"We have grown used to the battles over Jesus-whether he was human or divine as well, whether he could do miracles or just inspire them, whether he even existed or not. Much of the church defends tradition and the critics take shots at that tradition. But what if these debates have masked the real story of Jesus from us? What if even Jesus's defenders in the church have been blinded by so focusing on these issues that it has prevented them from fully grappling with what the Gospels really teach? Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N.T. Wright summarizes a lifetime of study of Jesus and the New Testament in order to present for a general audience who Jesus was and is. In SIMPLY JESUS, we are invited to hear one of our leading scholars introduce the story of carpenter's son from Nazareth as if we were hearing it for the first time. "Jesus-the Jesus we might discover if we really looked," explains Wright, "is larger, more disturbing, more urgent than we had ever imagined. We have successfully managed to hide behind other questions and to avoid the huge, world-shaking challenge of Jesus' central claim and achievement. It is we, the churches, who have been the real reductionists. We have reduced the kingdom of God to private piety; the victory of the cross to comfort for the conscience; Easter itself to a happy, escapist ending after a sad, dark tale. Piety, conscience and ultimate happiness are important, but not nearly as important as Jesus himself." As the church faces the many challenges of the twenty-first century, Wright has presented a vision of Jesus that more than meets them"
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