A great testimony on the impact of N.T. Wright

Yesterday, I posted a brief bit about the brand new N.T. Wright book on Paul, a collection of lectures compiled and expanded into an excellent and accesable new book, Paul: In Fresh Perspective just released by Fortress Press. I suggested it is a very, very good event for anyone seriously intersted in theological books. It will no doubt be considered a “must read.”
Today, I learned that one of the guys who got me into blogging—a guy who is in my small handful of friends who has utter loyality to our business and to the ministry of Hearts & Minds and is relentless in bringing folks in, telling them about us, buying books and giving them away—is now back at the keyboard. After a hiatus for a season, the great Derek Melleby, over at Aslan Is On The Move is back. There is no shortage of very good bloggers, of course, and there are some very helpful sites that I consult daily. I feel compelled, though, to refer you to Derek and his story today. He cites my little post from yesterday, true, but the bigger point is how he tells of his desire to live more faithfully–even idealistically–as a Christian in our times. And how a certain number of movements, traditions, writers and authors helped him ask good questions. And, you know, he gets to that point in his narrative when he says, “Enter N.T. Wright.” Reading and listening to Wright was a major breakthrough in his journey. It is beautiful to hear how a book we sold and an author we promoted proved to be so fruitful in a guy’s life.
Skip over to Aslan Is On The Move and read what he says about N.T. Wright. And then snoop around his other essays and their links to good places. (Including the dramatic stuff about his taking a gang to Thailand to do tsunami relief.) I’m still pretty new at blogging myself, but I am happy to say to Derek, “Welcome back to the blog-o-sphere.” Keep writing!
Interestingly enough, another very good friend, fairly new to my church, and new to Christian literature, has been devouring Wright essays in recent months from the link which I cited yesterday. He highlighted to me a few of the thoughtful essays he’s picked up on the web…thanks, Dan! As he suggested, I will give you that site again. Read all manner of Wright essays (or download audio lectures) for free, here at www.ntrightpage.com.
Lastly: yet a third friend emailed, wondering sincerely (not at all critically) if I might offer opinion or reviews of books that have been hard on Wright. I am not quite prepared to do that–don’t have the time or the smarts, really–but might mention a couple of texts in the future. For now, here is a very scholarly, fair-minded and very critical essay written by a conservative Calvinist theologian. This will make your head spin as the author levels serious accusations against Wright’s view of justification. (You might notice that there are several interviews with N.T. on his ntrightpage website and some answers to some of these kinds of concerns. As I noted last night, he has been gracious and mature in responding to these criticisms.) After digging deep into these serious fine points, go back and read Melleby and how Wright’s big picture thinking has so inspired him. That sure resonated with me and why I am eager to promote his new book.
And, after that, come on Americans: give this Brit a lift here in the States. Buy the book from Hearts & Minds. Operators are standing by at seven one seven, two four six, three three, three three. All major credit cards accepted. Or fire us an email. I hope you saw the special blog deal mentioned last night…Thanks.

4 thoughts on “A great testimony on the impact of N.T. Wright

  1. the last Wright post was rather providential in that my Men’s Bible study group was doing Romans this week, so I went in this morning all fired up to share about the New Perspectives and only one other person there knew what I was talking about (a loyal Hearts & Minds shopper, of course) and so we had to get everyone else up to speed. coming back and getting to read today’s post was also very helpful. thank you so much for the “scholarly, fair-minded and very critical essay” link.attending a PCA church, i am preparing for these issues to start hitting our congregation hard. i am always up for wrestling with God’s Word, asking hard questions, and coming up with fresh looks at old ideas–Square Halo books do that all the time. and i am also willing to stand my ground and fight for the truth. i expect a bunch of all that is on the way. thanks for pointing out these resources so that we can all be workmen approved by God, “rightly (wrightly?) dividing the word of truth.”

  2. You are too kind, if that’s possible. Thanks for the encouragement. The number of people who criticize N.T. Wright normally goes down after they have read him! I know it is big and expensive, but Ã’The New Testament and the People of GodÓ is crucial – at least the first third. I will almost accept a criticism of Wright if people have read that much. IÕm reminded of what Lauren Winner said at Hearts and Minds last year: Ã’WrightÕs scholarly books are actually more accessible because he is more thorough. His popular works are more difficult because you canÕt see how he has arrived at his conclusions.Ó Oh, and just for the record, Wright, while being sympathetic to the Ã’new perspectiveÓ is often hesitant to position himself there. IÕm reminded of a Wendell Berry essay, Ã’In Distrust of Movements.Ó A worthy read, indeed. You can get it online, I think. Enjoy!

  3. byron- thanks for blogging “the wright stuff”:your post is illuminating and helpful. i’ve only read one book by tom wright in its entirety,”what saint paul really said?”–very provocative, stimulating read. i see ned beat me to the punch in responding to the blog– iwas in the same group on sat morning…and we had a lively discussion. my friend, chris, from st. louis was there to shed some light too. he was wondering if anyone in our group had heard of wright on our way there and ned brought him up! Chris has a phd from st. louis university in historical theology (expert on john nevin), teaches at a christian, classical school and is a pca ruling elder. keep up the good work!Doug

  4. Byron, Thanks for promoting Wright. I work for a small mom-n-pop Christian bookstore in Texas. I have been awaiting Wright’s new book, and a couple others due out soon, for a while. I was surprised that you have it already. I presume you got it straight from Fortress?Anyway, good for you man! I discovered Wright in college a few years ago. His little book What Saint Paul Really Said kicked off a habbit in me that would make a heroin addict blush. Wright turns everything I ever thought I knew about Jesus on its head. And he is very thorough, conservative, and convincing. I am hooked. Wright’s work colors every facet of my own ministry. I read everything of his I can get my hands on. I am reading a recent book by Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat, two of Wright’s former students (now married to each other) called Colossians Remixed: Subverting The Empire. It is a deeply challenging book. It subverts everything American. Probably that is old news to you. Just thought I’d mention it.\Thanks especially for the narrative testimony. God Bless…Michael ExumLubbock, TX

Comments are closed.