N.T. Wright & Sarah Bessey 🔥

Great books came out in the past couple of months.

Hi friends!

I’m excited to share with you about two great books that came out in recent months. First, I’ll talk about Sarah Bessey’s Miracles and Other Reasonable Things. My interview with her can be found here:

Podcast Episode

I won’t take up too much space here. However, let me say that Sarah’s latest book moved me deeply. She steps into her own darkness and pain in a poetic way.

When I interviewed her, I had only made it through the first bit of this book. As a result, my questions are broad. However, the next day I had a drive to make from Seattle to Canada. During that commute, I finished my other friend’s, Cara Meredith, audio book about her journey of falling in love with the son of a civil rights icon. (More to come on this in an upcoming podcast as it is also powerful stuff!). Then, I started Sarah’s book. Listening to it brought me to tears more than once. I was truly touched by the Spirit on this trip.

I was unprepared for how powerful this short book would truly be. If time permits, I may take it up a second time. In this book, I was reminded of the provocative message of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the tender love of our Heavenly Parent. I would rank it in the top few books—when it comes to its impact—that I’ve read in recent years!

Second, N.T. Wright has two recent books added to his massive catalogue: History and Eschatology and The New Testament in Its World. Here is where I chat with him about these two projects and his ongoing work for Jesus:

Podcast Interview

The first of these is based on the Gifford Lectures from 2018, but features about 50% new content that prof Wright added to it. The second, The New Testament in Its World, is a larger volume aimed at students. It brings together all of his major works in an accessible textbook which was co-authored by Michael Bird (who did most of the compiling as well as some writing in areas that prof Wright has not focused on as much).

As many of you likely know, I’m someone who follows N.T. Wright's work with great interest. This book stands as a middle ground resource. Those who have only been exposed to his 'popular level' books (Simply Christian, Surprised by Hope, Paul: A Biography, Simply Jesus, etc.) will find this book as an excellent bridge into his scholarship. You will get summaries and fresh content based on books like Paul and the Faithfulness of God and Jesus and the Victory of God.

Also, some will likely think that this book is *only* a distilled version of his other work. But two other points could be made.

  • First, prof. Wright told me that he rewrote the section on Romans because he has evolved in various areas.

  • Second, several areas have been augmented by the good work of Michael Bird, especially areas dealing with theology and the general epistles.

I hope this offers a helpful perspective on this resource. I highly recommend this book if you want to take your understanding of the New Testament and the world that produced it to a deeper level and you want to take a next step in engaging the scholarship of NT Wright.

Well, friends, I hope you will check out both of these podcast interviews and will find both resources helpful as you seek to follow Jesus in intelligent and humanizing ways.

Peace my friends!

Kurt Willems