N.T. Wright

Israel and Gaza, Romans 8, and Advice for Pastors Today

About The Episode


“Justice and love are two halves of the same coin.” Meet N.T. Wright, the former Bishop of Durham, theologian, author, and Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Today, we are tackling current events in Israel and Gaza with a renewed perspective of lament. N.T. Wright brings a depth of wisdom that not only expands on our understanding of biblical text, but also informs us of how we are to operate today in the church. 

Welcome to Episode 091 of the Leaders in Living Rooms Podcast with Sean Morgan. 

Insights From N.T. Wright


  • Middle East conflict
    • Everyone needs to come with intellectual humility – there is no way we can simplify what is going on in the Middle East.
    • Avoid oversimplifications like assuming Jews returning to the land is always God’s will at all times. Paul is clear in the New Testament that the whole world is now God’s holy land (Romans 8).
  • Shepherding a church with strong opinions
    • Develop and deepen the New Testament’s hermeneutic of the Old Testament and the fulfillment of the Old Testament in the New Testament
    • Be patient and consistent as there is unlearning to be done of some of the mistaken assumptions.
    • It’s not as simple as choosing a side.
    • Lament is the appropriate stance.


  • Into the Heart of Romans
    • We have to stop giving 19th century answers to 16th century questions and start trying to give 21st century answers to 1st century questions. 
    • Justice and Love are not separate
      • Many devout Christians see justice as an angry God and love as a separate. This is not the way the early church would have seen it. Rather, justice and judgment is God coming to put things right. 
    • How we live day by day
      • We are saved for the world, not from the world.
      • We grew up with an escapist view and political theology. We cannot lean on this.
    • Mind of the flesh versus the mind of the spirit
      • If the Spirit is at work…then you are supposed to be a certain kind of God-reflecting being.
      • We need to recognize Satan’s regular “tunes” he plays and not sing along. Many people fall from his repeated schemes. 
    • Practical help for walking in the Spirit
      • Often, our spouses can keep us honest.
      • Daily pattern of worship
        • Bible reading
        • Morning prayer
        • Missing this will feel like missing medication for our physical bodies.
    • Romans 8:28 
      • God works all things for good with those who love Him. This is not about salvation, it’s about vocation. This is how God works in the world–through faithful people. 


  • What are you encouraged by when you see the church today?
    • When I see the church being a model of multi-culturalism. This shows the world that there is another way to be human.
  • What are the most prominent lessons today’s church leaders could learn from early church leaders?
    • In the early church, the whole point of Christianity was not that our souls should go to heaven when we die, but that God would come and live among His human creatures on this earth. 
  • Are we supposed to be building the Kingdom or waiting for the Kingdom?
    • We are supposed to build for the Kingdom.
  • Where do you think Paul would be starting churches if he were alive today?
    • Paul planted churches where there were no churches. So rather than splitting in different directions, what if we worked on the same churches together?
    • He would first worry about unity. 
    • Paul goes to the places where they say “Caesar is Lord” to say “Jesus is LORD!”
  • What would Paul’s letter in the West say?
    • Unity and new creation
    • New creation is made out of the old one. The model is the resurrection of Jesus. He doesn’t leave His body in the tomb, but it is transformed. We should reflect that too.
  • How do you justify the violence in the Old Testament?
    • You need an entire reading of Scripture.
    • Violence was never meant to be the way. We tend to take a slice of the Old Testament as if it’s a representative of the whole. You need the entire narrative. 

Episode Links

Into the Heart of Romans, by N.T. Wright

The Way of the Lord, by N.T. Wright


If you’re a leader approaching a succession or transition. Or maybe you’re a few years in and beginning to see how complex transitions leadership is… go to The Art of Pastoral Succession and checkout my brand new course in partnership with Carey Nieuwhof. 

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Who is N.T. Wright?

N.T. Wright has held a variety of both academic and chaplaincy posts at Oxford, Cambridge, and McGill University, Montreal. He was Canon of Westminister in 2000, before serving as Bishop of Durham between 2003-2010. He is currently Research Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary’s College in the University of St Andrews and Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.


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Quotes From Episode

“Lament is the appropriate stance.” 

“We have to stop giving 19th century answers to 16th century questions and start trying to give 21st century answers to 1st century questions.” 

“Justice and love are two halves of the same coin.” 

“If the Spirit is at work…then you are supposed to be a certain kind of God-reflecting being.” 

“We are supposed to build for the Kingdom.”

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About the Host

Sean Morgan is a coach and speaker with a national reputation as a catalyst of fresh vision. His passion is to help ministries navigate obstacles and turn them into opportunities.

Throughout his career, Sean has pioneered initiatives impacting thousands of leaders across the country. He started out serving as Executive Pastor and CFO at New Life Church in northern California.

As host, Sean gives you access to amazing conversations, hard-won wisdom, and poignant insights from world-class leaders in intimate “living room” settings.

Your Host

Sean Morgan

Leaders in Living Rooms
Craft & Character

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