Reading N.T. Wright after reading writers like Harpur and Spong is always a breath of fresh air. In fact, following on my earlier point about being convinced by things we want to believe in, I discovered the good Bishop of Durham some years back when my spirit was being troubled by reading people of that ilk (I think it was Crossan and Borg at the time) and I reached out looking for a writer who was intelligent, sophisticated, and actually believed in things like the Incarnation and the Resurrection.
Well, I found my mentor, and he’s never let me down, and Following Jesus is no exception. In fact, this collection of twelve reflections (originally sermons) about the picture of Jesus in the New Testament and what it means to follow him, is some of Wright’s best work. While I’ve enjoyed everything I read of his, a couple of the books I read most recently (Simply Christian and The Last Word) didn’t touch me as much as some of the others. I’ve concluded Wright is at his best when he writes most directly about Jesus. Or maybe that’s what I most need to hear.
Wright’s Jesus is neither an ordinary, though exemplary, first century Jew, nor a mythic dying-god figure. Or rather, He is both those things, but so much more — the real, historical, divine-human Son of Man and Son of God who leaps off the pages of the Gospels. If you want a look at Jesus that will give you a fresh yet traditional perspective on Him, and will connect His ministry clearly to the work of peace and justice that He calls us to in today’s world, pick up Following Jesus by N.T. Wright. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.