N.T. Wright’s Simply Christian

Most serious contemporary readers and certainly those familiar with religious writings of the last 50 years know the acclaim of C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity. Originally spoken on the BBC, and then published as smaller booklets—The Broadcast Talks—this book is one of the wiser, deep yet popular cases for the Christian faith in our lifetime. It is widely read and widely cited. Happily, a new book was recently released which documents Lewis’s turbulent rise to broadcast fame during the war years. Pretty interesting.
Most serious readers of Christian books today know that certainly one of the most brilliant, popular and influential writers of this generation is N.T. (Tom) Wright. Beloved known by some as “The Bish” he is an evangelically-minded, progressive, erudite and prolific writer. He has done major, major work in Jesus scholarship, published popular-level Bible commentaries, a few collections of sermons and essays, a daily devotional and has written scholarly work on the authority of the Bible, the writings of Paul, the echoes of Hebrew scriptures in the New Testament. He is interested in these postmodern times and yet is resolutely committed to being an Anglican church leader and a Biblical theologian.
Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense is his sterling call to do popular level, thoughtful and compelling apologetics. It is, in a phrase, his version of Mere Christianity. With rave reviews from diverse authors—the fiction writer Anne Rice, the Reformed theologian J.I. Packer, Walt Brueggemann…It is a remarkable book that has this many important leaders commending it.
I have started this wonderful introduction to Christian faith and it is characteristically Wright.
He starts off with the big question of where our desire for justice comes from. These first chapter invite us to realize that we have dreams, here “echoes” of a voice. The second part is called “Staring Into the Sun” which looks at an overview of the Bible, the culmination of the story of Israel found in Jesus, and how Christ’s inaugurates the kingdom. The final third of the book illustrates ways that church folk can be agents of this new Kingdom, this realization of our echo, our desires for the world made right.
I’ve jumped ahead–I’m so bad–to see how he handles the big ending of living in beauty, as a step entering the new creation brought by the resurrection. It is a wonderful, wonderful ending.
Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense N.T. Wright (Harper SanFransico) $22.95

5 thoughts on “N.T. Wright’s Simply Christian

  1. Byron!I have been praying for the authorship & release of this book. What a sound and refreshing intro to being a Christian!My wife and I will be attending his “Simply Christian” talk at the Washington National Cathedral on May 16th.I am on chapter four… haven’t skipped ahead yet…Great review as always. Smaller font!+Aaron Kunce

  2. My copy came a few days ago from Amazon. I’ve begun to read it, and will undoubtedly do a review.Regarding the J.I. Packer blurb: I recently spent a few hours in a major seminary bookstore and saw so many Packer blurbs I had to conclude, without doing a statistical analysis, that he’s never read a book he didn’t like.

  3. Wyclif: For a while, Packer really was the biggest blurber on evangelical books; he turned up everywhere. Less so now, I’d say. Just remember, though: we are reading the ones he agreed to endorse. You can’t imagine how many he has turned down.Did you really have to use the a word here, though?That hurts.Byron

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