Monday, June 23, 2008

Tom Wright, Stephen Colbert, and a Great Email

Sometime last week, the British theologian (and Bishop of Durham) N. T. Wright made an appearance on "The Colbert Report" to plug his newest book, Surprised by Hope. I was curious as to why Wright would choose Colbert as a forum for discussing the topics covered in the book, and gave the video a quick view. If you haven't seen it, you can watch it here.

I have to admit that after watching it -- and despite the fact that Wright handled himself very well, even with Colbert's over-talking and interruptions -- I was still confounded. So, rather than sit and wonder about it for much longer, I emailed the Bishop's office in Durham. This morning, I received a very kind reply from him, and as you'll see he even asked that I share this with others in hopes that it would address any questions they may have. So watch the video, read his response, and judge for yourself: good choice for a forum, or not?

Thanks for your enquiry. Please feel free to post this on blogsites if people are asking these questions. The answer is that the author does not ‘choose’ which chat shows to appear on. Rather, the publishers are delighted if any chance of free advertising comes along, and Colbert has a reputation for boosting the sales of books quite considerably. It works for me on the same principle as General Booth’s comment that if he could win one more soul to the Lord by playing the tambourine with his toes, he’d do it. I take the view that if I get even a couple of minutes, even in a rather unlikely format, to tell people about resurrection – Jesus’ resurrection, ours to come AFTER ‘life after death’, and the way that works in social justice in the present – then I should take it. Too many people, including too many Christians, are completely ignorant of all this.

Of course, if you know anyone who can get me an invite onto Oprah, I guess I should take that as well. But I don’t think it would be so much fun.

Greetings to any who read this – and please pray for me and for other Anglican leaders this summer!

Tom Wright


Steven Carr said...

I wrote to Wright.

Guess what? He had 'no time' to respond to my points.

I guess Wright is way too busy spreading the Gospel to respond to sceptics.

There is a forum to discuss Wright at Wright

Wright's arguments get torn apart....

No wonder he has 'no time' to respond to sceptics.

Kansas Bob said...

Colbert's pseudo bible knowledge is what surprised me.. did he get prepared or does he read his bible? His blip on asking Reagan questions in heaven cracked me up :)