Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Introduction to Simply Christian

First, Wright explores four areas which in today’s world can be interpreted as “echoes of a voice”: the longing for justice, the quest for spirituality, the hunger for relationships, and the delight in beauty.

Part two lays out the central Christian belief about God. Christians believe that there is one true and living God, and that this God, revealed in action in Jesus, is the God who called the Jewish people to be his agents in setting forward his plan to rescue and reshape his creation. As he works through chapter 2, we discover that the voice whose echoes we began to listen for in the first part become recognizable, as we reflect on the creator God who longs to put his world to rights; on the human being called Jesus who announced God’s kingdom, died on a cross, and rose again; and on the Spirit, who blows like a powerful wind through the world and through human lives.

This leads naturally into Part Three, where Wright describes what it looks like in practice to follow this Jesus, to be energized by this Spirit, and above all to advance the plan of this creator.
What is the point of the church? The point of following Jesus isn’t simply so that we can be sure of going to a better place than this after we die. Our future beyond death is enormously important, but the nature of the Christian hope is such that it plays back into the present life. We’re called, here and now, to be instruments of God’s new creation, the world-put-to-rights which has already been launched in Jesus and of which Jesus’ followers are supposed to be not simply beneficiaries but also agents.

Wright does not attempt to differentiate between the many different varieties of Christianity, but tries to speak of that which is, at their best, common to all: it is simply Christian.

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