Read This! 1- NT Wright, “The Original Jesus”

I haven’t written in a while, and that’s been bugging me. The longer I go, the harder it can get to verbalize what I’m feeling inside.

So I’ve decided to start a new category called “Read This!” And this post is the first…

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I have grown quite fond of NT Wright over the last 6 months. The man is simply a good man. He points you to God. He loves to point you back to God. He never glorifies himself, but simply keeps pointing you to God.

It also helps that I love the British wit and language.

Anyway, the man is quite prolific, not to mention being a teacher of teachers. And I mean that literally, he teaches Bible teachers. So his works can be quite scholarly. But now and again he’ll release a book under the name Tom Wright, and that can help you be sure that you’re getting a book for the lay-person.

I found, in a thrift store, this gem that I mentioned above titled, “The Original Jesus.” The book is an overview of who Christ is, the realm of the world he lived in, and where it all fits in the context of the Jewish scriptures.

This book has exploded my view and hunger for the scriptures. Wright paints with a very large brush, and leaves you truly in awe of what God has done through Christ, and what it means to every man. And one of my favorite things about his writing is that he doesn’t fill in the blanks for you. It’s as though he makes you so hungry, and doesn’t feed you at all… but instead, tells you to dig in and hunt for yourself.

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…confusion…

My upbringing was in fundamentalist and charismatic circles. When I’d go to the scriptures, I would get lost and confused. Things didn’t line up.

For example, have you ever read Paul and wondered if Jesus teachings even matter? Have you ever thought that the epistles disagree? Have you ever simply gotten totally lost reading the verse by verse and dissecting each and every word?

well I have… and I hated it.

You shouldn’t have to lie to yourself to read the scriptures. You shouldn’t have to trick yourself.

Now, I can’t address that all here, but I will leave you with one tool that Wright gives to help with all of that.

You wouldn’t go to the symphony and sit down, only to have the conductor lead the orchestra in 10 bars of a Mozart piece, and then have him turn around and tell you to come back next week to hear the next 10. It’d be absurd. The scriptures should quite often be treated the same.

Let them wash over you. Take in massive and huge chunks. Learn the world they were written in and to. Sit down and read entire books at a time.

Enjoy this book. Experience this book…

I can’t tell you how exciting it is to spend hours getting lost in these stories and poems. It’s amazing. And as it washes over you, you start getting a bigger and bigger vision of the Father’s heart, and love, and sometimes his anger. And it’s a vision that we all desperately need.

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