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Small Faith--Great God [Kindle Edition]

N. T. Wright
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In the midst of life's challenges, so often our faith feels small and weak. In this book one of the world's premier Bible teachers, N. T. Wright, reminds us that what matters is not so much our faith itself as Who our faith is in.

Faith, says Wright, is like a window. The point is not for part of the wall to be made of glass. The point of a window is to allow us to see through it--and let light into the room! Faith allows us to see our situation and our own weakness in light of God who is powerful, holy and loving.

Wright also looks at the character of the faith God calls us to. He unfolds how dependence, humility and mystery all have a role to play. God beckons us to lean on him as we seek to be constructive citizens of the world, to speak truth in love without hypocrisy and to risk submitting to one another in love.

Wright doesn't ignore the messiness and difficulties of life, when hard times come and the unexpected knocks us down. He opens to us what faith means in times of trial and even in the face of death.

Through it all he reminds us, it's not great faith we need: it is faith in a great God.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"N. T. Wright reminds us that Christian faith is neither a mere assent to certain facts nor a sentimental embrace of religious identity. Instead, Christian faith is always determined by its object. The size of our faith is not what matters, but the greatness of the God who has accepted us because of Christ's work on our behalf. This reissue of one of Wright's early works contains a message that may be more timely today than when it was first released in 1978." (Trevin Wax, Christianity Today, December 2010)

"Anchored solidly in Scripture, Wright's book is easy to read, using helpful illustrations and analogies to support his explanations. This will make fantastic small-group material . . . Recommend this book to everyone, but especially to group leaders, class teachers, and pastors." (David Mundt, CBA Retailers & Resources, November 2010)

About the Author

A prolific writer of both scholarly and popular books, N. T. Wright has written over thirty books, including Simply Christian, The Original Jesus: The Life and Vision of a Revolutionary, What Saint Paul Really Said, The Challenge of Jesus and The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions. His magisterial work, Jesus and the Victory of God, is widely regarded as one of the most significant contributions to contemporary New Testament studies. His N. T. Wright For Everyone Series includes commentaries covering the entire New Testament. Formerly bishop of Durham in England, Wright is research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He was formerly canon theologian of Westminster Abbey and dean of Lichfield Cathedral. He also taught New Testament studies for twenty years at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford Universities. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Gregorian University in Rome and many other institutions around the world. In addition to his many books, Wright reaches a broad audience through his frequent media appearances. A sought-after commentator, Wright writes frequently for newspapers in England, including the Times, the Independent and the Guardian. He has been interviewed numerous times by radio and television broadcasters on both sides of the Atlantic, including ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS and NPR.

Product Details

  • File Size: 305 KB
  • Print Length: 152 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books; 2 edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043GWPH8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,770 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small Faith, Great God, Good Book November 11, 2010
Format:Hardcover
I've read about a dozen books by N. T. Wright, and I am sorry to say that "Small Faith, Great God" is not his best. Of course, even a "bad" book by N. T. Wright would be better than most other books on the market. So if you have never read anything by N. T. Wright, this might be a good introduction to some of his themes and ideas. Of course, it appears this book was his own introduction to his own ideas, since it was originally published in 1978, before he had become one of the leading New Testament scholars in the world.

The book seems to be loosely arranged around the topic of faith, and nearly every chapter seems like it might originally have been a sermon or homily. This isn't a bad thing, as most published pastors follow the same practice. I just wish that N. T. Wright (or his editor) had made better connections between the chapters, or simply chosen different chapters to include.

Of course, the weakness of the book is also its strength. Though the chapters are loosely connected, this allows each individual chapter to be enjoyed on its own merit. There is not an extended argument to follow from chapter to chapter. Instead, most chapters focus on explaining and applying a single passage from Scripture. And N. T. Wright's insights on Scripture are always worth reading.

So as with the rest of N. T. Wright's books, this one is also worth reading.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical N.T. Wright - Only Easier December 20, 2010
Format:Hardcover
This is the second edition of N.T. Wright's early work. Small Faith Great God reads like a collection of sermons which, coincidentally isn't far from the truth.

Wright uses this book to explain that Christians do not need a greater faith or "more faith" but what they need to understand is that they have a faith in a great God.

He uses the illustration of a window that is used to see out and in which light beams into the darkness. This is what faith is. We shouldn't get caught up with how little our faith seems. Do we believe in the God of the Bible? That should be our focus.

This book is divided into 3 parts:

Faith in a Great God
Faith to Live and Love
Faith to Walk in the Dark

Each section builds on each other, which has become a staple of Wright's work.

In section 1, we hear about the kind of God in whom we have this faith. In section 2, we are encouraged in how to live out that faith. And in section 3 builds a stronger case for "what now?"

As this was the work of Wright earlier in his writings, I found these chapters to be easier to read and comprehend that his later books. If feels like I was reading his sermon outlines.

In the preface, he explains how some of his thinking has changed over the years and he points out a couple places in this book that this has happened.

Overall, I found this to be a refreshing look at our faith and the God in which it belongs.

If you are a fan of N.T. Wright, you will want to add this book to your shelf.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by InterVarsity Press
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Almost anything by N.T. Wright is worth reading, and "Small Faith, Great God" is no exception. Normally in my reviews I start with my positive assessment and end with my negative criticisms, but this time I want to reverse this order. While "Small Faith, Great God" is filled with wonderful theological insights, the book lacks a certain amount of depth and focus. The reason is not only the small size of the book but the fact that the book's origins were in sermons by Wright he preached 40 years ago, before turning them into a book, and now this 2nd edition. For this reason, the profound wisdom Wright sometimes displays is not developed as deeply as it could have been. Also, the chapters are often only loosely related and not part of a conscious overall plan. These 2 weaknesses make the book frustrating to read at times.

On the other hand, the book will still be a great blessing to many. One of its many virtues is precisely that it is a small book and therefore more likely to be read than most of his other works. His language is also simple and to the point, making "Small Faith, Great God" a book suitable for a wide range of Christian readers. Because of its practicality, readability, and brevity, "Small Faith, Great God" would also make good devotional reading.

Wright divides his chapters into 3 Parts:

Part One: Faith in a Great God
Part Two: Faith to Live and Love
Part Three: Faith to Walk in the Dark

Almost every chapter has an important and practical theological point that will make the reader think and, hopefully, pray. I like the fact that Wright begins by describing how the Bible expresses the greatness and glory of God, which is the foundation for all else that Wright writes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Faith January 3, 2011
Format:Hardcover
What is faith? A blind leap into something? A hope which may not come true? For Tom Wright the issue is not so much what is faith, rather the issue is the OBJECT of the faith. And for Christians the object of faith is Jesus Christ.

In this small book, based on sermons, Wright unpacks what this faith in Jesus Christ might look like for Christians. A faith that is strong and sustaining - able to bring us through both the best of times and the very worst of times. A faith which is practical and real.

I found this book immensely refreshing, especially in just enjoying Wright's exegesis of the Bible passages and his ability to draw them into the here and now making them so applicable for us today. The irony is that through this book you can almost tangibly sense the strength and deep of Wright's own faith and his love for the glory of God.

If anyone should ask you `What is faith' give them this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars After the first few pages got to type of word I wanted to read and...
Slow beginning and wondered where he
was going. After the first few pages got
to type of word I wanted to read and liked
it a lot. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Twyla Marcum
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book
N.T.Wright is simply a brilliant author who writes from the heart. This book is essentially a collection of sermons, however, they have been woven together to inspire thinking in... Read more
Published on March 20, 2013 by Michael N.Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for all along the spectrum of Christian maturity
As has become the norm with N.T. Wright's books written on the popular level, they are articulately well-written and understandable in a beautiful and concise way. Read more
Published on July 17, 2012 by Daniel S
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Journey
Tom has done it again with this book. It's a revision of a book he wrote 30-some years ago. I really enjoyed it. Read more
Published on March 22, 2011 by J.Eshleman
4.0 out of 5 stars Packs a Punch
I've read quite a few from N. T. Wright; I have no less than nine of his books in my personal library. Read more
Published on February 15, 2011 by jdb
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical, Scholarly, and Pastoral
Small Faith, Great God is a collection of N.T. Wright sermons in and around Oxford, dating back to his early twenties. Read more
Published on January 23, 2011 by revtcr
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank the Lord for Tom Wright!
Anyone who rejects biblical truths because they have approached God from a self-referenced viewpoint, must read this short work by N.T. Wright. Read more
Published on January 17, 2011 by Donald Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars A great intro to N.T. Wright's work
InterVarsity Press' latest offering from N.T. Wright's, Small Faith--Great God, is in fact one of his oldest books, first released in 1978. Read more
Published on December 16, 2010 by Jared Totten
4.0 out of 5 stars Small Faith, Great God, Good Book
N.T. Wright's book is actually the second edition of a very old book of his. It is composed of modified sermons he preached while he was in school at Oxford. Read more
Published on November 25, 2010 by Chris Woznicki
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More 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. As being both one of the world's leading Bible scholars and a popular author, he has been featured on ABC News, Dateline, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air. His award-winning books include 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 (co-authored with Marcus Borg), as well as being the translator for The Kingdom New Testament. He also wrote the impressive Christian Origins and the Question of God series, including The New Testament and the People of God, Jesus and the Victory of God, The Resurrection of the Son of God and most recently, Paul and the Faithfulness of God.

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