Whether due to a busy summer, a large amount of books I've taken on all at once, or simply wanting to spend more time working through it....I've finally completed "After You Believe" by NT Wright. I don't think I'll surprise my 2 readers by saying.....I enjoyed just about every page of it.
As a quick side note, I found myself wondering if people around me (because the world revolves around me, right?) notice the title of my book, and think perhaps I've just recently become a "believer" in whatever the topic is. Sometimes I'd purposefully flash the book, in hopes that an energetic evangelical would strike up a conversation about how great Jesus is. No such luck, this time at least.
I've already posted some thoughts while reading the book, and it's important call to reclaim the activity of Jesus in our world as the Church. So much of what Wright has said, is painted wonderfully in such a context that to remove it from, would be like taking a single star from "Starry Night", and wanting you to see how beautiful it is. I encourage you...if you've ever found, or find yourself in a place where you want "more" from Christianity, and church shopping isn't quite filling what you thought it would.....or whatever method you've explored to bring personal revival.....allow God to use this book in your journey.
God is doing some pretty incredible things, and I want the language, song, and dance of my life to be something that I've practiced so often when it felt unnatural - that when moments requiring the response of someone genuinely following Jesus to bear God's presence into the world in a transforming way....I am able, by the Spirit's presence in my life. That my very mind would be transformed/renewed, so that Faith, Hope, and Love would be virtues I've not only practiced in the grace of God...but are also becoming my very "New" nature. That the fruit of the Spirit (all 9 aspects of it) would be obvious both as difficult decisions, as reflex actions, and as truly supernatural gifting as my life seeks the coming together of heaven and earth.
I'm thankful for Wright's words on the work of humanity that has begun, and will continue into New Creation. The gathering of creations' praises to present before God, and the bearing God's image and nature into that same creation. I pray that God will be with me, as I desire these things not only for myself, but for my marriage, my family/children, and the church community I've been blessed to be called to serve God among.
Yes...it's a bit dense at parts. The fact that he talks about Aristotelian themes of virtue, etc...can be intimidating and discouraging to some of us who would prefer an easier-to-swallow pill. But just as the spiritual "disciplines" can lead to some pretty amazing transformations toward New Life.....taking the time to invest in the words on these pages...can open the Word and Life that Jesus Christ has inaugurated...may you be blessed as well....and if you wanna borrow my copy - just let me know. :)
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