Two years ago I read Christopher Wright’s The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative and it immediately went to the top of the list of the most important theology books I’ve ever read. Now comes The God I Don’t Understand: Reflections of the Tough Questions of Faith. It is a much shorter book tightly focused on four issues. While not nearly as panoramic as Mission of God it is a great book.
Wright acknowledges that there are some things in theology for which we simply have no complete answers. For whatever reasons, God has chosen not to make clear his motivations and purposes. There are eleven chapters addressing four questions of this kind:
- What about evil and suffering?
- What about the Canaanites?
- What about the Cross?
- What about the End of the World?
If you’ve never read Wright, he has an engaging readable style. He exhibits it here once again. I really appreciate the way he explores each issue, helping the reader to sort out what we know from scripture and what we don’t know.
All sections of the book are very well done but I particularly appreciated his observations about the end of the world, especially the last chapter on the “New Beginning.” This is one of the most coherent simple to read discussions of eschatology I’ve read. I liked it so much that on Thursday I’ll begin a short series of posts reviewing his ideas on this topic.
Wright makes a great contribution toward helping us come to grips with some of the most difficult theological questions, both for our own faith journey and for being able share our faith with others. I give this book my strongest endorsement.
(Note: One thing this book has me wondering. Christopher Wright references N. T. Wright in this book. Then he references another scholar named Nigel Wright. Is there some kind of Wright-wing conspiracy going on in England? :-) )