Occasionally I read a book that is so good that I have a lot of trouble sitting down to write a review for the blog. My weblog reviews tend to be short, quick blurbs just to let readers know what I thought of the book and whether or not I would recommend it. Some books deserve a lot more. Some books have a level of importance and complexity that call for a more systematic, intentional review. N.T. Wright, Simply Christian, Why Christianity Makes Sense, is a book that deserves such a review. Unfortunately, in this space, it still just gets a blurb.
I am hesitant to recommend a book to everyone. I realize that people are in innumerably different places in their lives and spiritual journeys and different things might be more appropriate at different times. But I think I can offer Simply Christian to everyone. This book is an excellent read for people who are looking at Christianity for the first time. It is an incredible intermediate text for people who are looking to add a depth of understanding to their faith. It is also an indispensible tool for mature Christians who are always in need of review, focus and the ability to better articulate their faith to others. (In University’s Vision Map, this book would be useful for people in all three stages: meeting, message and mission.) It seems that these multiple audiences are what Wright had in mind. His aim, he writes, “has been to describe what Christianity is all about, both to commend it to those outside the faith and to explain it to those inside.” (from the introduction, page v.)
Simply Christian, while a fairly comprehensive overview of the faith, is not just another text on the tenants of Christianity. Wright tackles the subject through the lens of three possible understandings of the intersection of heaven and earth, with a clear indication of which he understands as true and helpful. I love this approach as I see our lack of clarity in how we interact with God as undermining our overall theology and therefore negatively affecting how we live as Christians.
Enjoy the book. If you have read it or if you read, I hope you will offer your comments.
Simply Christian and other titles read and recommended by our clergy team are available at The Word Store on the south campus of The U.
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