I find listening to lectures to be a great supplement to my education. I read a lot and I take a lot of classes but lectures are great because they can be listened to on the road or on the rare occasion that you find yourself in the gym or on a run. You can also listen to worthy lectures more than once. I listen to quite a few online lectures and the last post about Brueggemann’s lectures on preaching inspired me to start a quasi-regular series on lectures that are available online. 

In this first installment I want to mention a series of older lectures by N.T. Wright. If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I am a fan of Wright and find many of his views on Jesus to be fantastic. This series of lectures given at an InterVarsity Press conference in 1999 were the impetus and the core of Wright’s book The Challenge of Jesus. I often tell people in church that if you’re going to read one book on Jesus, then Wright’s Challenge of Jesus should be it. And guess what? You don’t even have to read it. It’s available online!

Lecture 1 – Jesus and the Kingdom: In this lecture Wright talks about Jesus’ characteristic message of the Kingdom and what it would likely have meant in the first century.

Lecture 2 – Jesus and the Cross: Wright asks the question – why did Jesus die? He then attempts to provide both a historical and theological answer and to put those two together as the most meaningful way to talk about the cross.

Lecture 3 – Jesus and God: Here Wright tackles the big question of Jesus’ divinity. He uses the language of vocation in talking about Jesus’ call to do and be for Israel what only Israel’s covenant God could do and be for Israel. This to me is the highlight of these lectures.

Lecture 4 – Jesus and the World’s True Light: Here Wright takes the issue a step further than most biblical scholars and addresses how the thesis he has been arguing for impacts the church and how the church has to do and be for the world what Jesus did and was for Israel.