Thursday, July 8, 2010

Did I mention I'm falling in like with N.T. Wright?

I'm a girl who's on the beginning of her seminary journey. And as such, I have a lot to learn. Approximately two more years worth of seminary learning, to be exact. (And lots more learning after that.)

I've been learning, for instance, which authors my seminary professors would like me to read--John Piper, Dallas Willard, Miles Stanford, etc. And which books they would recommend I not bother with. Anything by Rob Bell, for instance.

But since at this stage in my life I'm not good at following directions "just because," I tend to a read a little bit of everything. And this approach serves me well, because on the Arminian/Calvinism theology continuum, I get exposed to almost every imaginable approach to Scripture.

Along the way, although I can assure you I am happily married, I have begun to fall in serious like with N.T. Wright. ("Tom" Wright is the Bishop of Durham in the Church of England and a New Testament scholar.) Or perhaps I should say I am seriously in like with his even-handed approach to theology and his irenic, peace-loving spirit.

Call me ornery, but I like that Bishop Wright has not been liked by liberal Christians, that he has been questioned by the very conservative John Piper, that the emerging church digs him but his views don't line up with many of them consistently,  and that he is always trying to work out his faith according to the Word of God, set in its proper context. The latter, of course, is what I find most endearing--Bishop Wright's committed faithfulness to the study of the text and context of the Bible.

The funniest thing about this post is that I've read so little of Wright's actual writing--though I intend to. Since I so often struggle with the paradoxes the apostle Paul represents, perhaps I should start with one of his "Paul for Everyone" commentaries.

Meanwhile, prepare to be wowed by the essays and addresses found on this page. If I were you, I'd start with his "The Biblical Basis for Women's Ministry in the Church." I've read it three times already, and I still want to read it again.

So, yes, I've fallen seriously in like. Friends and family now have a built-in book shopping list for my next birthday. Now, if you'll excuse me--it appears I have a bit more reading to do.

What about you? What do you love or dislike about NT? Who are your favorite theologians?


  1. NT Wright rocked my world about 6 years ago and I haven't looked back!!!!! BTW... Rob Bell would say that Wright is a MAJOR influence :-)

  2. I know it's an older post, but I have to echo Kurt, Wright has been a massive influence on me. Eighteen Wright books later and I still look forward to each new release. Not sure which ones you've read but The Challenge of Jesus and Paul in Fresh Perspective might be the best overviews.
    I just started working on my MA, so it's nice to read from someone who is there too.