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Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  4,810 ratings  ·  293 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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Elizabeth
Sep 06, 2007 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Jun 17, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
David
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
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
Jan 23, 2008 Jon rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
Mark Ward
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
Jacob Stubbs
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
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
Taylor Storey
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.
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
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
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 10, 2007 Ike rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Terri
One of very few books that makes me pause and contemplate all that has been said in a few concise words. It is perhaps cumbersome at the start, but isn't anything thoughtful a bit of work?? N. T. Wright has something to tell us and wants first to set the stage. Fair enough. He very even handedly goes about telling us why Christianity makes so much sense. He makes sense.

..."Nor is Christianity about Jesus offering, demonstrating, or even accomplishing a new route by which people can "go to heaven
...more
Jkanz
May 09, 2015 Jkanz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense (2006) by NT Wright is a 21st century primer on the Christian faith similar to what one might expect in CS Lewis's Mere Christianity or Chuck Colson's The Faith. Divided into three sections, Wright makes a compelling case for the truth of Christianity. In the first section, he addressed the "echoes" heard by all people--the desire for justice, a sense of the spiritual, a need for relationality, and a love for beauty. In part two, he explores how the ...more
Kenneth Clapp
I think Wright's "Simply Christian" is an excellent read. Is it exhaustive in all the areas he tries to touch on? Not even close. If you want that you're going to have to go more the rout of his "Christian Origins and the Question of God" series which is currently on it's 4th volume and climbing. Each of those works tries to be more less exhaustive in all the major areas, anyway. However that series is written on an academic level, not the popular level like this book.

I won't try to summarize ev
...more
Zach
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.
John
As part of some research I'm engaged in, I've read a lot of apologetics over the past few months, and this work was suggested to me by one of the pastors at the church I attend. And while it has a lot to recommend it, "Simply Christian" focuses more on general Christian theology than on apologetics, per se. Thus, it didn't relate as directly to my research as I had hoped, although it was an edifying read nonetheless. Where Wright's work does relate to apologetics is (however indirectly) at those ...more
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
Matt Simmons
Wright here gives us a challenging and edifying introduction to Christianity for those outside of the faith, and perhaps an even more challenging and edifying re-acquaintance with the faith for those who already believe, or have lapsed from the faith. Wright thus writes a volume equally geared towards the active believer, the lapsed believer, and the interested non-believer; even the strident atheist might find some pause in response to considering Wright's lucid and moving presentation of the f ...more
Ryan
More for people who've already accepted the Christian worldview but are looking to expand their understanding of it than for anyone looking to be convinced of it, which is unfortunate given the subtitle. If you want to get a sense of what Wright's ideas or writing style are like, this is probably as succinct as it gets (heaven intersecting with earth, Jesus in the context of Judaism, bodily resurrection, thoughts on worship and prayer, etc.)... and it's still a bit repetitive. Not bad though. I ...more
Cathryn Conroy
I loved this book--not because I agreed with everything in it (I didn't!), but because it made me really think. Whether you are a devout believer with a rock-hard faith or someone who is totally disbelieving--or more likely somewhere in between the two--this book will provoke, challenge and inspire. It will make you question why you believe what you believe, a process that can only help your beliefs become stronger and more vital or help you toss away the ones that don't matter. Author N.T. Wrig ...more
Qi
First of all, this is not "Mere Christianity". Both the contents and style are widely different. Yet most importantly, this is a pastoral work with a firm conviction in the orthodoxy Christian practice. The insistence of a loving God breaking into human history documented both in Hebrew Bible and New Testament is along the church official doctrine. For example, the selection of quotes are entirely positivism -- the hopeful Isaiah instead of the horrific Amos/Hosea, the Psalms instead of Book of ...more
Charity
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.
Robert Frank
This is a needed book by a popular Bible scholar and theologian. The first four chapters raise questions about things we all long for that appear incomplete, namely justice, spirituality, human relationships, and beauty. The remainder of the book explains how Christianity supplies answers to those questions. To quote from the book, “In particular, we are all invited-summoned, actually- to discover, through following Jesus, that this new world is indeed a place of justice, spirituality, relations ...more
Ron
This is a book from the Gibson list of 100 that have affected Christian Culture today. It is an interesting read and probably needs to be re-read to truly grasp all of what NT Wright discusses. The book discusses 3 options and what they mean to Christianity:

1. Seeing God and the world as basically the same thing
2. Seeing God and the world as a long way apart from one another
3. God and the world are different from one another but not far apart

Wright believes option 3 and explains why and what it
...more
Ron
Good, not great.
Michael Philliber
Whether you are simply wondering what Christianity is "all about," or a newbie in the Faith, or have grown tired and weary in the long trek of following Jesus, this book should be in your hands! N.T. Wright displays the beautiful textures of what makes Christianity Christian, and the Faith fresh.

The author tackles most every "big" subject that sets out the parameters of Christianity. Starting out with what Calvin would call the "sensus divinitatis" (the sense of the divine), Wright walks the rea
...more
Stephen
"Despite what many people think, within the Christian family and outside it, the point of Christianity isn't 'to go to heaven when you die.'"

N.T. Wright writes a book for the masses. This is a great read for someone who would like to have a better idea of the Jewish "worldview" of Jesus' day. Wright does a great job describing the Jewish idea of the ages, how that is different than the western dualism of creation and Heaven, and how that connects to a lot of things in scripture and following Jes
...more
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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
More about N.T. Wright...
Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is The New Testament and the People of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #1) Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters Jesus and the Victory of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #2)

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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.” 31 likes
“[Arguments about God are] like pointing a flashlight toward the sky to see if the sun is shining.” 28 likes
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