Those of you who know something of Chris Wright’s work may know about his triangles of relationships. God at the top, humanity on the bottom left and creation on the bottom right. Then inside that another triangle that touches the top (God) and then bottom left is Israel and bottom right is the land. In this sense Israel is a model for the world in its relationships.
When I was a student at ANCC, Chris had developed this in his Living as the People of God. One time at the end of term, some of the students sang “He’s a real triangle man, living in his triangle land”, to the tune of “Nowhere man” by the Beatles. For all the banter, this idea has been really helpful. I have used these triangle for years as a way for students to get a handle on the Old Testament.
Chris is my third theologian to “show” this week. Chris Wright introduced me to the Old Testament; gave me a love for that vital part of the Scriptures; supervised my MA dissertation and has been a source of constant prompting to think deeper about the missional nature of the Bible.
Chris is an Old Testament Scholar, a ethicist, an apologist for the uniqueness of Jesus and a friend. His Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative deserves to be a missiological text book for years to come. I hope that there will be little or no excuse for ignoring the concept of “mission” as a hermeneutical key for biblical studies.
Chris also taught me about expositional preaching, especially the importance of summarizing the passage first before getting into the details of that passage. He has such a clear manner of opening up Scripture that has been an example to me. I certainly cannot live up to his high standards but he showed me the way.