How God Became King (N. T. Wright)

While some have critiqued N. T. Wright’s clarity and writing style in the past, How God Became King reads as a clear and articulate work. This is partly because he asks such intriguing and specific questions. For example, the central concern in How God Became King is to demonstrate the importance of Jesus’ life.   For most believers, the stories of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection make up the fabric of our day to day lives. Buts sadly, we know little about that middle bit where Jesus goes around healing, casting out demons and teaching. It’s this portion of Jesus’ life that Wright wants to uncover for us. And this is precisely what makes How God Became King so interesting.

Wright argues that four speakers influence our reading of the Gospels. Each speaker has its volume controls set incorrectly. One speaker is too loud, while, perhaps, the others are too quiet. According to Wright, when we read the Gospels, we need to keep these four speakers in balance. These four speakers or influences on our reading the Gospels include the following: (1) The Gospels are an organic fulfillment of the story of Israel (The Old Testament), and not simply Genesis 1–3; (2) The story of Jesus is the story of Yahweh visiting his people, and this means that his deity is assumed; (3) Jesus comes to launch God’s renewed people into the kingdom or into kingdom life. This is what eternal life is all about; (4) The kingdom of God conflicts with the kingdom of this world, because it subverts the expectations of worldly kingdoms. It many ways, this means the Christians are called to live out this new life that Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension inaugurated. Continue reading