I’ve only read a small fraction of what N. T. Wright has written but I always thoroughly enjoy his work, and I find it thought provoking, informative, and very helpful. He is one of God’s great gifts to the church in our time. In honor of his birthday on December 1, The Englewood Review of Books provided a very nice “Introductory Reading Guide” to N. T. Wright’s work, for people who are not familiar with it.
Here’s their annotated list, in the order they recommend that people read the books, and they also provide tables of contents for each of the books, so it is worth your while to go to their site [linked above] if this is of interest to you.
Surprised By Hope may likely be Wright’s book that is most transformative for the life and thought of local churches. Wright locates our hope not solely in a distant hereafter, but in the life of the church as Christ’s body in the here and now.
Drawing upon current biblical studies, Wright offers in Simply Jesus a rich and compelling understanding of who Jesus is and his significance for Christian faithfulness today.
Most Christians assert that the Bible is central to their faith, but they have often not thought much about why that is the case and how we read scripture faithfully. These are precisely the questions that Wright tackles in this important book.
Wright shows us how Christians today have lost sight of what the “good news” of the gospel really is. In Simply Good News, he takes us back in time to reveal how the people of the first-century—the gospel’s original audience—would have received Jesus’ message. He offer a clear and thoughtful analysis of what the “good news” really is, and applies it to our lives today, revealing its power to transform us.
It is not enough for us simply to believe in Jesus, we must follow in the way of Jesus. N.T. Wright offers in this book a compelling case for Christian discipleship, and for the ways that we can be transformed by following Jesus.
Wright’s powerful re-reading of the Gospels helps us re-align the focus of our spiritual beliefs, which have for too long been focused on the afterlife. Instead, the forgotten story of the Gospels reveals why we should understand that our real charge is to sustain and cooperate with God’s kingdom here and now.
- Christian Origins Series (3 volumes):
– The New Testament and the People of God (Vol 1)
– Jesus and the Victory of God (Vol 2)
– The Resurrection of the Son of God (Vol 3)
Yes, this is a mammoth three-volume work, but it provides the theological foundation for all of Wright’s books that will follow, and as such is worth reading, especially for pastors.
And finally, another mammoth work to close out this list. Paul and the Faithfulness of God is likely Wright’s theological masterpiece. It is a challenging read, but it is perhaps the most important theological book on St. Paul of this generation.
You might want to put some of these books on your Christmas wish list or your list of books to watch for on sale.