Following Jesus

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N.T. Wright’s book, Following Jesus, is a collection of biblical reflections on discipleship which includes many of his sermons he made as Dean of Lichfield during Lent 1994 among others. The first six chapters provide Wright’s insights into major books of the New Testament highlighting key themes and connecting passages indicating the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The remaining six chapters focus on discipleship and actions we can take in the present day with an emphasis on living without fear in light of Christ’s resurrection, renewing our minds, recognizing love as the chief weapon against temptation, acknowledging misconceptions about heaven and hell, and being present as “resurrection people.” Wright’s thesis is described as the “so what?” in the preface. His reflections pick up where the New Testament writers left off. In his words, “…the ball is now in your court; the true Jesus is summoning you to follow him, to a life of discipleship.” This review will show Wright’s idea of who the true Jesus is and what it means to follow Jesus. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England where he served from 2003 to 2010 before retiring. He is regarded as a prominent scholar of the New Testament and currently holds the position of Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews in Scotland. According to his biography, Wright was born in Morpeth, Northumberland in 1948 and was raised in the context of middle Anglicanism. He has said that by age seven or eight he felt called to Christian ministry. In his early adulthood, he trained in ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford at which time he also married. In 1973 he earned a degree in Theology an... ... middle of paper ... ...stians, we’re called to take the life we’ve been given in the culture and community where we’ve been divinely placed, and live in the Spirit without fear using our spiritual gifts to bring about healing and hope and help engage the culture and change the world one step and one soul at a time. To follow Jesus as his ambassadors, we must radically change our course, look beyond our earthly pursuits of success and power and find our new purpose in the Risen Christ, our very human and divine companion. As Wright concluded, this is by no means an easy task. Jesus instructs us to take up our cross and “invites us to a great act of faith and trust, to look with a clear eye at the moral choices we face and to be prepared to say ‘no’, even if it really hurts, when faced with subtle and powerful temptations…We are to live in the present as resurrection people.”

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