N.T. Wright had so much to say about the book of Acts that it required two volumes. And both are well worth reading.
I thought volume one was great, but the real strength in the books lies in the whole picture. Wright’s combination of cultural and historical knowledge combined with theological insight make these books a really insightful way to study the book of Acts.
The books are broken down for small chunks of reading, with one Scripture passage and then Wright’s thoughts on it following another. I read these as daily study helps, but you could easily space them out differently if you were so inclined.
The best insights from the book are Wright’s explanations of what certain words and concepts would have meant to first century audiences. Having grown up in the Christian sub-culture, I have fixed ideas about terms like “eternal life” and “heaven” that Wright shows as being somewhat lacking. I found my viewpoints expanding toward finding those ideas even more exciting and challenging as I read Wright’s explanations.
I also loved the way Wright put Jesus and the early Christians into context. What did it actually look like and mean for them to act as they did? What sort of impact did this really have on their culture? And how could we/should we have that same sort of impact in our culture today? You’ll find a lot of challenging food for thought in these books.
Wright’s style is elegant and persuasive–deep yet so compellingly written that it feels easier than it is. While I have some reservations about certain areas of his theology, his commentaries on the gospels and Acts did not strike me as problematic (and my husband has read one and agrees, as does our pastor, who we talked to about it as well).
What are you reading this Sunday?
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