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Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  6,343 Ratings  ·  346 Reviews
Why do we expect justice? Why do we crave spirituality? Why are we attracted to beauty? Why are relationships often so painful? And how will the world be made right? These are not simply perennial questions all generations must struggle with, but, according to N. T. Wright, are the very echoes of a voice we dimly perceive but deeply long to hear. In fact, these questions t ...more
Hardcover, 237 pages
Published March 14th 2006 by HarperOne (first published January 1st 2006)
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Idea Buyer This book was excellent. It seems like kind of a basic book for a professional Christian to read, but I was curious. I have come off of a summer of…moreThis book was excellent. It seems like kind of a basic book for a professional Christian to read, but I was curious. I have come off of a summer of reading through somewhat dried books. It was a pleasant comfort to read a book that serves as an outstanding release to Wright's thought.(less)

Community Reviews

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Elizabeth
Aug 24, 2007 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christians
Shelves: already-read
I went into this a little wary, just because the book (and the author) has received a lot of hype-- Anne Rice went so far as to call it better than the C.S. Lewis classic Mere Christianity. I might not go that far, but it is a very solid, inspiring book. I hesitate to call anything so new a "classic", but I truly believe that this will be a classic, someday. One thing that I liked is the way that Wright (who is an Anglican bishop) explained the continuity (or cohesion) of the Bible. He just expl ...more
Skylar Burris
May 22, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Practicing Christians only
Shelves: christianity
N.T. Wright never seems to settle on a single audience or a single purpose for this book, which makes it appear disorganized and ultimately renders it ineffective. He begins Simply Christians as a seeming apologetic, speaking of our longings for justice, truth, and beauty the same way C.S. Lewis argued from the existence of a moral sense to the existence of God, but he doesn't ever bring these arguments to convincing culmination.

Despite the book's subtitle "Why Christianity Makes Sense," Wright
...more
Mark L.
Jun 05, 2013 Mark L. rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2013
The main value of this book for me was probably the arresting one- to five-liners. Like these:

It’s no part of Christian belief to say that the followers of Jesus have always got everything right. Jesus himself taught his followers a prayer which includes a clause asking God for forgiveness. He must have thought we would go on needing it.

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 res
...more
David
May 30, 2009 David rated it it was ok
Wright has some interesting things to say about the intersection of heaven and earth - that they don't exist in separate places and times but are overlapping in various ways. And his discussions of social justice and church-building reflect obvious passion. There are a lot of sections, though, which either weakly reflect C.S. Lewis (the "echoes of a voice" section) or bring up knotty debates only to dismiss them summarily (the discussions of apocryphal gospels). The book doesn't make up its mind ...more
Ben De Bono
Apr 30, 2011 Ben De Bono rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
In Simply Christian, N.T. Wright makes the case for Christianity and outlines, at a basic level, what believing in Jesus is all about. The book has been compared to Mere Christianity. There are definitely some comparisons between the two (including their titles), but I wouldn't take it too far. Mere Christianity reads as an apologetic for the foundations of Christian faith while Simply Christian reads as an entry level primer into Wright's thought.

Overall, I got quite a bit less out of this one
...more
Jon
Sep 24, 2007 Jon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to understand the central beliefs of Christianity
Simple, yet far from simplistic, this may be one of the most important books I've read. Tom Wright set forth the key issues of the Gospel in a way that's easily accessible to both studied Christians and people who just want to know what Christianity is actually all about. Many political and theological issues have become hot-button topics and seem to be litmus tests among different Christian communities for how good of a Christian someone is, and unfortunately many of those are actually fringe i ...more
Jocelyn
Jan 15, 2009 Jocelyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
This seems like kind of a basic book for a professional Christian (so to speak) to read, but I was curious. It's a kind of 21st-century "Mere Christianity" with less apologia and more ecclesia. What I like about Wright's approach is that he stresses the "renewal of creation" salvation theory more than the "atonement for sin" theory. And, speaking of sin, I am frankly quite envious of how many books this man has written. And, speaking of C. S. Lewis knock-offs, I see that a year ago Wright publis ...more
Gregory Johnston
Mar 12, 2017 Gregory Johnston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fine book that is not an apologetic work, but more and overview of Wright's presentation of Christianity. The book is not aimed at convincing the skeptic but more aimed at getting the Christian to think more deeply about the faith he / she espouses. Laid out in a methodical way (would we expect any less from Wright?) Wright, refers frequently to the three options for viewing God and his relation to the world - Option 1 the two worlds are completely separated (atheism or agnosticism), T ...more
Claus
There are a lot of similarities between Tom Wright and C.S. Lewis. Their writing style is quite similar, and they both have a delightful affection for parentheses (delightful, because I share that affection).

Also, it is hardly a surprise that the title of Wright's book "Simply Christian" is strikingly similar to Lewis' "Mere Christianity". In fact, as I was reading the first chapter of Wright's book (which talks about the sense of ethics that all people seem to share) I was constantly reminded o
...more
David
Mar 12, 2013 David rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, audiobooks
At a different time in my life, I may have rated this book higher. I'm being generous in my rating by giving it three stars through acknowledgement that my reading of this comes at a bad time. For starters, I chose the audiobook read by Simon Prebble, who has a voice and accent not too different from Ralph Cosham. The latter narrated C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, and it was difficult because of the voice and to some extent, the content, to tell one book from the other. Wright takes the same tho ...more
Jacob Stubbs
Jul 25, 2011 Jacob Stubbs rated it really liked it
So, this book was excellent. I have come off of a summer of reading somewhat dry books (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Heidegger [which still is not completed...]). It was a nice relief to read a book that serves as an excellent introduction to Wright's thought (note that I have not read any of his other work, but due to Biologos and such, this seems to be the case).

Perhaps it is my Southern Baptist church I attend at home, but Wright's view of Scripture and Prayer--the use of LITURGY!--have provid
...more
Katie
Feb 11, 2017 Katie rated it it was ok
Eh. I have tons of respect for N. T. Wright, but this book was a bust, mostly because it tried too hard to be Mere Christianity. Also, it jumped abruptly from pre-evangelistic observations on aspects of human experience for which Christian theology is one possible explanation (apparently aimed at seekers) to concrete suggestions for Christian living and particularly how church services should be structured (apparently aimed at people who are already Christians). Overall, disjointed with flashes ...more
Taylor Storey
Dec 29, 2012 Taylor Storey rated it really liked it
Thank God for NT Wright! He honestly engages the breadth of biblical scholarship and comes up with one of the most well written summaries of what it means to be a Christian.

Many have compared this book to cs Lewis' mere Christianity, but his angle as a biblical scholar vs Lewis' medieval literature angle is a little bit different. I'd say Lewis' is more apologetics written to people who are going off their logic and experience while wrights is more trying to explain the historical Christian fai
...more
Joshua D.
Mar 08, 2012 Joshua D. rated it it was amazing
N.T. Wright begins by looking at four phenomena:
1.) We all have an innate sense of justice and fairness (or at least we talk like we do).
2.) Modernism, while a powerful shaping force in the Western world, didn't do what Freud and others thought it would - kill off religion. Instead, religion is alive and well in the world. And even more broadly, interest in spirituality seems to bubble up just about everywhere: even in countries most influenced by Enlightenment thinking.
3.) We have a communal in
...more
Steve
Feb 22, 2011 Steve rated it it was ok
NT Wright is heralded to be CS Lewis of our day, or that is how I have been informed from his fans.

This is the first book of his that i have read, and there are several on my read list.

There are parts of this book that I absolutely thought "excellent, what a great way to explain this truth," there are other parts that are OK.

What I like about this book and perhaps where I am - Go find the truth, seek God in where He is in the issue, event, situation, etc. And I confess there is so much I do n
...more
Kjersti
Apr 07, 2012 Kjersti rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I'm tempted to call this book a modern Mere Christianity.. It lays out the foundations of the Christian faith, as well as what separates it from other world views (specifically pantheism and deism), and it does so masterfully. Those familiar with Wright know how good he is at contextualizing the gospel to first-century Israel. Wright starts off with questions about justice, spirituality, relationship, and beauty, and weaves them into the the gospel story, which quickly becomes the very foundatio ...more
Ike
Sep 05, 2007 Ike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christians.
This is my second N.T. Wright book and enjoyed it far more than the first.

"Simply Christian" certainly lives up to its title and was quite simple yet fantastically intelligent and well written. I would suggest this book to anyone interested in Christianity or to Christians who appear to have lost an understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

My only frustration with this book is that it encourages me with a picture of what it means to be "Simply Christian" yet at the same time I find myse
...more
Zach
Dec 28, 2013 Zach rated it really liked it
I agree with several reviews I've read that compared this book to C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity", although I believe it is generally easier to read and absorb. I appreciated the concept of hearing an "echo of a voice" through the Holy Spirit.

This is a great book for those unfamiliar with Christianity or those who wish to better understand the current and promised future relationship between heaven and earth.
Amber
Dec 10, 2015 Amber rated it it was amazing
For someone who grew up in the church, I was very impressed with the straightforwardness and authenticity of this book.

Definitely worth a read. Some of the best descriptions of Christianity lie in his book.
Charity
Nov 29, 2009 Charity rated it it was ok
I misshleved this initially. About done with it now, so I will agree with those reviews who wonder who the audience was supposed to be. If nonChristians, then I do not think he would have kept me reading.
Sameh Maher
كتاب اقل ما يوصف به انه قطعة فنية
عميق جدا وبسيط جدا ومباشر
استمتعت به تماماوتعلمت منه وهو اول لقاء ب الكاتب
ولن يكون الاخير
الكتاب ينقلك الى عمق المسيحية كإجابة لاعمق الاسئلة الموجودة كأصداء فى داخلنا
بطريقة شيقة وللعجب قريبة جدا من الارثوذوكسية
كتاب لا بد ان تقرأه وتقتنيه
Chris Hokanson
Jan 25, 2017 Chris Hokanson rated it it was amazing
A great 21st century successor to Lewis's "Mere Christianity."
Ron
Sep 04, 2008 Ron rated it liked it
Good, not great.
Steven Wedgeworth
Jun 10, 2011 Steven Wedgeworth rated it really liked it
Great for evangelism and apologetics. It isn't quite on the level of C S Lewis, but it is close.
Kelli Sorg
Apr 10, 2012 Kelli Sorg rated it it was amazing
The best explanation of live-able hope and purpose in the world. Don't we all hear echoes of a voice and wish the voice was speaking to us? Well, it is.
Dave Johnson
May 22, 2017 Dave Johnson rated it really liked it
This is my first book I've read from N.T. Wright, and I definitely want to read more. I don't have a lot to say about this book. Wright is a brilliant man and a superb writer. This book is a very good book, but my biggest gripe is just that it doesn't seem to ask or answer questions that interested me at all. He had a lot of great things to say, but in reading it, I had to ask, "Why was this written, and to whom?" I don't know if I can answer either question, but it was still a very good book.

I
...more
Chris Rousell
Jan 05, 2017 Chris Rousell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
Touted by some as Mere Christianity for the 21st century, 'Simply Christian' though engaging, falls short of Lewis' magnum opus. Lewis' intention for Mere Christianity was to showcase why the Christian worldview ultimately makes sense of the way the world is. Wright appears to start this way, talking about why we have this desire to 'put the world to rights'. Where Wright falls short (I feel) is engagement with the non-Christian. Wright does a great job of why the Christian worldview makes sense ...more
Luke Merrick
Feb 14, 2017 Luke Merrick rated it it was amazing
Simply Christian is a breath of fresh air to the often convoluted world of Christianity. Write uses the universal struggle for beauty, justice and community is an effective tool to describing the heart of Christianity and its mission.

Write is also a gifted communicator and this quality is exemplified in his book, somehow he is able to take complex theological concepts and unpack them for the general audience.

I would highly recommend this book to anybody wanting a genuine overview of Christiani
...more
Cindy
This book gave me a whole new idea about what Christianity is. It takes all the basic tenets I was taught as a kid and explains them in a way I can understand. For the first time in my life, I feel like I really get it!

There were some parts of the book I didn't totally relate to, but because of the overall effect of the book on me, I give it 5 stars.
Debbie
Feb 10, 2017 Debbie rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating book about why Christianity is the answer to man's God given desire for justice, spirituality, beauty and relationship. This book explains what Christianity is and what it is not it is a good book for Christians and non Christians to read to correct their misconceptions about Christianity and God's rescue of His creation.
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N. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England (2003-2010) and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline NBC, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air, and he has taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGi ...more
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“Made for spirituality, we wallow in introspection. Made for joy, we settle for pleasure. Made for justice, we clamor for vengeance. Made for relationship, we insist on our own way. Made for beauty, we are satisfied with sentiment. But new creation has already begun. The sun has begun to rise. Christians are called to leave behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokenness and incompleteness of the present world ... That, quite simply, is what it means to be Christian: to follow Jesus Christ into the new world, God's new world, which he has thrown open before us.” 43 likes
“[Arguments about God are] like pointing a flashlight toward the sky to see if the sun is shining.” 36 likes
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