There are several authors that I have struggled to connect with over the years. Barbara Brown Taylor is one of them – until her most recent book, An Altar in the World, I had never actually finished one of her books. Its nothing against her writing personally, but it just never seemed to connect with me. NT Wright is another of those authors – I have tried reading several of his books in the past and ran into the same thing that I did with BBT – I just didn’t seem to connect or get drawn into the his writings.
I wish that I could say that I had a revelatory moment with Wright’s newest book, After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters, but honestly it didn’t happen. Technically I did finish the book, but it was not without a lot of skimming and feeling like I was going over ground that had already been covered.
Wright has an excellent point as the thesis of this book and I completely resonate with his central point. Our character as Christians matters and matters absolutely. He begins the book with an illustration of a conversation with a young man who basically asked Wright several years ago, “Ok, I believe in Christ, so now what?” This young man was struggling with the “what’s next” of Christianity where he had heard so much about accepting Christ as Savior and receiving the gift of new life, but he wasn’t hearing a lot more in the church he was attending about the “what’s next.”
I 100% resonate with Wright’s central premise of the book that it definitely matters what’s next – not in a legalistic “earn your salvation” type of way, but in a life-change sort of way. Our character matters, how we are reflecting the reality of Christ’s work in the here and now matters, and not just being sure that our names are written in heaven. So, I resonate with Wright’s overall point, but as I have struggled with in the past, I did not resonate with the writing itself.
Wright makes many excellent points throughout the book and I do recommend the read, especially if you are asking a similar question about “what’s next”. It may connect with you in a way that it did not wth me. I am thankful for Wright’s book and for the point he is making because I think its a message that needs to be heard and taken in.