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.
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.