Review: Small Faith, Great God

December 10, 2010

I’ve read more pages by NT Wright than anyone else, and probably by quite a bit. Based on a quick estimate, I’d guess I’ve read about 5000 pages of Wright’s writing. I don’t think any theologian stretches me more in directions that I like to be stretched. All that to say, when I had an opportunity to review his latest book, Small Faith, Great God, I took it.

What I didn’t realize, for better and worse, is that this is a book that was first published over 30 years ago. To read Wright’s words in the preface, he give it a quick and minimal freshening up.

On the positive side, this book demonstrates the pastoral heart of Wright. It reads like a book of sermons converted to chapters, and the preface pretty much states that what it is. Of course, this book was originally written while Wright was full-time in ministry as a chaplain at Oxford. But it displays his pastoral nature that has stayed with him even as he has moved back and forth between academia and ministry.

On the not as positive side, this book doesn’t stand up next to his writings of the last few decades. Both his academic and popular level work is backed by his years of research, stretching the reader’s understandings to a fuller picture of Christian mission. Small Faith, Great God doesn’t benefit from those decades of research.

Ultimately, this book demonstrates keen mind for developing a line of thought and moving it along in a way that the reader can easily follow. It’s not a bad read as a devotional book, as long as you know ahead of time that it is different from what you might have come to expect after reading Wright’s other books.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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