After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters (Hardcover)
From the author of the acclaimed Simply Christian and Surprised by Hope comes a book that addresses the question that has plagued humans for centurieswhat is our purpose? As Christians, what are we to do with that ambiguous time between baptism and the funeral? It's easy to become preoccupied with who gets into heaven; the real challenge is how we are going to live in the here and now.
Wright dispels the common misconception that Christian living is nothing more than a checklist of dos and don'ts. Nor is it a prescription to "follow your heart" wherever it may lead. Instead, After You Believe reveals the Bible's call for a revolutiona transformation of character that takes us beyond our earthly pursuit of money, sex, and power into a virtuous state of living that allows us to reflect God and live more worshipful, fulfilling lives.
We are all spiritual seekers, intuitively knowing there is more to life than we suspect. This is a book for anyone who is hoping there is something more while we're here on Earth. There is. We are being called to join the revolution, and Wright insightfully encourages readers to find new purpose and clarity by taking us on an eye-opening journey through key biblical passages that promise to radically alter the work of the church and the direction of our lives.
About the Author
N. T. Wright is the former bishop of Durham in the Church of England and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the Chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. For twenty years he taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford Universities, and he has been featured on ABC News, Dateline, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air. Wright is the award-winning author of Surprised by Scripture, The Case for the Psalms, How God Became King, Simply Jesus, After You Believe, Surprised by Hope, Simply Christian, Scripture and the Authority of God, The Meaning of Jesus (coauthored with Marcus Borg), as well as being the translator for The Kingdom New Testament.
“Bishop Wright, with his usual wisdom and erudition, shows how an account of the virtues is not only compatible but required by the New Testament understanding of what it means to be a Christian. This important book hopefully will be read by theologian and non-theologian alike.”
-Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School
“A follow-up to Wright’s Simply Christian and Surprised by Hope, this solid volume will appeal to Christians who appreciate biblical interpretation that hews to tradition but incorporates an emphasis on contemporary social justice as an element of Christian virtue.”
“In his new book, Wright,…one of the most prolific and influential theologians of the 20thCentury,…posits that the development of virtue -- by the church and in broader society -- could help lead the Western world out of the sea of despondency in which it currently finds itself languishing.”
-Religion News Service
“[N.T. Wright is a] master at straight-forward, street-level writing about what makes our religious lives truly matter in the world. …Wright’s...powerful new book... is a clarion call to mature Christians to take seriously some of Jesus’ messages we’ve long ignored.”
-Read the Spirit
“A book that carefully examines Christian character, Christian virtues and the Christian life . . . needs serious attention.”
-The Louisville Courier-Journal
“An excellent book . . . Wright’s fine theological reflections here shed much light.”
-Englewood Review of Books
“For those who feel the church has lost its way, Wright offers a roadmap to help guide its followers home.”
“Beautifully written, rich with insights and lined with thought-provoking material .. . . Sometimes compared to a modern-day C.S. Lewis, N. T. Wright is an author not to be missed.... Highly recommended.”
“One of the world’s best published Scripture scholars and an Anglican bishop, N. T. Wright’s latest book blends biblical competence and pastoral experience. This is a book for a general audience with evangelical leanings about how a Christian goes about developing virtue, character or habits of thinking, feeling and acting.”
-America—The National Catholic Weekly
“After You Believe by N. T. Wright offers yet another clarion call for believers and their communities to see that their actions in everyday life are evidence of the faith within.”
-Spirituality and Practice
“Often we get stuck between two extremes: an antinomian (’against law’) spontaneity, and a rule-focused legalism. Instead, argues Wright… we need to develop virtuous character. …Just about everything in After You Believe [is] a fresh way of exploring many familiar truths.”
“One reason so many people read Tom Wright today is because he can write prose that is flat-out captivating. . . . Vintage Wright.”
“In his latest book, After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters, Wright challenges the church—and broader society in general—to return to virtue and the development of character.”
“Making disciples is about the long-term development of Christian character. There is no quick fix discipleship. It is the development of Christlike behavior as second nature. This book spells out the New Testament basis and its application to Western culture.”
“Those who tend toward legalistic views will find little comfort. It is a book worth considering.”
-Renewed in Spirit
“As in all Wright books… you need to build your virtue muscle, sit down, exercise your free will and make a decision to read the whole thing… twice.”
-Worship Leader Magazine
“[A] very rich book.... Readers of After You Believe will admire Wright’s close reading of Scripture, his clear prose, and his evident love for his Christian faith.”