But, curiously [this is typical of non-futurist eschatology, which is, sadly, becoming much more prevalent in evangelical churches], we don’t get much about such things as Jesus’ parousia/return (mentioned, but not really engaged), resurrection of the dead (Paul believed it, but little else), final judgement (same here), the glorification of believers (same again), etc. That is, as to the specific phenomena that seem to me to have a significance place in Paul’s eschatological expectations, there is surprisingly little to be found in Wright’s discussion [bold mine]. This is doubly surprising in a work of 2 vols, and over 1600 pages length. Hardly, one thinks, could one offer as excuse a concern to economize on space!
But, although Wright wants to read all “apocalyptic” language as symbols, essentially representing political developments (of this world), clearly (or so it seems to me), a world in which the dead are in any sense “raised” in glorified and immortal bodily existence is unlike anything we know now. So, this would seem to require some rather radical “reworking” of what we know as the world, at the very least! It can’t all be read as “political” developments. So, why so little discussion of these matters?
I could offer my suspicions, but that would be to go beyond fair engagement, and descend to ad hominem commentary. I will simply note here that the handling of Paul’s eschatology seems to me not really adequate at all. The chapter seems more to be a further opportunity for Wright to reiterate points made in earlier parts of the work, especially (the topic that seems to draw his interest and consequently space in the book more than any other) his emphasis on Paul’s “reworked” notion of Israel’s election. But, precisely if we wish to engage Paul’s beliefs in historical terms, it will be necessary to take seriously (and even empathetically) what seem to me to be central beliefs about how God’s redemptive purposes will be consummated.