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A Literary Spirit

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Simply Jesus
By N.T Wright

Review:

I read one of N.T. Wright’s earlier works called Simply Christian and found the volume spell-binding.  I had never before read an account of Christianity—in study and practice—that was as inspiring as his.  What I liked most was that N.T. Wright approached Christian practice with the wisdom of a scholar but with the voice of an ordinary person—seeking to be more loving and compassionate in the world.

In his new book, bestselling author N. T. Wright summarizes a lifetime of study of Jesus and the New Testament to write a book that recharges our vision of Jesus.  In the book jacket, he says, “Jesus—the Jesus we might discover if we really looked,” explains Wright, “is larger, more disturbing, more urgent than we had ever imagined. We have successfully managed to hide behind other questions and to avoid the huge, world-shaking challenge of Jesus’s central claim and achievement.”

I liked what I read in the jacket and so delved into the book.  But the book wasn’t the smooth, easy read I was expecting.  When you pick up this book, you should be ready to read slowly, meditate on the ideas Wright presents and perhaps even refer back to bible study notes. This isn’t popular nonfiction—it is a treasury of wisdom for Christians who want to connect to the truth of Jesus by examining key stories in the bible with a fresh perspective.

My favorite Chapter was #8 in which Wright discusses the importance of the stories that Jesus told. “They were stories designed to tease, to clothe the shocking and revolutionary message of God’s kingdom in garb that left the hearers wondering, trying to think it out, never quite able (until near the end) to pin Jesus down.” Passages like these enabled me to place biblical parables in a new light—in which I remember to look not only at the content but the context of each one.
I recommend this book for serious Christians seeking to deepen their understanding and practice of Jesus’ teachings.

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