My privileged status as "extra special student" at MBTS gives me inside access to all my favorite professors. (Not really.) I frequently hang with the profs when they come to me asking my advice on the latest cultural trends and how to relate the the younger generation. (Don't believe me.) Of course, after letting them pay for my coffee, I ask a few questions of my own. (Pure falsehood.) Check this sweet sound byte I got from Dr. Radu Gheorghita when we recently grabbed lattes. (Lies! Lies!)
Actually, I'm doing some writing on the side for The Midwesterner, the school mag (which currently has no online presence) and I asked Dr. Gheorghita's permission to blog some slices of our interview which didn't make the final cut. I particularly was impressed with what he had to say about his "favorite books and authors." Enjoy:
My favorite author at this time is N.T. Wright, a New Testament scholar and theologian, the current Anglican Bishop of Durham. He is the theologian that comes closest to what I consider to be a phenomenon in the area of New Testament studies. A biblical theologian par excellence, with the rigor of a master in the research of primary sources, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of Christian Church and beliefs, and possessing equally an incredible power of synthesis of the essences of the Christian faith and a profound discernment of the complex reality in which we live, Bishop Wright will certainly be considered one of the most important theologians of his time.
His contribution to our understanding of Jesus, Paul and the message of NT in general, will be remembered as one of the key segments in the history of NT interpretation and theology. I had the chance to hear him read several of his papers and I was fascinated not only by his charisma but also by his ability to rephrase in the most relevant and shocking terms the message of the New Testament for today.
In everything that he had written so far, whether in scholarly monographs or popular titles, from the historical person of Jesus to the authority of the Scriptures, he gives the reader the chance to stand before a fresh restatement of true Christian beliefs. I have learned from him again and again that the message of Jesus and of the apostles has an incredibly penetrating and restorative force in confronting both the individual and humanity.
Even more, it was very humbling to conclude that whenever I don’t seem to make people interested in the message of the New Testament, the culprit is not the message itself, but rather my inability as a messenger to rise to the true value of the message. So when I lecture on Romans, and my students find it hard to not fall asleep, the fault is not with them or with the message. It is with me.
Frankly, these paragraphs could stand alone as an editorial or book review. But then, phenomenal commentary from Dr. Gheorghita is all in a day's work. The upshot: In view of Gheorghita's straight-up brilliance and self-effacing humility, which I very much appreciate, this recommendation is virtually irresistible. Time to grab some N.T. Wright.