Book Review: How God Became King by NT Wright

Over the last year or so, I've been steadily working my way through NT Wright's shelf on my bookcase. I still have two of his books that I haven't yet read, one that I haven't finished and several more that I'd like to read. Wright is a New Testament scholar who communicates both to his colleagues in the academy and to a popular audience.

How God Became King is Wright's popular work on the Gospels. In this book, he draws our attention to what we would miss if we based our faith just on the Creeds and on the letters of Paul. And he points out what we miss in the Creeds and in the Pauline epistles themselves if we ignore the Gospels.

Wright argues that the Gospels tell the story about how God became King (hence the title). The Gospels pick up the story of Israel and carry it to it's dramatic next stage. They make political and creational claims. They carry the concept of God's rule and reign all the way to the cross, and beyond it. The Gospels, according to Wright, contain much more than proofs that Jesus is God, ethical teachings and a pathway to get to heaven when you die.

How God Became King is the most easily accessible book that I've read by Wright so far. He explains his ideas with clarity, repeats himself to add nuance, and lands on some concrete and practical implications of his ideas.

This book can give you a richer appreciation of what we have in the Gospels and, ultimately, of our God who became King.

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