are very plausible.
  So pick up the book, it is worth it!

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