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Saturday, December 6, 2014

"Simply Christian" by N.T. Wright, a Review

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes SenseSimply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense by N.T. Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whether you are simply wondering what Christianity is "all about," or a newbie in the Faith, or have grown tired and weary in the long trek of following Jesus, this book should be in your hands! N.T. Wright displays the beautiful textures of what makes Christianity Christian, and the Faith fresh.

The author tackles most every "big" subject that sets out the parameters of Christianity. Starting out with what Calvin would call the "sensus divinitatis" (the sense of the divine), Wright walks the reader, yard by yard from one end of the playing field to the other. Encompassed in this book are the Christian rites of baptism and the Lord's Supper, the Church and Worship, faith and repentance, the goodness of creation and newness of the new creation, as well as a host of other subjects. And in each major area Wright returns to how these answer the "longing for justice ( . . . ) quest for spirituality ( . . . ) hunger for relationships ( . . . ) and the delight for beauty" (x).

For the theologically perceptive, there are a few divots in the field, though. The author will leave the door wide open in his reading of Genesis 1 and 2 that will make a few flush with frustration. Also he will rework "justification" in a way that will leave them disappointed, and then everything most classic Protestants claim for justification he will subtly tie to baptism. Nevertheless, there will be much to glean from Wright's perceptive re-telling of the Christian story, such that even the most ardent opponent of Wright will find beneficial and uplifting.

"Simply Christian" would make a great read for a coffee table discussion group that introduces people to Christianity. It would similarly be a good place to start for a discipling program in a congregation. I recommend the book.


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