'I'm spiritual, but not religious.' It's a phrase that's often used to explain why, although they don't go to church, people still feel that life must have some kind of transcendent meaning, But what does this 'spirituality' consist of? In Spiritual and Religious Tom Wright argues that, whether people realize it or not, they are often simply reverting to forms of ancient paganism that are very similar to those that confronted the earliest Christians. With his characteristic verve and incisiveness, Wright traces the parallels between the worldviews of the first and twenty-first centuries, and shows how a better understanding of God as Trinity can breathe fresh life into our understanding and preaching of the gospel today.
He concludes this prophetic book with a call to contemporary Christians to make a clear choice: 'Are we to compromise with paganism, to assimilate, to water down the distinctives of Christian faith in order to make it more palatable? Are we to retreat into dualism, into a private 'spiritual' religion which will assure us of an other-worldly salvation but which will leave the powers of the present world unchallenged...? Or are we to worship the God who is Father, Son and Spirit, and to find in that worship a renewed courage, a renewed sense of direction, and a renewed hope for the future?'
AUTHOR: Tom Wright is Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews. His recent books include Surprised by Scripture, Simply Good News, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, Paul and His Recent Interpreters, The Paul Debate, God in Public, Advent for Everyone: A journey through Matthew and The Day the Revolution Began (all published by SPCK).