39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
An invaluable guide for the Christian and non-Christian alike,
This review is from: Simply Christian (Paperback)Alot of the reviews you read of this book on Amazon.co.uk deal with a controversy surrounding the academic research Tom Wright has engaged in that has very little to do with this book. If you are:
a) a Christian who wants to understand the grand narrative of Christianity better and get a better handle on Scripture
b) a non-Christian who wants to educate themselves on what Christianity actually is
c) a new Christian who is grappling for somewhere to hold on to
then this book is ideal. It may not be quite as earth-shattering as Mere Christianity but the comparison stands because over the coming years who knows what influence this book might have?
All the complaints about this book are about the Bishop's academic research into the Jewish context Jesus and his followers lived in and the controversy has to do with a historical question to do with Pharisees and reformer, theological terms like imputed or vindicated and a section of evangelical Christianity that feels very threatened. For most of you considering this book, it is all over your head. Its an academic discussion that has become a popular one because of the very huge success Wright has had in making his case. His writing, even his scholarly efforts (which are published as NT Wright) are accessible to any interested reader. Some people have started with an interest and ended up having nightmares which is unfortunate for them. But their reviews of this book are unduly clouded by these tangential concerns.
This book, taken on its own, independent of any furore surrounding Tom Wright, is a superb introduction to Christianity. He has an easy to read style that can sometimes come across as patronising but once you find your rythym with him you will see he is just guiding you along with care. This is as innovative an approach to explaining Christianity as Lewis' "Beyond Personality" approach was with the famous Mere Christianity. I think it is as well adjusted for Wright's day as Lewis' was in his own.
The great strength of this book is that it takes you from discussions about the seemingly meaningful echoes we all experience in our life that seem to point to something more right through into the complete Biblical story and crucially out again to how it relates to our lives today. It is very readable. You could discuss it in a group setting. You can understand it without any introduction or support. It is well worth the money and the time. I hope you buy it and I hope you enjoy reading it!