Today, I decided to record an excerpt from the book Jesus and the Victory of God (Fortress Press, 1996) by author and leading New Testament scholar N.T. Wright. He has quite the resume (though resumes don't necessarily mean things). In case they do for you, here you go: He has taught at Cambridge, Montreal, Oxford and now University of St. Andrews. (And personal note: I stumbled upon his office when I went to St. Mary's College at St. Andrews last year. I was about to knock on my possible-PhD-supervisor's door and noticed his neighbor's door in the process. I paused with a little bubble of glee... His office was right next door to Tom Wright's office. I've worked in grocery stores in Hollywood, studded with stars and the person who gives me that little stop-in-my-tracks-and-pause-in-my-breath is N.T. Wright. I was even surprised when it happened... Not for sure why - but perhaps it was and is because I respect him immensely and that 'encounter' was a surprise! I appreciate most of his views and breathtaking perspectives on the New Testament, Jesus and Paul (otherwise known as the first theologian of the day). Getting back to his resume, Wright has taken on other posts along the way besides teaching. He has been the Canon of Westminster, he is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, and he is a regular broadcaster on radio and television. Finally, let's not forget that he is the author of over sixty books including the one I will be reading from today about Jesus. (And, he is a husband!) One note: I appreciate that he shares how, at times, he was embarrassed to be sharing with others what exactly - or rather WHO exactly - he was writing on. He shares about those reasons in the preface that I will be reading from and he encourages the reader to understand more of who this man was and is...and why this a worthwhile pursuit regardless of the reader's thoughts on the man.
The excerpt (where yours truly is the narrator) is a little over 20 minutes, so carve out space to listen to it now or prep it on your gadget to listen to on a drive, a train ride, or when you're cooking your next meal. Enjoy.
With love, Jessie
P.S. The reason I include this in these winter issues on Courage is that, I believe, courage is needed to combat why we may hold different beliefs or opinions on controversial subjects or figures. Or even why we may feel comfortable in thinking we may know those figures or matters in the way that we do. Over the years during Lent (which I've only begun to mark over the past 10 or so), I have had an informal tradition of reading about this man as a way to check-in with my own journey in a more specific way during the year than at other times. x