After 2000 years of theory and theology 'Simply Jesus' gets behind the traditional Church-endorsed view of Jesus.
In his follow up to 'Simply Christian', Tom Wright finds out what the New Testament actually says, and how we should present the gospel story and identity of Jesus of Nazareth to the world today.
At times unconventional and even controversial, Tom Wright’s book is a breath of fresh air for anyone confused by the complex theology that seems to surround the Jesus of the gospels In three straightforward sections ‘Simply Jesus’ shifts the focus from the theology to the man himself.
It's simply all about Jesus
'Simply Jesus' is for anyone concerned with how the Church presents the central personality of the Christian faith. Life-long Christians, new church members and anyone 'just looking' will be surprised by what Tom Wright has to say about the Jesus we think we know.
Tom Wright explores the questions about Jesus that really matter. With characteristic simplicity and in his readable ‘For Everyone’ style Tom follows up his ‘Simply Christian’ with a new book that’s engaging and enlightening to all levels of church membership and none.
Who Jesus really was
‘Simply Jesus’ is about the historical Jesus – the Jesus of the New Testament. It’s not a book about theology or religion, it’s about Jesus in his world and time and what makes him the good news for today’s world and time.
Jesus, says Tom Wright, was all that the Temple represented. The Temple was where people got up close and personal with God; the place where heaven and earth meet. This was who Jesus really was.
What Jesus said and did
'Simply Jesus' reveals that the gospel simply about the kingdom of God. This is Jesus primary message – not just in words but in his deeds. To use the title of the first chapter in this section of the book, Jesus is saying that 'God is in charge now'.
Tom Wright describes how this message was subversive and threatening to the political powers of the first century. And because of what it means in practice, it is no less threatening to the rich, powerful and influential of our own times.
Why Jesus still matters
In the third section of ‘Simply Jesus’, Tom Wright thinks about the question “so what?” Here he looks at what it means to evangelise and why it still matters that we make Jesus’ life and teaching the principle focus our faith.
He seems to argue that that Church’s goal should not so much ‘conversion’ but to carry on Jesus’ authentic message. This message is about the nature of the kingdom of God. The challenge, says Tom Wright, is to bring God’s wise and healing rule to bear on this world and in these times.
Tom Wright: author snapshot
Author, speaker stimulation for the minds of the well-churched, un-churched and the anti-churched, Tom Wright is a regular on radio and TV. His more than fifty books include the 'For Everyone' New Testament guides and the best-selling 'Simply Christian’ and ‘Surprised by Hope'.
Evangelical in outlook, he resigned as Bishop of Durham in 2010 and is currently Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews. Writing as NT Wright his academic credits include 'Virtue Reborn', 'Jesus and the Victory of God' and 'What St Paul Really Said'.
Quick Guide to Simply Jesus by Tom Wright
What is it?
- New perspectives on the real Jesus behind what we think we know and understand.
- Highly readable review of Jesus by an acclaimed expert in New Testament history.
- How the Church should truthfully present the story and identity of Jesus today.
What will do for me?
- Help you better understand Jesus' life and message in the context of his times.
- Show you the relevance of Jesus' life and teaching to your life and world today.
- Give you a gift for someone seeking to find the meaning of Jesus in their own life.
Over to You
At Eden.co.uk you can find a truly interactive Christian community helping you find all you need to live, learn and grow your faith.
“When he [Jesus] wanted fully to explain what his forthcoming death was all about, he didn’t give them a theory. He didn’t even give them a set of scriptural texts. He gave them a meal.” ('Simply Jesus' - p180)
- Do you think we have tried to hard to theologise too much on what Jesus said and did?
- Do think there's a difference between 'Christianity' and what might be called 'Jesus-anity'?
- Is there a Simple side of Jesus message or is it really much more complicated than that?
Tell us. Post your ideas, views and tips – beautiful, bizarre and brilliant at Eden.co.uk
March 10th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison