From “Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible” by E Randolph Richards and Brandon J O’Brien

In scripture, the godly life is portrayed as a lifelong work, not a list of don’ts. The active pursuit of virtue, particularly through the discipline practice of godly habits, is overshadowed. N T Wright, a world-renowned New Testament scholar, argues persuasively that Westerners don’t like to talk about virtue as a habit. That makes virtue sound contrived or inauthentic. We only value virtue when it is spontaneous. This prejudice makes it harder for us to notice language in the Bible about developing virtue. It goes without being said in out minds that virtuous acts are supposed to just happen, to bubble up unexpectedly in our lives. Virtue isn’t supposed to be the harvest from crops carefully planted years ago and tended with constant attention.

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