How can it be wrong when it feels so Wright?
At risk of getting too personal, as can be observed from my ‘Theoroes’ list, The Rt Rev Nicholas Thomas ‘Tom’ Wright, Bishop of Durham since 2003, is one of my favourite contemporary scholars. His work in the fields of the Third Quest for the Historical Jesus, the New Perspective on St Paul and Second Temple Judaism (among other things) has been extremely influential. He is a world-class scholar and has been an invaluable guide in my exploration of Christianity, the Gospel and the kingdom of God. His work is extremely pastoral (which for this reason only is reminiscent of Barth in my mind) – Wright believes that his scholarly endeavours have very profound implications in the lives of Christians.
The title of this post may be misleading – many scholars, both conservative and liberal, take great issue with Wright’s work. The Evangelical Calvinist John Piper disagrees with Wright’s views on Paul and the doctrine of justification (among other things). The liberal co-founder of the Jesus Seminar disagrees with Wright’s views on the literal Resurrection of Christ (among other things). Wright’s method is rather straightforward: if we want to know what the words of the Bible mean we must read them in their geographical/cultural/historical/ecclesiastical contexts. His conclusions seem revolutionary, though they often simply pull Protestants back to a more orthodox faith. I find his work incredibly enlightening. His expertise in a wide variety of fields renders his conclusions very defensible.
While I would like to engage in many conversations on this blog regarding the work of Tom Wright (and in the future there most certainly will be posts regarding Wright’s work), the purpose of this post is to share some exciting news! It was officially announced this week that Wright will be retiring from the See of Durham this August.
Why would Mr Wright leave his powerful ecclesiastical position? He’s coming to St Mary’s College, of course! And if you weren’t already aware St Mary’s College is also home to yours truly. On 1 September 2010, Tom Wright will be taking up his duties as Chair in New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary’s College in order to focus more of his energy on academia. I believe that Wright’s most important work will be done here at St Andrews and I am incredibly excited to see the way that he will continue to educate the Church to pursue the kingdom of God in the future. Godspeed Tom Wright.