A graduate of Harvard’s Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations program, Dr. Richter is Professor of Old Testament at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson MS and Affiliate Professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary, where she leads archaeology classes and trips to Israel.
In his opening remarks, Scott Lees described Dr. Richter as one of his favorite professors during his time at Asbury, “a wonderful teacher and lecturer and an incredible scholar.” From my own time at Asbury, I was able to sit in her archaeology lectures, and I certainly agree. I knew the church was going to be very blessed by her time with us.
Scott noted how Dr. Richter’s work, particularly in her new book The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament, dovetails nicely with the mission of Christ College, which is to bolster the mission of Christian discipleship by giving us the tools we need to accomplish the works God has called us to. A significant part of this is offering more academically-focused teaching with involved reading and study than what is usually able to be provided in other church settings.
In his formal introduction to Dr. Richter, Maxie Dunnam described her as a treasured faculty member of his when he served as president of Asbury Seminary, and called her book “outstanding,” hence its inclusion in the reading for his upcoming trip to Israel with Christ Church members and for Christ College’s upcoming semester.
Dr. Richter began her lecture on a personal note by introducing her family, complete with slideshow pictures. She then moved right into expounding upon some of the main ideas of her book. She began by posing the problem: We Christians tend to think of ourselves as people of the New Testament only, with no real connection with the Old Testament. Christians are often even unsure of the purpose of the Old Testament, and this confusion is compounded due its size, scope, and complexity. She terms this dilemma “the dysfunctional closet syndrome.”
We all know what it’s like to have a closet that is cluttered and disorganized. Dr. Richter helps us with the solution. By drawing together the main themes of the Old Testament, showing us how the Bible is one big story from beginning to end, to organize and de-clutter our Old Testament closets. From the Eden of Genesis to the Eden of Revelation, everything comes full circle in Jesus Christ, the climax and fulfillment of the Old Testament story.
For more information on Christ College and the fall semester which begins on August 22, visit the webpage.