June 20, 2008

N. T. Wright on Colbert

Yes, that headline is correct.  

Bishop N. T. Wright was on Colbert last night.  Surreal.  

They chat about his new book Surprised by Hope but essentially have a discussion on eschatology.  Wright, an Anglican, gets in a nice good natured jab at Colbert, a Catholic. 

PS - If you're unfamiliar with Wright and even mildly interested in Christian theology he's a good place to start.  He's incredibly bright, articulate and balanced and possesses a rare trait among scholars of any faith - the ability to listen sympathetically to those who disagree with him.  The N. T. Wright Page is a good resource for some free reading and listening.

PPS - Colbert has to be one of the smartest guys on TV.

PPPS - For some reason Thursday's show isn't on Hulu yet.


Pomeroy Kinsey said...

I wasn't expecting that guest on Colbert. I loved Colbert's explanation of heaven to Wright - it'll be a place where he'll be drinking mint julips and where he can ask Ronald Reagan questions.

Seriously, though, I was kind of disappointed in this interview. I couldn't figure out what the book really was about, except that it was about heaven, and I didn't feel like that had much chemistry. Wright kept trying to be funny, and I always prefer it when the interviewees just sit and take their medicine (on Colbert, that is).

j said...

Agreed, it was definitely a more surprising interview than it was a good interview. My immediate thought after watching it was that he didn't get very good advice on being interviewed by Colbert and that he didn't watch enough interviews to get ready. You can't trade jokes with Colbert, especially when you're a theologian and whatever you're talking about, no matter how complicated, you've got to boil it down to a 30 second sound bite. I, however, would have wet myself.

a conversationalist said...

To quote Kanye, "They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes." Are you people out of your minds? The fact that Colbert would have this guy on his show in the first place....major props. Maybe it is just my jaded view of pop culture these days, but I think this is pretty big. Wright is not Jim Wallis (on the daily show awhile back), he is coming with another level of intensity. I applaud the effort by Wright, and Colbert for letting him string some sentences together that might make somebody think about some important things. And face it folks, the Daily Show/Colbert Report duo are the Oprah of our generation. And I agree, Colbert is very bright, and I think has a very interesting view of his role as a Christian entertainer.

Pomeroy Kinsey said...

Oh, don't get me wrong. I love that Wright was on there. I love Wright to the moon and back (and Colbert - it's a tie). But, I'm just saying, you only have 4-5 minutes in the interview, and Wright just seemed to be trying to out-wit him at times and then explain the entire theology of heaven in his book, and I couldn't quite follow it. But, it's great to see Wright's book getting exposure, as I've heard many good things about it. I just thought the interview could've/should've been better.

j said...

AC - no arguments here either. However, Colbert is an "entertainment" show and the way to get people to think about important things on the Colbert/Stewart show isn't really to talk about them but to let Colbert/Stewart be entertaining with you as a backdrop. You're basically there to exploit the Colbert bump - the important things tend to get thought about post-show. I would be interested to hear Colbert talk about being a "Christian entertainer" and whether or not he sees himself that way - do you know if he has before?

a conversationalist said...

J, no I don't think he has explicitly spoken about that (but that brings up all sorts of questions about the role of Christianity/Christians in the world today doesn't it). I do remember an interview with him on 60 Mins a couple of years ago. Seems like some of the things he says there are what I was mentally liking to...

a conversationalist said...

man these links are killing me lately. Lets try this again:

60 Mins.

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