I have a great place in my heart for N.T. Wright’s The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture (my edition is different from the picture. I have the earlier one). I was finishing up college, and I was looking for a fresh “word” about Scripture. I was tired of hearing how the Bible was the “infallible, inerrant word of God.” Not that I didn’t (or don’t) believe those things, but I was used to hearing those words as an attack on someone else. “We believe Scripture!” is what I would hear with nuance or substance. I also had learned my theology from a strong dispensational standpoint, and it was beginning to unravel for me. It just didn’t make sense. Things were just too neat and organized.
I picked up The Last Word at a local bookstore because the topic intrigued me, and I was looking at Biblical Theological Seminary to attend for graduate work and John Franke (a professor there) endorsed the book. I never heard of this N.T. Wright guy, except once or twice before. I knew he wrote a few things, and some people liked him. So, I picked it up. What I found is what I fell in love with!
Looking back, it isn’t Wright’s best book, but it was my first exposure, and, like your first kiss, it’s memorable. I remember reading the book as I handed out fliers for the company I worked for at the time. I would walk around the neighborhood to put fliers on mailboxes (putting them in is illegal), and I brought this book with me. I re-read it (very quickly) for these blog posts, and I realized how much of my theology was truly influenced by this book. I hope you enjoy my posts on it.