I am working through a book study of Simply Christian by NT Wright at my church. Below you will find my one page summary of the book for this group. I basically tried to summarize each section and I took most of it out of his introduction where he kindly gives us somewhat of an outline.
Introduction / Summary to “Simply Christian”
by NT Wright
Aim of the Book: To explain what Christianity is all about, both to commend it to those outside the faith and to explain it to those inside…
Part One: The Echo’s of a Voice
Four Areas where we see / hear the “Echo of a Voice”
– The Longing for Justice
– The Quest for Spirituality
– The Hunger for Relationships
– The Delight in Beauty
These four areas point beyond themselves, but don’t do much in and of themselves for us except to help us deduce this world is a very strange and exciting place.
This first part raises questions that the rest of the book will directly, indirectly and partially answer (hopefully!).
Part Two: The central Christian belief about God.
In this section he gives a summary of who God is, how he acts and how he is working in the world and offers an explanation of the echoing voice that we hear in our longings for justice, our quest for spirituality, our hunger for relationships and our delight in beauty.
A few quotes:
“Christians believe that there is one true and living God, and that this God, revealed in action in Jesus, is the God who called the Jewish people to be his agents in setting forward his plan to rescue and reshape his creation.”
“We discover that the voice whose echoes that we heard in the first section become recognizable as we reflect on the creator God who longs to put his world to rights; on the human being called Jesus who announced God’s Kingdom, died on a cross, and rose again; and on the Spirit, who blows like a powerful wind through the world and through human lives.”
Part Three: What it looks like in practice to follow Jesus, to be energized by his Spirit, and above all advance the plan of this creator God.
Worship, prayer, scripture…
The Church: what is it there for?
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…but the nature of the Christian hope is that it plays back into this present life. We’re called, here and now, to be instruments of God’s new creation, the world put-to-rights which has already been launched in Jesus and of which Jesus’ followers are supposed to be not simply beneficiaries but also agents.
The echoes then become not only as hints of God but as key elements of the Christians calling to work for his kingdom within the world….