Mar 07, 2016 by Rik Bokelman

The Purpose Of Life According To N.T. Wright spoke with N.T. Wright. We asked the leading British New Testament scholar and retired Anglican bishop 8 questions on a variety of topics. Today: What's the purpose of life? "To be a real human being," he answers. "To be a God-reflector."

"To be a real genuine being is to reflect God’s love and care to the world. And to reflect the praises of the world back to God."

"The Bible talks about that with regard to the royal priesthood. The royalness is reflecting God’s love to the world. The priesthood is reflecting the world’s praises back to God and it also brings the pain of the world into the presence of God through prayer and by working to help the poor and so on. So whatever our calling is, we are able to do a little bit of that where we are. This is what makes somebody a genuine human being: to be a God reflector."


If you don't believe in God it may be hard to see this as the purpose of life, says Dr. Wright. "The difficulty is that when people hear the word 'God' they think: 'He is a Being who is a long way away and maybe distant, not a really good manager of the world. They say 'I can’t believe that God,' however all people know that the world is a place both of beauty and of pain. All people know in their bones that it is good to make relationships, to cultivate gardens and so on. You don’t have to force people to make friends. People like to do these things very deep within us and that is because we are made for relationship and stewardship and actually also worship."

"What the Christian has to say is: 'These things which all human beings know: justice, beauty, relationship, truth, freedom and so on, these are things that are in fact at the heart of the gospel." 

"I think ultimately the 21st century is a very confusing, dark and dangerous time. I think we know politically and socially that we live in a much more difficult and unpredictable and dangerous world than we did 30 or 40 years ago. But what the Gospel says by putting the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the middle of history; we are talking about a God who is with us in the middle of the darkness, the danger and pain. He has made a way through and made this new creation. We are invited to be part of it. That's really the center of it."

"The purpose of Jesus is that He rescues us from everything that’s getting in the way of our being fully human. He enables us to be fully human again. Jesus enables damaged, broken and hurting people to be flourishing human beings again. That’s what the gospel does on a worldwide scale."

Want to read all the questions we asked N.T. Wright? Subscribe to our newsletter! 

Buy books from N.T. Wright here. 

Photo: Paul Smith

Follow us on Facebook: