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Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters | [N. T. Wright]

Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters

“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. It is we, the churches, who have been the real reductionists. We have reduced the kingdom of God to private piety; the victory of the cross to comfort for the conscience; Easter itself to a happy, escapist ending after a sad, dark tale. Piety, conscience, and ultimate happiness are important...."
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Publisher's Summary

We have grown used to the battles over Jesus - whether he was human or divine, whether he could do miracles or just inspire them, whether he even existed. Much of the church defends tradition, while critics take shots at the institution and its beliefs. But what if these debates have masked the real story of Jesus? What if even Jesus’s defenders have been so blinded by their focus on defending the church’s traditions that they have failed to grapple with what the New Testament really teaches?

Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N. T. Wright summarizes a lifetime of study of Jesus and the New Testament in order to present for a general audience who Jesus was and is. In Simply Jesus, we are invited to hear one of our leading scholars introduce the story of the carpenter’s son from Nazareth as if we were hearing it for the first time.

“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. It is we, the churches, who have been the real reductionists. We have reduced the kingdom of God to private piety; the victory of the cross to comfort for the conscience; Easter itself to a happy, escapist ending after a sad, dark tale. Piety, conscience, and ultimate happiness are important, but not nearly as important as Jesus himself.” As the church faces the many challenges of the twenty-first century, Wright has presented a vision of Jesus that more than meets them.

©2011 Nicholas Thomas Wright (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

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  •  
    Terry Tulsa, OK, United States 03-17-12
    Terry Tulsa, OK, United States 03-17-12 Member Since 2003
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    "A must read for today's church"

    Mix together a fair amount of history, a little bit of culture and an ample amount of theology and you have the recipe for "Simply Jesus". Historically it helps us see Jesus' place in a line of Messiahs, some coming before him and some after him(the last one as late as 100 years after Jesus' death). Culturally, we get a picture of the expectations surrounding Jesus, the excitement of a Messiah coming onto the scene and what one would look for if a Messiah was "outing" himself. But most important, theologically, this book is a discussion of how the church has done Jesus a real disservice by confining him to our church methods, programs, or making him our own "personal" saviour. I've listened to this book twice and probably will again.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Shields Marietta, GA, USA 11-11-11
    Adam Shields Marietta, GA, USA 11-11-11

    Book blogger at Bookwi.se

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    "Very good distillatio of Wright's overall theology"

    I have a hard time being objective about Wright's work. I really find it fascinating. In part because he is hitting in areas that I really am looking for. This is a great illustration of the Christological Hermeneutic that Christian Smith is looking for in A Bible Made Impossible. It is a very good companion to Scot McKnight's King Jesus Gospel. I have read Wright's Challenge of Jesus fairly recently and this is a completely different book, not just a revision. And there are several things that I think he handles better here. This is intended to be a follow up to his Simply Christian and is written at a more popular level (not simplistic, just without footnotes).

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Glemby long Island ,NY usa 09-08-13
    J. Glemby long Island ,NY usa 09-08-13 Member Since 2010
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    "As usual,superb treatment and so enlightening!"

    For all those aquainted with N.T. Writes work this review will be common knowlage..for those not yet aqainted you are in for a wonderful treat..I think I could say that nt Write is one of the finest Christian theologins of the modern age.He realy has clear and honest ideas that just 'feel' to be truth.He has a uneque quality of clearing up basic mysteries without killing mystery[if that makes sence[.anyway,hes good people as they say..enjoy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul TEMECULA, CA, United States 09-11-13
    Paul TEMECULA, CA, United States 09-11-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Surprised by Simply Jesus?"
    What disappointed you about Simply Jesus?

    Too Much a continuation of Wright's "Surprised by Hope"


    Has Simply Jesus turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    What aspect of James Langton’s performance would you have changed?

    none. You almost think NT Wright is reading it


    What character would you cut from Simply Jesus?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    If you've read NT Wright's, what I think is a modern christian classic, "Surprised by Hope" then no need to read this one. Best point is it puts Jesus pursuit of the kingdom of God on Earth into its rightful christian perspective sucking the wind out of Aslan's Zealot & other non-christians cry that this pursuit shows Jesus was only a social political figure. Again like "Surprised by Hope" Wright shows that pursing social and political justice beauty etc has in fact always been simply Jesus who is the core of Christianity. This pursuit is exemplified by Jesus who, yes non-christians, claims to be king (not in the purely political sense) who seeks to bring the King (God / Himself) onto earth to rule. Also does a good job following ancient culture showing how this King claim (Jesus's life & death) is only the herald before the actual return of Jesus to earth to rule and thus bring the kingdom of heaven onto earth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Anderle CHATTANOOGA, TN, US 04-02-13
    Jeff Anderle CHATTANOOGA, TN, US 04-02-13 Member Since 2011

    I love theology, the classics, biographies, and bussiness books. I sometimes even enjoy a little modern fiction,

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    "Simply Brilliant"

    I have read most everything N.T. Wright has written so I'm a huge fan. Having said that I think this is his clearest Christology yet. Having reflected on Jesus and his ministry in such amazing books as The Challenge of Jesus, Jesus and the Victory of God, and When God became King you would think what could Wright possibly add to what he has already written? In Simply Jesus Wright brings together all of the insights of his previous works in one concise read. This is a book I will listen to many times. I would recommend this book for anyone who is wanting to grow in their understanding of Jesus, his ministry, his life, death, and resurrection. It is a book that will both challenge those who might be unfamiliar with the life of Jesus and those who have been following him for decades.

    The narration was top notch. The narrator's voice made you think you might actually be listening to Wright's voice over a cup of coffee or a spot of tea in Wright's case.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sweetbriar TN USA 01-19-13
    Sweetbriar TN USA 01-19-13
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    "Audible verson is AWFUL!"

    It sounds like he is reading Winnie the Pooh - pauses and emphasis in peculiar places. Horrible. It's impossible to follow the thoughts because the narrator DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE, he is just performing some strange text reading stunt. It doesn't matter if you have a lovely voice if you sound as disconnected from the content as a computer program. I'd return the audible format if I could, and I certainly will never buy another. $22 for a completely unusable item.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karl Hendersonville, NC, United States 11-25-12
    Karl Hendersonville, NC, United States 11-25-12
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    "Wonderful Overview!"
    What did you love best about Simply Jesus?

    I have read many of NT Wrights books but I think that this one is the best that I have ever read. It was easy to follow and helped me gain a good framework for understanding Jesus.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Simply Jesus?

    Learning about the other types of Messiah movements helped me understand Jesus' own moverment. I love it!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It deeply gratified me and made me think.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to long time Christians and to seekers alike.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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