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Thursday, September 07, 2006

N.T. Wright's Simply Christian 'Simply Outstanding'

Christianity Today Review of Simply Christian

I am especially interested to see a review of this book put forth by some of Bishop Tom's most vocal Reformed critics who have claimed that his views of justification are some of the most dangerous attacks on the Christian Gospel in our times. Yes, people do believe this. I find it incomprehensible but there are multiple things that I do not understand. If you have read the book, what are your thoughts?
"I am especially struck by Wright's offering of Christianity as an alternative worldview to pantheism and deism, because it explains human experience far better than either. He clearly describes the overlap between earth and heaven as they merge not only in the life and works of Jesus and such Christian rites as baptism and the Eucharist, but also in our ordinary human encounters with the world.

Second, his treatment of Jesus' growing self-consciousness—how the Lord understood his mission in light of the history of Israel and the future of humanity, coming slowly through his grasp of the Hebrew Scriptures—impresses me.

Wright could not have written this section with such credibility without the massive scholarship that went into his Jesus trilogy: Christian Origins and the Question of God. Those who suspect that Wright fails to sufficiently emphasize Jesus' divine self-consciousness will have to contend with the author's impressive scholarship.

Finally, Wright's emphasis on the present and future of the kingdom of God is a corrective for those who think that the point of Christianity is "to go to heaven when you die." God, Wright argues, is bent upon putting "the whole creation to rights." "Earth and heaven were made to overlap with one another," the author writes, "not fitfully, mysteriously, and partially as they do at the moment, but completely, gloriously, and utterly." Our task as Christians is to join our lives to that great end.

Simply Christian is simply outstanding. It will confirm, challenge, and deepen your grasp of Christian faith and practice."


James W. Sire is the author of The Universe Next Door and Why Good Arguments Often Fail.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mark DeForrest said...

A read the book yesterday. It has a little bit of left-wingy social gospel stuff in it, but overall I thought it was a very good presentation of "mere Christianity." Wright certainly is a gifted writer, and he has a very good ability to bring scholarly thoughts to non-scholarly audiences. I would recommend the book strongly both to new believers and to those of us (myself among them!) who always can profit from reorienting my attention to the core doctrines of the Christian faith. A great read!

6:05 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

What in particular did you find left-wingy social gospel stuff?

7:47 pm  

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