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
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.
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.
Learning about the other types of Messiah movements helped me understand Jesus' own moverment. I love it!
It deeply gratified me and made me think.
I would recommend this book to long time Christians and to seekers alike.
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
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).
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.
I enjoyed this. A lot to digest. Definitely one I need to go back to read and listen to again. I feel like there is so much to absorb here. I especially enjoyed the application to the church.
the book brings you on a journey, of discovering Jesus and gets you to begin asking more and different questions. This is the journey of discipleship.
This book encapsulates the story of Jesus in a fresh, new way. I now feel like I have a better understanding of the "big picture" of God at work in the world, throughout time.
The narrator is wonderful and NT Wright is very charming.
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