N.T. (Tom) Wright is the Bishop of Durham in England and was formerly Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey and Dean of Litchfield Cathedral. He has taught New Testament studies for 20 years at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford Universities. His Jesus and the Victory of God, The New Testament and the People of God and The Resurrection of the Son of God are three volumes in a projected six-volume series entitled Christian Origins and the Question of God. He has also written The Original Jesus, What Saint Paul Really Said, The Challenge of Jesus, and The Climax of the Covenant. He is also working on a 12 volume For Everyone series, in which Wright provides a translation and commentary new Bible students.
I read a quote from C.S. Lewis the other day, and he said, "The problem when I became a believer in England was that you were left with either the hysterical rantings of the fanatics, or the intellectual elite of the clergy." He said, "Had theologians been doing their work, I would have been unnecessary." Why is it so rare for academics to connect to the mass of people?
I think the answer is partly just sheer pressure of time. If you're an academic and you want to get tenure, or you want to maintain your credibility within the guild, you've probably got academic projects which you're eager to get on with and write articles, and books in order to get your main ideas out among your peers.
There's always the hope that they will trickle down to the ordinary folk in the churches. That sometimes happens and sometimes doesn't happen. One of the reasons that I left the academy some years ago and went into full-time work in the church instead was that I found I was getting more of a buzz myself out of meeting clergy who were at the [coal] ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 63+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more