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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2012
I found this book challenging to many of my pre-conceived ideas (and dare I say 20th century worldview) about the life of Jesus. His words and actions so often seen in isolation suddenly came together in a continuous story. I found the opening "Perfect Storm" analogy set the scene as the military might of Rome and the religious fervour of Judaism was met full on by the love of God.

A compelling read I would recommend it to Christian and non-Christian alike.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2012
I found the book well constructed, full of excellent insights and extremely useful for framing my thoughts on the subject of Jesus. Christology is a really tough subject often poorly taught. This book is an accessible well written introduction to the important concepts with which one must grapple in order to gain an understanding of the most important figure in history.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2012
Having grown up in an evangelical, Anglican clergy family, studied Biblical Studies at university, taught Alpha courses and led various Christian basics groups, I have been finding Tom Wright's work, which I have arrived at only recently, thoroughly earth-shaking.

Simply Jesus is no exception.

Readers might have to drop some assumptions. If your Christian faith has an add-on pack which says, "When you read the Bible, especially the bits about Jesus, you must believe x, y and z about it, or you're not a real Christian" then you might have trouble with Tom Wright's thinking.

However. If you're prepared to let the New Testament, and the world in which it was written (about which Wright is a world authority and all-around genius), speak for itself, you're in for a treat. And a world-view altering one at that. Why did Jesus have to die? Wright's answer is unexpected - revolutionary - but convincing.

Wright talks about the clash of three forces: the all-powerful Roman Empire, the immanent expectations of 1st century Jewish people that God is about to rescue them from Rome (based on their understanding of their scriptures), and the redemptive creation purposes of Israel's God: purposes that redefine the Jewish covenant hopes of God's arrival as redemptive ruler of a new earth into one man: Jesus the Messiah.

Wright concludes: Jesus is in charge of the earth, now, and he wants to run it through us (the Church). But how? What does Wright say we should do about it? Answer: Initiate and multiply Kingdom-like, Beatitude-inspired projects. And remind the powers (governments, etc) that Jesus is Lord, and that he is calling them to account for their rule.

The final chapter, where he answers his own "What now?" question, is where I found the book slightly disappointing. Wright's conclusions about implementing Jesus' rule do not have the same awesome sense of Old Testament/New Testament/Ancient world/Jesus integration that he achieves in the main body of the book (in my opinion!). Work in progress?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2013
Tom Wright is an expert in historical Christianity. As a result he is able to lay out the historical context for Jesus entry into the world which gives a very different perspective to traditional christian thinking. Rather than taking away what the Christian believes, he methodically adds to the historical Jesus using the example of "The perfect Storm". He revisits this throughout the book showing what the Jews wanted, what the political powers of the time were doing and finally what God wanted... the result being "The perfect Storm".

The end view turned out to be very different than anyone thought at the time. Jesus came into a very political and world view context which is often ignored by the church. The Christian mission is therefore much greater than our own "personal" faith. Jesus death and resurrection was not just so we could all go to heaven when we die, but instead, the Kingdom has begun and we are to do our "heavenly work" now. Wright demonstrates this throughout.

Wright also comes back to the "Exodus" theme. Tyrant, Leader, Victory, Sacrifice, Vocation, Inheritance and Presence are huge themes throughout scripture and Jesus played into this context. Whereas with Egypt and the tyrant Pharoah, ultimately ending with God dwelling in the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus beats the tyrant sin and death with God's presence dwelling in us through his Spirit. Heaven and earth meet... in us. I wish people "got" this.

I found it an easy book to read. I must admit, my much more "traditional" mother-in-law found it harder going than me. I think it's much more to do with what we have already studied as I have read much of Wright's work anyway so it maybe because he never had to convince me.

I just wish everyone in the church would understand it. We may actually end up changing the world after all!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2012
Wright's new book "SIMPLY JESUS" is a book that should be read and enjoyed by Christians from across the evangelical spectrum, but sadly I doubt it will be as many have made their mind up about Bishop Tom before they even open its covers. I interviewed Bishop Tom recently about the book and asked him who the book was intended for. He explained it was aimed at that nebulous and elusive category "the thinking lay person." This book will make you think. It is a meaty volume that is in my opinion a great way to engage with Wright's more academic offerings in the " Christian Origin and the Question of God" series, but the book is seasoned with some wonderful illustations and really helpful insights so there's enough sugar to help the scholarship go down.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly: [...] for a longer review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2013
An excellent book to get you thinking and living in the light of the "truth" that Jesus really is The King of Kings and has defeated the powers of darkness. A call to the world and church to understand the Kingdom of Heaven as coming here on Earth ... Through you, .... Today.

Tom does try to distance himself from the idea of going to Heaven when you die, not really possible to do if you read Jesus!
However he does this to get away from the idea that we should just sit back and await a better place instead of getting on with fixing this one!

Good stuff!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2012
This is another 'must read' from Tom Wright. 'There are millions of things that the church should be getting into that rulers of the world either don't bother about or don't have the resources to support. Jesus has all kinds of projects up his sleeve and is simply waiting for faithful people to say their prayers, read the signs of the times and get busy.'(page 228). Reading this book offers, in a distilled, engaging way, a fresh understanding of who Jesus was and is - and, most importantly, the implications this has for all who seek to follow him today.
John Samways
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2012
If every Christian in the world understood what Tom Wright explains in this book, things would be very different indeed - the church would be so much more engaged in reality, so much more alive to the Spirit, so much more influential. The book is very well written, but it does require some concentration, patience and perseverance. If you have thoe three qualities, it's well worth your time! Read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2013
I've read a lot of Tom Wright and this one of his best. I came to it after reading How God Became King. I'm still working on how the victory of God relates to healing today, especially for those of us who believe but remain uncured and impaired.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2012
I was drawn in by the title and the author and this book certainly delivered on all counts. If you're caught wondering what Jesus means in today's context, then answering the questions of why God came into this world, what he did and why he did it, will get you ready for the final part of the book which might just help reveal the relevance of God's kingdom to your life today. Just try putting it down after you've read the first few pages.
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