22 May 2012

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

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had read some mixed reviews on this book before starting it myself. Some were saying it was complicated, some saying it is a rehash of stuff from a couple of his previous books, books which presented it better. However, I found it to be a great read. Having read a handful of Wright's stuff before, I have found some to be very deep theological (which I enjoy), and others not so much. This for fall into the category of the not-to-deep.

The more I read, the more I felt like I was becoming a part of the first-century era, and started to see the actions and words of Jesus in a new light. Of course having just finished reading two other similar books on the first century life around Jesus' time may have had an influence on the enjoyment factor for me.

I was really intrigued by the history lesson of those before and even after Jesus, who had stood up and made the claim to be the anointed one, and how they went about fulfilling that claim. Based on the expectations of the first testament scriptures, they had a plan, and of course ultimately failed. Jesus came on the scene, and we see parallels in his plan, but with a serious twist that shows his plan to be the real one. Understanding that really brought a better understanding to why they placed a sign saying "King of the Jews" on the cross of Jesus; whereas not knowing this past history it made a bit less sense.

The section on exactly what it meant to stand up and claim to be king, and what that meant at that time was also similarly enlightening. What exactly that meant and how it played out, which is the heart of the book, was a real thrill ride.

Of course the whole journey comes to a real head with the closing section which wraps this package up beautifully and should challenge believers to be a part of the kingdom and stop trying to escape the world. The church has failed its mission over the past few hundred years, and men like Wright are steering the "sinking ship" back on course to the kingdom mission Jesus left his followers to do.

I finished the book inspired and desiring to be more engaging in the culture around me. A much needed read by pretty much anyone claiming to be a disciple of Jesus.

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