Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Following Jesus

I recently finished this book by N.T. Wright. In case you don't know, N.T. Wright is a theologian and an expert in New Testament theology. This particular book is amazing. In it, he paints a picture of authentic discipleship as it is shown to us in the New Testament. The first half of the book there are chapters detailing specific books of the NT and their particular take on who Jesus is. The second half of the book seems to deal more specifically with what it looks like to follow this Jesus in true discipleship.

I don't know that I have the time or space here to talk about the book fully, but I will highlight a few things that really stood out to me. At one point Wright points out that the most common command in Scripture is 'Don't be afraid, Fear not.' He says that until we learn to live without fear, it won't be easy to follow Jesus (66-67). Fear motivates just about everything we do. It's why we dress a certain way - fear of being laughed at, and our desire to be accepted. How much time do we spend in fear about money, employment, our children, our futures, our decisions, etc.? Behind them all is the fear of death. What would it look like to live life without fear, and without a nagging sense that everything is about to go horribly wrong? Believing in the resurrected Christ means believing that everything is going to be OK. That belief is simply incompatible with fear. I want to learn to live without fear - but I am certainly not there yet.

Other chapters in this book that stood out to me are the one on Temptation, and the chapters on Hell and Heaven. All three were quite thought provoking and I'm sure I will spend more time digging in to them and thinking through them. At any rate, I'd highly recommend this book. It's a short read, about 100 pages. But it is packed with some great stuff.


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More