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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 thr 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.


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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 thr 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.

30 review for Small Faith--Great God: Biblical Faith for Today's Christians

  1. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    This collection of biblically based reflections on Christian discipleship hit the perfect balance of challenging head and heart. I often buy highly discounted books, read them, then donate them to my parish library. That was my intention with this volume. But, these highly accessible essays are too good to let go of; I will want to read them again and again. This book is an easy 4 stars and then some.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jared Totten

    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. Amazingly, I would not have noticed the book was over 30 years old had I not read the preface. Wright seems to write and think in a timeless fashion that does not grow dated very quickly. Small Faith—Great God focuses on the faith of the Christian, Who we look to and what we hope for and look forward to. It is part devotional, part apologetic, highlighted by N 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. Amazingly, I would not have noticed the book was over 30 years old had I not read the preface. Wright seems to write and think in a timeless fashion that does not grow dated very quickly. Small Faith—Great God focuses on the faith of the Christian, Who we look to and what we hope for and look forward to. It is part devotional, part apologetic, highlighted by N.T. Wright's vast knowledge of biblical history. Most of the chapters were originally sermons given in and around Oxford University and they fall roughly into three parts. The first part focuses on the object of our faith, God and his character. The second looks into the lives of various biblical characters and how their faith impact their lives. And finally, the third portion addresses how our faith can likewise enable us today to live faithfully through every period and challenge of life. While I admittedly haven't read much from Wright and despite the theological debate he has sparked of late, this small book has got me looking forward to reading a lot more of his work.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    5/10 This seems more like a condensed Wright reader than anything else. It's not a bad book by any means, but much of it classic Wright, and therefore largely repeated in his later works and talks, as he builds on these themes throughout his career. The core of this book revolves around God's faithfulness in light of our faithlessness, a fact which differentiates Christianity from every other religion. More than this, the little faith we can muster is taken as credit for a much larger deposit tha 5/10 This seems more like a condensed Wright reader than anything else. It's not a bad book by any means, but much of it classic Wright, and therefore largely repeated in his later works and talks, as he builds on these themes throughout his career. The core of this book revolves around God's faithfulness in light of our faithlessness, a fact which differentiates Christianity from every other religion. More than this, the little faith we can muster is taken as credit for a much larger deposit that God himself guarantees in lieu of our inability to fully rely on Him. God himself holds up both sides of the bargain, as He empowers us to remain faithful to Him over the course of our lives. This reciprocal faithfulness, weak on our side and overpowering on His, is what we call Christianity.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andy Dollahite

    This sermon collection is from Wright’s early days in the 1970s. There’s nothing particularly cutting edge, which was frankly perfect. Sure, he has an occasional side comment I thought wrong, but there was solid and simple encouragement and exhortation throughout. I particularly enjoyed his homilies on Ruth 1 & Revelation, as well as the wedding address. His repeated insistence that what matters most is not the strength or purity of our often feeble faith, but the majesty of the object of our fa This sermon collection is from Wright’s early days in the 1970s. There’s nothing particularly cutting edge, which was frankly perfect. Sure, he has an occasional side comment I thought wrong, but there was solid and simple encouragement and exhortation throughout. I particularly enjoyed his homilies on Ruth 1 & Revelation, as well as the wedding address. His repeated insistence that what matters most is not the strength or purity of our often feeble faith, but the majesty of the object of our faith — our great God! Also, I think his emphasis on the distinction but necessary connection between faith and works bears constant repeating.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kay Mcgriff

    This collection of essays explores the theme set out in the title: While our faith may be small, the God we have faith in is great.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brian Virtue

    very much enjoyed it, but as a book not trying to cover new ground. For what it is, a collection of short sermons, I very much enjoyed going through it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Wermeskerch

    If you have any affinity toward NT Wright, I'm tempted to put this book in the "must read" list. A beautiful look at the God we put our faith in, how that faith turns to love and into hope. If you have any affinity toward NT Wright, I'm tempted to put this book in the "must read" list. A beautiful look at the God we put our faith in, how that faith turns to love and into hope.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Callie

    All other religious systems tell humans how to improve themselves, to better their own position b moral effort, to seek their own salvation in greater personal piety or detachment from the world. God's gospel stands all that on its head. Human wisdom is simply not required.....The person who finds the truth is the one who looks at the crucified Messiah- a corpse on gallows to the pagan- and who sees there God's way of salvation.... Gospel isn't the sort of thing that appeals to humans as they are All other religious systems tell humans how to improve themselves, to better their own position b moral effort, to seek their own salvation in greater personal piety or detachment from the world. God's gospel stands all that on its head. Human wisdom is simply not required.....The person who finds the truth is the one who looks at the crucified Messiah- a corpse on gallows to the pagan- and who sees there God's way of salvation.... Gospel isn't the sort of thing that appeals to humans as they are....God needs to perform a miracle in our understanding, open our eyes to see properly.... Knowing that the gospel is a mystery saves us from two opposite dangers as we try to tell people about it. There is no reason to think that people will come to believe in Jesus simply because of our clever arguemnts. Not that we must not think hard about our faith...Nor must we fail to enter into careful and sympathetic discussion and debate with those who do not believe. But the work must be God's, not ours.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chauncey Lattimer

    Small Faith - Great God, by N. T. Wright, is a collection of twenty sermons that Wright says he delivered as early in life as his '20's. The book is divided into three sections - faith in a great God, faith to live and love, and fait to walk in the dark. The individual chapters are very short; because of this structure, I found this book to be an excellent book for personal devotions/reflection/meditation. One of my favorite quotes came inthe very first chapter: "Christian faith -- biblical fait Small Faith - Great God, by N. T. Wright, is a collection of twenty sermons that Wright says he delivered as early in life as his '20's. The book is divided into three sections - faith in a great God, faith to live and love, and fait to walk in the dark. The individual chapters are very short; because of this structure, I found this book to be an excellent book for personal devotions/reflection/meditation. One of my favorite quotes came inthe very first chapter: "Christian faith -- biblical faith -- is not a matter of putting a brave face on things and trying our best. It is a matter of looking away from ourself and seeing the world as God sees it, as it really is." His reminder as to the nature of faith is well taken: "faith in the Bible is always determined by its object... what matters is not so much the faith itself as what it is faith in."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Curtis

    In a series of messages that have been revised from several decades ago, the author shapes a Biblical image of the faithful creator God who lovingly covenants with his creation to be in redemptive relationship for eternity. In revealing the greatness, holiness and faithfulness of God the Scriptures provide us with the invitation to trust in Him instead of anything else. I enjoyed the deep understanding of faith in this context in contrast to the very subjective false hoping in the idea that thin In a series of messages that have been revised from several decades ago, the author shapes a Biblical image of the faithful creator God who lovingly covenants with his creation to be in redemptive relationship for eternity. In revealing the greatness, holiness and faithfulness of God the Scriptures provide us with the invitation to trust in Him instead of anything else. I enjoyed the deep understanding of faith in this context in contrast to the very subjective false hoping in the idea that things will somehow be okay. Faith is only as secure as what it is trusting in. Biblical faith is sure and secure in its trusting in the one creator God who is love. Recommended for a deeper exploration of what Christian faith means.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Adam Shields

    Short Review - This isn't a bad book. I actually like it. But if you have read much of Wright previously then this is mostly repeat. It is a re-issue of a 1978 book and then it was a collection of his earlier sermons. It is surprising how many of his main ideas are here, but they are not as fully developed as later books. So while it is a decent intro to Wright, it is not as good as some other books of his. And its biggest weakness is that it isn't tightly organized, so it feels like a bunch of Short Review - This isn't a bad book. I actually like it. But if you have read much of Wright previously then this is mostly repeat. It is a re-issue of a 1978 book and then it was a collection of his earlier sermons. It is surprising how many of his main ideas are here, but they are not as fully developed as later books. So while it is a decent intro to Wright, it is not as good as some other books of his. And its biggest weakness is that it isn't tightly organized, so it feels like a bunch of disperate sermons more than a cohesive book. My full review is on my blog at http://bookwi.se/small-faith-great-god/

  12. 5 out of 5

    Frank Peters

    This was the most accessible book by NT Wright that I have yet read. Since the book was formed from the written versions of talks given by the author this is even more reasonable (as the authors talks are much more gentle than his typical books). The chapters are arranged as essays in the book and are put together in a loosely related sequence. As the title suggest, the book contains reflections on what our faith should look like as children of a great God. The last section on hope: Faith to wal This was the most accessible book by NT Wright that I have yet read. Since the book was formed from the written versions of talks given by the author this is even more reasonable (as the authors talks are much more gentle than his typical books). The chapters are arranged as essays in the book and are put together in a loosely related sequence. As the title suggest, the book contains reflections on what our faith should look like as children of a great God. The last section on hope: Faith to walk in the dark, was especially valuable. I liked the book, and have already recommended to several people.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    This is a great collection of sermon's that Wright gave many years ago, when he was still quite young. The second edition was published 2010, but I don't think much has changed at all. The chapters are very short (ca. 8 small pages), and the book itself is a very quick read if you want to read it straight through. This book will be particularly helpful for pastors and academics who want to improve their preaching. It would also be a great book for lay-people. Wright is accessible, theologically r This is a great collection of sermon's that Wright gave many years ago, when he was still quite young. The second edition was published 2010, but I don't think much has changed at all. The chapters are very short (ca. 8 small pages), and the book itself is a very quick read if you want to read it straight through. This book will be particularly helpful for pastors and academics who want to improve their preaching. It would also be a great book for lay-people. Wright is accessible, theologically rich, and pastoral throughout.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Bible scholar and teacher N. T. Wright writes with clarity and concision as he carefully searches and selects specific passages of Scripture in his sermons on faith, hope, and love. However, I proffer this small change, one piece of criticism: the structures and systems of thought in this particular sample of writings can sound predictable and familiar at times, slipping and sliding into the swampy backwaters of simply Christian clichés. Methinks the good book lacks the new living language of ly Bible scholar and teacher N. T. Wright writes with clarity and concision as he carefully searches and selects specific passages of Scripture in his sermons on faith, hope, and love. However, I proffer this small change, one piece of criticism: the structures and systems of thought in this particular sample of writings can sound predictable and familiar at times, slipping and sliding into the swampy backwaters of simply Christian clichés. Methinks the good book lacks the new living language of lyric and narrative poetry as well as modern and old-fashioned storytelling.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    This was a book that was written by Bishop Wright in the early 70's and recently republished. It's filled with great insights about the nature of faith and emphasizes that it is the greatness of God, not our faith, that matters most. Our faith may be like a mustard-seed, but the One in whom we have faith is much greater. This was a book that was written by Bishop Wright in the early 70's and recently republished. It's filled with great insights about the nature of faith and emphasizes that it is the greatness of God, not our faith, that matters most. Our faith may be like a mustard-seed, but the One in whom we have faith is much greater.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joel Wentz

    Good quick read, but if you are familiar with Wright's body of work, then much of this will not be new. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in "dipping their toe" into the waters of Tom Wright. Good quick read, but if you are familiar with Wright's body of work, then much of this will not be new. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in "dipping their toe" into the waters of Tom Wright.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adam Ross

    This is a reprint of the 1978 original, and so, as Wright acknowledges in the preface to this edition, his thinking has changed. And it is clear it is early Wright. That said, of course, even early Wright has a lot of great stuff to say.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    It was really interesting to get a glimpse of Wright's thinking in his early years. You can see some glimpses of where he would eventually go with his theology. It's an interesting read and has some good points in it. It was really interesting to get a glimpse of Wright's thinking in his early years. You can see some glimpses of where he would eventually go with his theology. It's an interesting read and has some good points in it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nellie

    This is an easy to read book. I like the way faith is explained. From the book,"Faith allows us to see our situation and our weakness in light of God, who is powerful, holy, and loving." NT Wright explains how our faith needs to rest in who God is and not on our circumstances. This is an easy to read book. I like the way faith is explained. From the book,"Faith allows us to see our situation and our weakness in light of God, who is powerful, holy, and loving." NT Wright explains how our faith needs to rest in who God is and not on our circumstances.

  20. 5 out of 5

    David

    Just finished this little book. Well worth reading these early sermons turned into chapters. Sounds somewhat different from the small amount of later Wright which I've read. A couple of times it sounds very much like James Hamilton's tome Just finished this little book. Well worth reading these early sermons turned into chapters. Sounds somewhat different from the small amount of later Wright which I've read. A couple of times it sounds very much like James Hamilton's tome

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ken Hall

    NT is always great. It was interesting to read his older written material.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amy Young

    Heard about on Books and Culture

  23. 5 out of 5

    Phil

    maybe since it was one of his first books........but wasn't that great. He is still my all time favorite Biblical scholar. maybe since it was one of his first books........but wasn't that great. He is still my all time favorite Biblical scholar.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    Too disjointed for a unified book, but good to take a chapter a morning at a time. Almost like cliffnotes to the rest of what Wright writes about, which isn't a bad thing at all. Too disjointed for a unified book, but good to take a chapter a morning at a time. Almost like cliffnotes to the rest of what Wright writes about, which isn't a bad thing at all.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mar

    3.5 Nice little collection of sermons he's preached. I liked some more than others, but they are worth reading. 3.5 Nice little collection of sermons he's preached. I liked some more than others, but they are worth reading.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    This collection of early sermons works well as a devotional tool, as well as being a good introduction to what Wright develops more deeply in subsequent books.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Vroegindewey

    The book is not so obviously driven and organized by the central theme of faith as I was expecting, but still a good read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Josh Lowe

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Colbert

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mark Street

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