NT Wright, author of such works as The New Testament and the People of God and Simply Jesus, came to Fuller Theological Seminary, Northern California, Sacramento campus today. This campus is hosted at Fremont Presbyterian Church near California State University Sacramento. He lectured around 1pm on Paul for tomorrow’s world
If you want some summaries of the lectures, see my Twitter feed or read, for example, Resurrection of the Son of God.
I will recount the more peculiar moments, namely breakfast and post evening lecture.
I was invited by Fuller to join the adjunct professors to have breakfast with NT Wright. When I arrived, I grabbed a cup of coffee, and Wright was right behind me. He was not sure of the two coffee pots which one was caffeinated, so I kindly told him it was the pot with the black top as opposed to the one with an orange top. Yes, everyone has me to thank for keeping Wright properly caffeinated for the day, but I digress. I said nothing else to him save for my name and my role at the campus having previously taught beginning Greek. After breakfast, we were each given Wright’s latest book, Simply Jesus, signed by Wright himself. I was thrilled. I had debated in the morning whether I would bring my copy of Resurrection of the Son of God to have him sign it, but it is a large book that I did not want to carry around, and I figured it would not be professional. This gift granted my wish in a much lighter book!
Fast forward to the night after he finished his lecture. My friend, Jonmichael, wanted to get his first book from Wright signed, and he convinced me to go with him. After waiting in line, he had his turn, and then I got mine. Forgetting that I was wearing a name tag, Wright greeted me, something like, “Ah, James!” I was thrilled again, for I thought he had remembered my name, and I requested him to personalize my copy of Simply Jesus, which he did. I had a small comment with him about the lecture and breakfast, and then left him to continue on with autographs with the remainder of the line. I was surprised that he would remember my name. When I got home, I told my wife this story only for her to tell me that I was wearing a name tag. Face to palm.
I enjoyed the experience. Interesting, though, that his lectures were seemingly brief synopses of Resurrection of the Son of God. If you didn’t have a chance to go to the lectures, do take on the task of reading that 700+ page book. Read the entire series if you are up to the task (Question of God and Christian Origins). I’m in the process, and it is worth while.
Wright’s fundamental point is really important and worthy of mentioning it even here at the end of this post: we need to read the NT in the lens of Second Temple Judaism, and we need to recognize the importance and meaning of Jesus’ resurrection but also his life, which seamlessly unites both the kingdom and the cross for those who follow him as Lord of the cosmos.