Contact: Heather Mascarello
Wheaton, IL —With 1,100 registered attendees, numerous scholars and students, plus countless others following the action on Twitter at #WTC10, this year’s Wheaton Theology Conference featuring Anglican bishop N. T. Wright set a Wheaton College record as the largest conference ever staged on campus during the semester. Cosponsored by InterVarsity Press , the conference had as its theme this year “Jesus, Paul and the People of God: A Theological Dialogue with N. T. Wright” and took place on Wheaton’s campus in the western suburbs of Chicago on April 16-17.
“Never before had we focused on interaction with one person’s theology. Typically we focus on a theme, such as spiritual formation [last year] or Christianity and the arts, or the doctrine of the Trinity. We felt that N. T. Wright’s stature as a leading biblical scholar and his widespread influence in the church warranted a unique exploration of his thought,” explains Jeffrey Greenman, Wheaton’s associate dean of biblical and theological studies and the Wheaton Theology Conference organizer.
On Friday and Saturday night, Wright gave keynote addresses in Edman Chapel. Each day of the conference, scholars such as Richard Hays, Nicholas Perrin, Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Jeremy Begbie and Edith Humphrey presented papers that offered both appreciation and critique of various elements of Wright ’s thought. Wright responded and interacted with his fellow scholars during a panel discussion each day.
“The way that a program of nine other scholars actively engaged and debated Wright on various aspects of his theological perspective was significant. Together they all demonstrated deep levels of grace and truth that reflected genuine godly character. It was no accident that the conference concluded with a meaningful time of worship and prayer,” notes InterVarsity Press publisher Robert Fryling.
But civil discourse and meaningful worship weren ’t all that happened over the conference weekend. During the breaks, the book tables of InterVarsity Press and several other publishers in Coray Gym were crowded with participants eager to buy the theological books available to them. At one point, a book signing for Wright’s books had a line that stretched out the door.
“Perhaps not surprisingly, N. T. Wright’s Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision was our top seller at the conference. This shows that interest hasn’t waned in a watershed theological issue that continues to spark vigorous debate among evangelicals. Wright’s other titles geared more for general audiences also sold well, including Evil and the Justice of God , The Challenge of Jesus and the N.T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides . Overall, our sales were more than $30,000,” notes Nick Liao, sales and marketing manager for IVP Academic.
As it has done for more than 15 years, InterVarsity Press will publish the proceedings of the conference, with the book releasing in spring 2011.
“I am tremendously thankful for the gift of Tom Wright and the Wheaton Theology Conference. Sponsoring this conference and providing such rich biblical, theological and spiritual resources to God’s people makes Christian publishing such a wonderful and profound calling,” notes Fryling.
Founded in 1947 as an extension of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, InterVarsity Press serves those in the university, the church and the world by publishing thoughtful Christian books that equip and encourage people to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord in all of life. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, InterVarsity Press is made up of three lines of books: IVP Academic, which includes texts, commentaries and dictionaries by leading Christian scholars; IVP Books, made up of general titles on a wide variety of topics such as Christian living, prayer and evangelism, and also the Likewise and Formatio imprints; and IVP Connect, comprising over 150 unique Bible study guides, as well as resources for group leaders. InterVarsity Press resources are sold worldwide and have been translated into dozens of languages. Visit IVP online at ivpress.com.