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Following Jesus Essay

1684 words - 7 pages

N.T. Wright’s book, Following Jesus, is a collection of biblical reflections on discipleship which includes many of his sermons he made as Dean of Lichfield during Lent 1994 among others. The first six chapters provide Wright’s insights into major books of the New Testament highlighting key themes and connecting passages indicating the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The remaining six chapters focus on discipleship and actions we can take in the present day with an emphasis on living without fear in light of Christ’s resurrection, renewing our minds, recognizing love as the chief weapon against temptation, acknowledging misconceptions about heaven and hell, and being present ...view middle of the document...

” Seattle Pacific University President Philip Eaton calls Wright the “C.S. Lewis of our time.” In an article published by the University, Wright was portrayed as being “associated with two theological schools of thought: the so-called ‘Third Quest,’ because of his insistence on approaching Jesus through the perspective of Jesus’ first-century Jewishness; and the so-called ‘New Perspective on Paul,’ because of Wright’s focus on the importance of Paul’s inclusion of Gentiles on equal terms with Jews. But in the end, Wright’s evangelical theology, as unique as it is grounded in Scripture, defies categorization.”
Wright is known for speaking out strongly against liberalism and against a number of aspects of Roman Catholicism. He is also critical of evangelicalism, claiming that it has not done justice to the text of Scripture. He believes that Christians will be united not by watering down the truth but by learning more and more of the truth about Christ which will lead to real fellowship and trust among all of his followers. These views have shaped his preaching and writings and are exhibited in his book, Following Jesus, as he denounces those churches that make Jesus out to be someone who “makes them feel happy…but doesn’t challenge them” and societies that “sit loose to the true worship of the true God and begin to worship other gods…” and “put their own interests ahead of the needs of other members of the same society.” Wright, who comes from the modern West, is especially critical of his country. In his chapter on hell, he speaks of the possibility in our day of “the disastrous marriage” of hell and earth versus heaven and earth. He commented, “We passed that point in Britain some time ago…Our own generation is in an exile so deep that it often can’t even see how bad its own condition is.” Wright’s biography also states that he is deeply disturbed with what he regards as “the confusing of an American way of life and a Christian way of life in the U.S., believing that it is the duty of the Church to call the powers to account.” He made an eye-opening assessment of our culture in Following Jesus when he said, “The only significant difference between us and our pagan ancestors appears to be that they recognized the situation and gave the forces vivid names, while we hide them behind the grey obscurity of vague words, in order to go on flattering ourselves that, as the Mastercard advertisement says, ‘You’ve Got the Whole World in Your Hands.’ Which is, of course, what the serpent promised Eve: you will be like gods, knowing credit and debt.” In response, Wright promotes “challenging the power structures that keep anger and pain in circulation” and “working out how to eliminate those compromises bit by bit from our lives.”
One of the appeals of Wright’s work is his straightforward writing style that is both understandable and relatable to readers of different faith walks. His simplified approach helps one open up the meaning of Scripture...

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