When it comes to people’s attention that I studied for my PhD at Univ of Durham, I am often asked, “Did you meet N.T. Wright?” There is a fascination with this scholar who has almost achieved the status of a rock star – at least in biblical-academic circles!
I was so pleased, then, when Wheaton held a conference about a year ago where scholars were invited (including Wright) to have a “theological dialogue” with him. It was an exciting experience to be in attendance and see Evangelicals (and others) treating Wright with respect, even when they disagreed. Subsequently, the papers given at that conference have been published by IVP under the title Jesus, Paul, and the People of God: A Theological Dialogue with N.T. Wright.
I will not rehearse all of the contents, as I already blogged on the conference, but for me I am glad to have the book to remember that special occasion and to have in mind that fruitful (though certainly critical) academic discussion can take place. Just to reiterate, here were some of my favorite papers, now memorialized as essays.
M.M. Thompson, “Jesus and the Victory of God Meets the Gospel of John” – Thompson represents a renewed focus on GJohn and the need to bring it out of the dark basement of Jesus studies. Wright admitted that it was not ideal to omit GJohn in JVG, but a methodological concession to allow his argument to have a hearing. If he re-wrote JVG in an “updated and revised” form, I wonder if he might include it now.
R.B. Hays, “Knowing Jesus: Story, History and the Question of Truth” – this subject is crucial in NT studies right now. How important is history in NT theology? Should we “quest” for the Historical Jesus? I look forward to continuing to digest this issue with Hays’ always exceptional counsel. I think I end up closer to Wright and Keener, though, on this matter…for the moment…
I also would commend to you the two state-of-his-thinking and state-of-the-discipline discussions on Jesus and Paul by Wright in the book. We are at such a good juncture to sit back and reflect on where we are in the big picture of these two massive fields of study.
Please do check the book out if you couldn’t make it to the conference. This was one of my favorite academic meetings I have been to, and having a record by IVP is a blessing!