After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters

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Overview

From the author of the acclaimed Simply Christian and Surprised by Hope comes a book that addresses the question that has plagued humans for centuries—what is our purpose? As Christians, what are we to do with that ambiguous time between baptism and the funeral? It's easy to become preoccupied with who gets into heaven; the real challenge is how we are going to live in the here and now.

Wright dispels the common misconception that Christian living is nothing more than a checklist of dos and don'ts. Nor is it a prescription to "follow your heart" wherever it may lead. Instead, After You Believe reveals the Bible's call for a revolution—a transformation of character that takes us beyond our earthly pursuit of money, sex, and power into a virtuous state of living that allows us to reflect God and live more worshipful, fulfilling lives.

We are all spiritual seekers, intuitively knowing there is more to life than we suspect. This is a book for anyone who is hoping there is something more while we're here on Earth. There is. We are being called to join the revolution, and Wright insightfully encourages readers to find new purpose and clarity by taking us on an eye-opening journey through key biblical passages that promise to radically alter the work of the church and the direction of our lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Stanley Hauerwas
“Bishop Wright, with his usual wisdom and erudition, shows how an account of the virtues is not only compatible but required by the New Testament understanding of what it means to be a Christian. This important book hopefully will be read by theologian and non-theologian alike.”
America: The National Catholic Weekly
"One of the world’s best published Scripture scholars and an Anglican bishop, N. T. Wright’s latest book blends biblical competence and pastoral experience. This is a book for a general audience with evangelical leanings about how a Christian goes about developing virtue, character or habits of thinking, feeling and acting."
America—The National Catholic Weekly
“One of the world’s best published Scripture scholars and an Anglican bishop, N. T. Wright’s latest book blends biblical competence and pastoral experience. This is a book for a general audience with evangelical leanings about how a Christian goes about developing virtue, character or habits of thinking, feeling and acting.”
Worship Leader Magazine
“As in all Wright books… you need to build your virtue muscle, sit down, exercise your free will and make a decision to read the whole thing… twice.”
Renewed in Spirit
“Those who tend toward legalistic views will find little comfort. It is a book worth considering.”
Read the Spirit
“[N.T. Wright is a] master at straight-forward, street-level writing about what makes our religious lives truly matter in the world. …Wright’s...powerful new book... is a clarion call to mature Christians to take seriously some of Jesus’ messages we’ve long ignored.”
Christianity Magazine
“Making disciples is about the long-term development of Christian character. There is no quick fix discipleship. It is the development of Christlike behavior as second nature. This book spells out the New Testament basis and its application to Western culture.”
Christianity Today.com
“One reason so many people read Tom Wright today is because he can write prose that is flat-out captivating. . . . Vintage Wright.”
U.S. Catholic
“For those who feel the church has lost its way, Wright offers a roadmap to help guide its followers home.”
Christianity Today
“Often we get stuck between two extremes: an antinomian (’against law’) spontaneity, and a rule-focused legalism. Instead, argues Wright… we need to develop virtuous character. …Just about everything in After You Believe [is] a fresh way of exploring many familiar truths.”
Sojourners
“In his latest book, After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters, Wright challenges the church—and broader society in general—to return to virtue and the development of character.”
The Louisville Courier-Journal
“A book that carefully examines Christian character, Christian virtues and the Christian life . . . needs serious attention.”
Englewood Review of Books
“An excellent book . . . Wright’s fine theological reflections here shed much light.”
Commonweal
“[A] very rich book.... Readers of After You Believe will admire Wright’s close reading of Scripture, his clear prose, and his evident love for his Christian faith.”
America-The National Catholic Weekly

“One of the world’s best published Scripture scholars and an Anglican bishop, N. T. Wright’s latest book blends biblical competence and pastoral experience. This is a book for a general audience with evangelical leanings about how a Christian goes about developing virtue, character or habits of thinking, feeling and acting.”

Spirituality and Practice
“After You Believe by N. T. Wright offers yet another clarion call for believers and their communities to see that their actions in everyday life are evidence of the faith within.”
Faithful Reader
“Beautifully written, rich with insights and lined with thought-provoking material .. . . Sometimes compared to a modern-day C.S. Lewis, N. T. Wright is an author not to be missed.... Highly recommended.”
Religion News Service
“In his new book, Wright,…one of the most prolific and influential theologians of the 20thCentury,…posits that the development of virtue — by the church and in broader society — could help lead the Western world out of the sea of despondency in which it currently finds itself languishing.”
Sojourners
“In his latest book, After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters, Wright challenges the church—and broader society in general—to return to virtue and the development of character.”
Christianity Today
“Often we get stuck between two extremes: an antinomian (’against law’) spontaneity, and a rule-focused legalism. Instead, argues Wright… we need to develop virtuous character. …Just about everything in After You Believe [is] a fresh way of exploring many familiar truths.”
Faithful Reader
“Beautifully written, rich with insights and lined with thought-provoking material .. . . Sometimes compared to a modern-day C.S. Lewis, N. T. Wright is an author not to be missed.... Highly recommended.”
The Louisville Courier-Journal
“A book that carefully examines Christian character, Christian virtues and the Christian life . . . needs serious attention.”
Spirituality and Practice
“After You Believe by N. T. Wright offers yet another clarion call for believers and their communities to see that their actions in everyday life are evidence of the faith within.”
Englewood Review of Books
“An excellent book . . . Wright’s fine theological reflections here shed much light.”
Read the Spirit
“[N.T. Wright is a] master at straight-forward, street-level writing about what makes our religious lives truly matter in the world. …Wright’s...powerful new book... is a clarion call to mature Christians to take seriously some of Jesus’ messages we’ve long ignored.”
U.S. Catholic
“For those who feel the church has lost its way, Wright offers a roadmap to help guide its followers home.”
Christianity Today.com
“One reason so many people read Tom Wright today is because he can write prose that is flat-out captivating. . . . Vintage Wright.”
America-The National Catholic Weekly
“One of the world’s best published Scripture scholars and an Anglican bishop, N. T. Wright’s latest book blends biblical competence and pastoral experience. This is a book for a general audience with evangelical leanings about how a Christian goes about developing virtue, character or habits of thinking, feeling and acting.”
Religion News Service
“In his new book, Wright,…one of the most prolific and influential theologians of the 20thCentury,…posits that the development of virtue -- by the church and in broader society -- could help lead the Western world out of the sea of despondency in which it currently finds itself languishing.”
Christianity Magazine
“Making disciples is about the long-term development of Christian character. There is no quick fix discipleship. It is the development of Christlike behavior as second nature. This book spells out the New Testament basis and its application to Western culture.”
America—The National Catholic Weekly
“One of the world’s best published Scripture scholars and an Anglican bishop, N. T. Wright’s latest book blends biblical competence and pastoral experience. This is a book for a general audience with evangelical leanings about how a Christian goes about developing virtue, character or habits of thinking, feeling and acting.”
America—The National Catholic Weekly
“One of the world’s best published Scripture scholars and an Anglican bishop, N. T. Wright’s latest book blends biblical competence and pastoral experience. This is a book for a general audience with evangelical leanings about how a Christian goes about developing virtue, character or habits of thinking, feeling and acting.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061730559
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Pages: 307
  • Sales rank: 657,889
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet 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 severing as the Chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews; he has been featured on ABC News, Dateline, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air. Wright is the award-winning author of 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, and The Meaning of Jesus (coauthored with Marcus Borg), as well as translator for The Kingdom New Testament.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 What Am I Here For? 1

2 The Transformation of Character 27

3 Priests and Rulers 73

4 The Kingdom Coming and the People Prepared 101

5 Transformed by the Renewal of the Mind 135

6 Three Virtues, Nine Varieties of Fruit, and One Body 181

7 Virtue in Action: The Royal Priesthood 219

8 The Virtuous Circle 257

Afterword: Further Reading 285

Notes 291

Scripture Index 293

Subject Index 297

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Faith is the First Step

    "After You Believe" is an important book. It very clearly describes what happens after the all-important first step is taken by a Christian, which is entrusting our lives to the Lord. Once this step is taken, a transformation begins that gradually conforms our "will" to God's "Will". And this conformation leads to changes in the way we think and the way we behave.

    Taking that first step (of letting go of our lives) leads to a transformation that causes us to become the person that God created us to to be and Mr. Wright does an excellent job of describing this concept in his book.

    I would also recommend reading "A Life Worth Living" by Michael Schuyler, which provides an excellent discussion of the behaviors that we can expect as we are transformed by God.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2010

    A Cut Above the Rest

    Tom Wright is possibly the most knowledgeable and intelligent theologian writing today. While some of his teaching may not be accepted by the 'religious right' in this country, no one can reasonably argue with the knowledge, understanding and logic he brings to
    Christianity. This is a very good text for general readers and group studies.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Well Balanced

    This is a good book providing a wise perspective for those who have faith in Christ and want to succeed in the Christian life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    I recommend this to others wishing to deepen their faith.

    Haven't finished reading the book - it's not one to read rapidly. I do like N. T. Wright's books on the New Testament. I find this one very helpful in sorting out thoughts and beliefs.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Man, you Christians sure are pathetic. Do you actually question

    Man, you Christians sure are pathetic. Do you actually question whjy you exist? You exist because you were conceived, survived  long enough to be born, and lived. Your purpose is to breath, eat, grow, mate, and die. No mystery to me. The Bible was written by a group of men centuries ago. Nothing in it was not known by the people who wrote it at the time and place it was written. Absoluitely nothing. That's a pretty big clue ityb was written by men, not some Divine Creature. Not a word about germs, New World, Chemistry, Gravity, Not even circulation of Blood. No electricity, radio waves. Nothing those people didn't already know then. And only where it was written. If that doesn't convince you, you're just morons. As for "FAITH". It means hope. It's a feeling. It's not a material thing. It's not measurable. Stop using it like it's a diamond ring or something. You've been getting away with using it like it's gold forever. It just means HOPE. It deserves no more respect than a warm bath. My atheism is "faith based" just as much. I HOPE God doesn''t exist. From what I've read, he's a unfair, jealouse, mean, spiteful insane vguy who destroys whole cities, floods the whole Earth, for fun. As for "giving" his only begotten son, it would seem he could have had 10000 sons. Why only one? Some sacrifice. As for the Jews, he killed way more of them and they didn't rise after. As for Jesus coming back? He's been back lots of times, but you guys keep killing him again. 

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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