Getting Acquainted with Christopher J. H. Wright

Picture 9When I taught in the classroom I liked to introduce students to good authors and good books. Periodically in this blog I plan to identify books and resources on various topics.

In the fall of 2007 Barbara and I heard Christopher Wright teach at the Evangelical Theological Society in San Diego. We found his teaching from the Old Testament refreshing and inspiring.

Presently he is the director of the international ministries of the John Stott Ministries based in England (www.johnstott.org). He is an Irishman living in London. Being born to missionary parents he served in India teaching in a seminary. He returned to England and taught Old Testament and served as principal of All Nations College.

Some of his books will be briefly described. The first two are comprehensive works (500-600 pages) and the last four are around 200-250 pages each.

The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative (InterVarsity, 2006) Wright sees God’s mission as the framework for understanding the whole Bible. The big picture of Bible history shows God’s intention to reclaim the world and bless the nations through his people. Wright shows who God is, his mission to be carried out by his people, and how the nations of the world fit into God’s mission. His writing reveals his missionary heart.

Old Testament Ethics for the People of God (InterVarsity, 2004)
Wright has written on Old Testament ethics for decades. In this book he brings together his conclusions in a comprehensive study. He explores the theological, social, and economic aspects of Old Testament ethics. He relates these themes to contemporary ethics—economics, land and the poor, politics and other nations, law and justice, society, and culture, the place of the individual.

Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament (InterVarsity, 2002)
The historical, cultural, and theological background for understanding Jesus lies in the Old Testament. “The deeper you go into understanding the Old Testament, the closer you come to the heart of Jesus” (ix).

Knowing the Holy Spirit Through the Old Testament (InterVarsity, 2006)
We are introduced to the Holy Spirit in the second verse of the Bible. Throughout the pages of the Old Testament we see the Holy Spirit in the prophets, psalmists, judges, and kings. Chapters include—The Creating Spirit, The Empowering Spirit, The Prophetic Spirit, The Anointing Spirit, and The Coming Spirit.

Knowing God the Father Through the Old Testament (InterVarsity, 2007)
The Old Testament believers used fatherly images for understanding God’s character and actions although according to the record ‘Father’ was not a common title used to address God. God is powerful yet merciful. He is holy, personal, and loving as he provides for his people, disciplines them, and forgives them.

The God I Don’t Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith (InterVarsity, 2008)
Wright faces four difficult issues Christians face—the problem of evil and suffering, the genocide of the Canaanites, making sense of the cross, and prophecies about the end of the world. He admits he doesn’t understand everything about God. Wresting with these issues one can deepen one’s faith and increase our trust in God’s great promises.

In his writings Christopher Wright shows a reverence for God, a respect for Scripture, and a passion for the worldwide mission of the kingdom of Christ.

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One thought on “Getting Acquainted with Christopher J. H. Wright

  1. I will have to catch up on my reading . . . Thanks for the reviews. I do agree that God’s mission of reclaiming his creation and blessing all people is the key to the Bible.