Each summer I usually select a book to read with our summer ministerial intern. This year our summer intern, Tyler Williams, suggested that we read “Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense” by N. T. Wright. It was a wonderful summer read, and I highly recommend it to both seasoned Christians and spiritual seekers who are interested in learning more about the Christian faith.
Being a long time fan of C.S. Lewis, I was fascinated by the many references people have made regarding the work of N.T. Wright in comparison. Some allude to Wright as the C.S. Lewis of our time; editorial reviews on Amazon.com have Rob Bell saying: “We are in Mere Christianity territory here … bound to be a classic;” still others give a play by play comparison of “Mere Christianity” and “Simply Christian,” with one of the best being this one by Internet Monk
(compares each book with regard to things like best conversation starter with non-Christians, best apologetic, readability, best presentation of Jesus, best overview of the faith, most successful at what attempted, most theologically conservative, best organization).
Of course, the comparison to C.S. Lewis is one that N.T. Wright freely invites implicitly as well as explicitly, just read the back book cover and the titles of his other books in the trilogy like Surprised by Hope and After You Believe. Most of what Wright is doing here demonstrates a deep respect for his fellow Brit and a desire to write in a similarly inspired tradition, maintaining Wright’s unique style which includes not only apologetic wit and finesse so common in Lewis – but also breathtaking theological depth and breadth without giving the reader spiritual rigor-mortis.
In short, I am a fan. To put it another way, as soon as I read Simply Christian I went directly to the Duke Divinity School registration for the 2010 Fall Convocation and Pastor’s School – to make sure I was registered early for this opportunity to hear more from the good Bishop.
Stay tuned for some “quotes of the day” from Simply Christian – just in case this blog post has not convinced you yet that it is worth a read.