The Back of the Book: What am I here for? How should I behave?
Most Christians, faced with those questions, think in terms either of ‘rules’ or of ‘living authentically’. Both lead to problems.
In this book, full of fresh biblical exploration, Bishop Tom Wright proposes instead that we inhabit the ancient tradition of virtue once again – but from a thoroughly Christian, not just a philosophical, perspective. The virtues are the strengths we need to get to our goal. Following on from his popular best-selling books Simply Christian and Surprised by Hope, he sees the goal in terms of the whole new creation, with humans renewed to look after it.
Since that project was launched with Jesus’ resurrection, the Holy Spirit enables us to develop those strengths of character right now, embracing the vocation to reflect God’s image into the world. This is the way to become fully human – and to discover an authenticity, and a conformity with God’s purposes, which is available no other way.
As Tom Wright put it in his Preface:
‘The basic point is this: Christian life in the present, with its responsibilities and particular callings is to be understood and shaped in relation to the final goal for which we have been made and redeemed. The better we understand that goal, the better we should understand the path towards it.’