Author: Christopher J.H. Wright
ISBN13: 97803102754566
Publisher: Zondervan

This book is one for those who enjoy wrestling with theology. Whereas many books use such a title as a teaser to merely put forward the easy answers to life’s hard questions, Wright genuinely grapples with the issues presented in this book and invites the reader to join with him as he works his way through them.

Wright is the International Director of the Langham Partnership international, he is the chair of the Lausanne Committee’s Theology Working Group and chair of the Theological Resource Panel of TEAR Fund. His work comes out of many years studying and teaching theology, and it is encased within that theological and intellectual standing.

In saying that, it is not written in an inaccessible fashion. If you have ever had the joy of studying philosophy within a university setting, you will understand what I mean when I say some philosophical writing is incomprehensible to the lay person. Wright is not in that basket, but he is in the intellectual basket, and you may need to adjust your reading speed and take notes as you go as he sometimes makes several very important arguments on the one page as evidence for a single point he is making.

The book addresses four of the harder issues found within the Bible. The first is the mystery, offence and defeat of evil. Personally I was not particularly taken with his argument, but these chapters were filled with such a breadth of understanding on the topic, that it was more than worthwhile reading to gain a number of valuable insights. Wright then very successfully addresses the issue of Israel’s invasion and destruction of the Caananites. He clearly describes the alternative interpretations and then argues for the Bible’s description and justification of the events.

Next up is the Cross. This is a very well constructed theological explanation of what happened to Jesus on the Cross, why it was necessary, what exactly happened, and the consequences. Then finally, Wright addresses the end of the world. This is where he is at his most successful, putting forth a thoroughly Biblical interpretation of what will happen at the end of the world. He dispels a number of myths and encourages the reader to move past the modern-day hype and understand what God is actually saying in the Bible.

This book was written for discussion in small groups and additional resources are available online. I would encourage the reader, however, if planning on reading it as a chapter study, to first read it as a complete whole, for it is by doing this that the deep faith of the writer and the whole of his argument, expressed through all of the different issues, is fully revealed.

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