N.T. Wright, “Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why It Matters”

This book is very good at putting Jesus in historical context.  In this regard, the author uses the analogy of “a perfect storm,” including Rome’s vision versus the Jews’ vision.  Wright’s recurrent complaint is that many Christians today see Jesus as our Redeemer but not as an earthly leader.  Speak truth to power, he says (228).  Wright does have a liberal social agenda that he thinks Christians should implement, but he criticizes the Whig view of inevitable “progress” (222)  (and in other books he’s at least willing to follow the Bible’s clear text with regard to extramarital, including gay, sex).  Other notes:

  • Chapter 12 is an interesting discussion of the Old Testament books that illuminate Jesus’ role (Isaiah, Daniel, Zechariah, and the Psalms).
  • He has a very confident statement (192) that the Resurrection happened, that’s its the likely scenario.
  • Jesus’ return, how he appears, and what he does shows a fusion of Heaven and Earth.
  • Christians become better by suffering.
  • His discussion of what Jesus’ mission was is interesting and he draws well on history and Scripture, but it is too intricate for my tastes.