Written more in the style of Tom Wright, rather than his eminent theologian persona of N.T. Wright, Simply Christian “is an amazing testimony to the vitality and truth of the Christian faith” to quote William Willimon from the book’s back cover. Wright begins,
I had a dream the other night, a powerful and interesting dream And the really frustrating thing about it is that I can’t remember what it was about. I had a flash of it as I woke up, enough to make me think how extraordinary and meaningful it was; and then it was gone. And so, to misquote T. S. Eliot, I had the meaning but missed the experience.
Our passion for justice often seems like that. We dream the dream of justice. We glimpse, for a moment, a world at one, a world put to rights, a world where things work out, where societies function fairly and efficiently, where we not only know what we ought to do but actually do it. And then we wake up and come back to reality. But what are we hearing when we’re dreaming that dream?
Wright paints the story of our longing for a world we do not know and yet, somehow remember. A world where relationships work, where justice is common and where truth prevails. A world our cynical minds reason does not exist – and yet we sense it is real – if not reality. A world that awaits us, if only…
With echoes of Mere Christianity in it’s title, Wright has produced an accessible work that draws us into the God-story. He identifies the thirst for transcendence in our culture – this hunger for something spiritual – perhaps what Pascal called the God-shaped void in each of us – and our desire to fill it with something or too often, anything.
…human beings have been so seriously damaged by evil that what they need isn’t simply better self-knowledge, or better social conditions, but help, and indeed rescue from outside themselves,
…People who have been starved of water for a long time will drink anything, even if it is polluted.
Wright points us to the only source that will fulfill that thirst – in a style that is both profound and yet easy to read. Simply Christian is an important book and like Lewis’ Mere Christianity, a book I believe will have lasting impact.
Although not yet finished it, I can already recommend it highly.
The good Bishop of Durham will be in Toronto in May at Wycliffe College for Refresh and for one evening (May 9th) at EmpireRemixed with his friend and Colossians Remixed co-writer, Brian Walsh. Imbi and I will be at both events.
For all things N.T. Wright, visit here.
And might I add, that if you are looking for a great discount theological bookstore, you can do no better than Crux Books which is located at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto. It’s where I purchased Wright’s book. Store manager Billy Gekas is one of the organizers of the EmpireRemixed event.