Do any of you guys have thoughts about why Emergent folks (like McLaren and Franke) are so grateful to and dependent upon the work of N.T. Wright, and why Bishop Wright seems to appreciate what they are trying to do?
I don't know about Bishop Wright's "appreciation" of the emerging church (and would be curious to hear why people like McLaren appreciate his work), but he did do an Open Source Theology Conference in 2004. You can find the audio from the conference here.
In the first session, Wright makes some introductory comments about how he finds it odd that these folks have an affinity for his work and want to hear him speak. Moreover, Wright makes some comments about how certain aspects of his theology could undermine the aims of those within the emerging movement and the critiques he has received from those within postmodern evangelicalism regarding his historiography.
Notwithstanding the connection between two, Wright's talks are fantastic-- and he makes mention of the UK study, Mission Shaped Church.
If you want to avoid the trouble of going through OST's page, you can download the sessions here:
Session 1: God's Future for the World has Arrived in the Person of Jesus
Session 2: Understanding and Implementing Jesus' Gospel in the Present
Session 3: Reimagining our Mission as God's Agents of New Creation in the World
Session 4: Fulfilling God's Kingdom Project for the World as a Mission Shaped Church
(Wright also mentions the UK study, Mission-Shaped Church at several points in the lectures)