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Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  9,270 ratings  ·  490 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 re…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)

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Skylar Burris
May 22, 2008 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
Elizabeth
Aug 24, 2007 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
Mark Jr.
Jun 05, 2013 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
Ben De Bono
Apr 30, 2011 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
David
May 30, 2009 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
Brett Balsley
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I believe that N.T. Wright is a modern day C.S. Lewis. His work is thoughtful and eloquent. He writes with much care. This book will help Christians and non Christians understand what Christianity is all about, while being encouraging and uplifting. He doesn’t pick a side, but clearly lays out the faith as it is. A great read! I suggest it to Christians and non Christians alike!
Nurullah Doğan
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5

This is a brilliant book and I loved it!

The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because at some points, it left me craving to hear more and go into more detail. I understand that this is not the point of the book as the title "Simple" suggests, but I wouldn't mind 50 more pages.

P.S. Also, I recommend that you read Simply Jesus right after reading this or vice versa.
...more
Eliseo Magallon
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It took me some time to finish this book. The ideas presented in this book with stretch you and make you think about how your faith as a Christian fits into everyday life. Recommend fer sure!
Marshall Wade
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This should be a required read for all non-reformed Christians. Nothing better explains the Christian narrative than this masterpiece.
David Steele
N.T. Wright has generated some controversy over the last several years. That's putting it mildly. His views concerning the so-called new perspective on Paul have drawn the attention and criticism of well known authors like John Piper. But his book Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense jettisons that whole debate. I found the book to be thought-provoking and helpful on many levels.

Wright explores what he calls the "echoes of a voice," a yearning for justice, spirituality, relationships,
...more
David
Mar 12, 2013 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
Jon
Sep 24, 2007 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 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
Drew
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like most of Wright's material, Simply Christian is brilliant, yet missing much in seemingly key places. It seemed as if Wright was unsure of whether he was writing to a skeptic or a polemic against popular evangelicalism. But, for every one of those lesser moments, Wright brilliantly leads the reader to an understanding or insight not found in today's interpreters. As always, I am glad to have heard Wright's insight. The last two chapters are worth the price of admission. ...more
Jennifer Trovato
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great explanation and reminder of why we do what we do as Christians. Beautifully written. He writes so charitably to Christianity as a whole, giving no sense of condemnation towards different denominations or preferences within the church, while maintaining a foundational orthodoxy and dedication to the truth of scripture and the importance of church.
Drew
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The title is a bit misleading. I don't think this book is about why Christianity makes sense (a claim that naturally implies that other religions don't make sense), as much as it is about what it means to be a Christian. However, I can see how the title would appeal to the skeptic, or to the wavering Christian or even to the outright doubter/atheist/agnostic. Yet N.T. Wright convincingly articulates (though more convincing to those already predisposed to ideas of Christian faith) what it means t ...more
Ramone Bellagamba
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a worthwhile read. I feel Wright focuses on almost 15 years earlier the echoes that are part of our contemporary moment. Areas that because of our truncated view of the Christian faith we have neglected or marginalized. Justice, Spirituality, Relationship and Beauty all areas where would should embody and announce the gospel of the Kingdom of God that is at hand to a watching world.
Deborah Wellum
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Christianity simply and eloquently explained. Very edifying and timely for me. I highly recommend this book especially to those who would like a succinct description of the Christian faith and for those who need some refreshing.
Laura
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really hate rating theology books... I enjoyed this for the most part. It isn't perfect (HOW many times did he use the word 'echo'?!), but i liked how he explained and approached things. I think I prefer Tim Keller's The Reason For God but i don't like to compare... ...more
Eliza Fitzgerald
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
If I was to teach an Introduction to Theology class for new believers, I would probably use this book as one of the texts.
Danette
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Refreshing. Clear language. Going to read the last chapter over again.
Lisa
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book made Christian concepts clear and embraceable, new and inspiring. If you liked this book, then listen to the audio version read by Simon Prebble, and you may like it even more.
Josie Smith
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
A coming back to the basics, a remembering what it means to live transformed by the blood of Jesus.
Gregory Johnston
Mar 12, 2017 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
Heather
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious
This is a nice book that teaches some important principles of Christianity. Some things are told from a different perspective than I'm used to, so it helped me think about a few things from a new point of view. Here are some quotes I liked:

"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 c
...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
Tyler Collins
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
N.T. Wright, in "Simply Christian," attempts to do what C.S. Lewis did in "Mere Christianity": Express the core of Christian belief. I found many of the observations and claims he made in the book compelling and instructive—even transformative of my understanding. The first section of his book about the longings all humans have resonated with me, and the third section of his book about how to live out the Christian faith I found to be profound. In all of this, I felt his thoughts were sometimes ...more
Taylor
Dec 29, 2012 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
Katie
Feb 11, 2017 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
Danny
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
After reading “The Day the Revolution Began” as my first jump into NT Wright’s non commentary work, I think my expectations were perhaps too grandiose. The endorsements on the book jacket praising this to stand along with the greats of C.S. Lewis didn’t help me adequately prepare myself for what I was about to read. The book was much more simple than I was hoping for but also dragged quite slowly between topics. I also found the first real contention point with one of my favorite scholars and th ...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

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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.” 59 likes
“You become like what you worship. When you gaze in awe, admiration, and wonder at something or someone, you begin to take on something of the character of the object of your worship.” 52 likes
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