How God Became King, by N.T. Wright

Last week I had a sick day in bed but the latest Tom Wright book made it a good day. How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels by N.T. Wright. It’s a good read, as all his books are. Wright tackles the problem of the missing gap in the creeds between the virgin birth and the crucifixion, the necessity of the life of Christ. He shows how the gospels themselves can produce a high Christology without being filtered first through the epistles and he demonstrates the primacy of the Old Testament in setting up the story of how God became King. He also offers a way to read the creeds with the right (Jewish-Old Testament) narrative playing in our heads. And, as a bonus, Wright attempts to reconcile the Kingdom Christians (Anabaptists+) with the Cross Christians (Reformed+) with an integrated holistic Old-Testament-embedded gospel story that will satisfy both camps.

Tom wright

How God Became King is a good book but not an essential book. It lacks the vitality and tension of Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision and it doesn’t debut a groundbreaking discovery like Surprised By Hope. It feels more like a book between books, either to shore up a previous thought [Simply Christian?] or to lay the groundwork for the next book (a new ecclesiology, perhaps?). 

But I still recommend it because whatever Tom Wright is thinking about and writing about is worth following. Thats why I bought it.

Other opinions on How God Became King: The Twelve, PRWeb, Patton Dodd, Internet Monk

Related: NT Wright and Emergent EcclesiologiesTom Wright on Justification, Tom Wright and the Emerging church, Tom Wright’s ‘Surprised By Hope’ is my Top Book of 2008


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • David says:

    Sorry if I missed a review, but have you read Scot McKnight’s King Jesus Gospel? If so, how do the two compare?

  • Andrew says:

    I havent read that one but Scot’s chapter on the gospel in the book “Church in the Present Tense” came to mind often and is a great companion to this book.

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