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Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense Kindle Edition
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From the Back Cover
- ASIN : B0027KRRP2
- Publisher : HarperOne; Reprint edition (April 25, 2009)
- Publication date : April 25, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 529 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 260 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #90,831 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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(P.S. highly recommend getting the kindle book and the audible book and listening and reading together as the Kindle app now flips the pages for you as you listen to the book. Very well read.)
N.T. Wright does it pretty well. Yes it could be rewritten to make a few chapters a little clearer, and should be, but overall, it makes the argument that Christianity makes sense, and gets the point or arguments across.
I have a friend who is an animist, whose mother is French. My wife and I have talked with "her" socially in French at least 4 times. She likes us because we are loyal and faithful friends to her son.
Well, I sent her the book with a friendly introduction how how my Christian conversion stopped me from committing suicide at age 21.
She responded by starting to read it and thanking me and sending me a thank you card entitled: Thanks so much - A simple act of kindness has a beauty all its own. COOL
Top reviews from other countries
What I anticipated was a more modern version of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, being a outline of apologetic reasoning with some, though not many, sources being cited as evidence. Given the difference in backgrounds between C.S. Lewis (a pretty ordinary bloke with a gift for clear writing) and Tom Wright (one of the world's foremost New Testament scholars), I was expecting this to be a little more scholarly, but that the discussions would follow a broadly similar path. This turned out not to be the case.
It was very refreshing to see a new approach to apologetics where the book wasn't written in direct response to an atheistic polemic, but it felt far more like it was addressing an unfulfilled need. The book is beautifully written and a large amount of credit is owed to the author for being such a clear and down-to-earth writer.
It was also good to see the author tackle some difficult topics head-on, which all too often many christian writers either avoid or give cursory answers that do little but enrage the critics.
There are frequent glimpses of the breadth and depth of study that have gone into this book though if there is to one criticism of it, it would have to be the lack of references.
This is not a book that I would recommend for dyed-in-the-wool atheists. I think the matter-of-fact presentation is not designed to be persuasive - it just states the case clearly. This is far more helpful for those wanting to investigate Christianity (e.g. those who may be thinking of going on, or have just done, an Alpha course - or something similar) and it serves as a useful reminder for those of us who are Christians about what it's all about. It can be easy to get sidetracked by various issues at one time or another, and this serves as a good reminder to tell us "this is what's all about. Don't ever forget it."
This is the same premise on which Tom Wright starts. His book starts by describing four things everybody experiences in his or her life: that there is a lot of unjustness in the world, that the world contains a lot of spirituality and searching for real and true answers to life's questions, that people want to live in good harmony with each other but that this goes wrong much of the time, and a certain longing for beauty. These four topics are described through anecdotes and are recognizable for all.
In the second part of the book Wright describes God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and how God's Kingdom has progressed through the ages. Every believing Christian should already know all of this. Nevertheless it's interesting to read it all again, because Wright presents a number of themes that can be found in the development of God's Kingdom, thereby showing that He wanted to make it all right again ever since it went wrong. When Adam and Eve sinned, for example, it was no longer possible that the sacral and the secular could intertwine, but through the Tabernacle, later the Temple and ultimately Christ's sacrifice, this was made possible again.
The third section of the book starts with a beautiful chapter on worship, in which Wright makes perfectly clear that worship is not just singing and dancing for the Lord, but that it is a way of life: giving praise and being grateful to the Lord in all one does. See for example Romans 12,1 (ESV): "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." In the remaining chapters of this section he moves in on the question what it's like to live like a Christian, for example by describing what a healthy prayer life entails or what it's like to read in the Bible.
In his final chapter he returns to the four topics that he described in the first section of the book, showing that it's our job as Christians to make the world a bit more just, to make it a bit more beautiful and to work on healthy relations. That a better world contains a lot of God over against vague spirituality is of course out of the question.
There is more to say about this book. It clearly shows that Wright knows what he is talking about. The way he describes different and sometimes conflicting theological and biblical ideas and interpretations is absolutely great. Moreover, the way he overcomes these differences is even better, for example when he discusses the different and partially conflicting views on the Holy Supper. This book does not presuppose a lot of knowledge about Christianity, which is a good thing, because it makes the book - which is not difficult to read or that long - easier to read.
I have read quite some books of Tim Keller, who works on showing - among many other things - that being a Christian is being someone who has a message for the world: a message of hope and a message of (social) justice (see for example his Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just ). This spoke to me, since I have been long looking for an answer to the question what it means in practice to be a Christian. This book of Tom Wright has essentially the same message, but has it backed up by a good set of ideas that form the basis or foundation of one's personal and communal believes in God.