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Surprised by Hope by N. T. Wright

Surprised by Hope (2007)

by N. T. Wright, NT Wright, NT Wright

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
This book was a difficult read, not because the author unveils his belief that when Christ returns he will renew the heavens and earth that already exist, but for the fact that some of his sentences are the length of paragraphs, he will change subject in the middle of a sentence, and at times will expound on an idea only to state, “But that’s not for discussion here,” there’s not enough room for discussion on this topic in this book, or we’ll cover this later in the book. It made the flow of the book rather choppy instead of flowing smoothly from one point to another. Theologically I had no problem with this book and one of our pastors had pointed in one of his sermons that many Eastern ideas have crept into Christianity since the Victorian age. This book gives a fresh perspective on the Gospels and why they were written the way they were. I do however, know the difference between resurrection and ascension ( )
  lisa.schureman | Jul 27, 2016 |
Many of us ask, "If you died tonight, do you know where you would go?" Wright shows us that a Christian's future hope is deeply intertwined with how we live today.
  SABC | Jan 18, 2016 |
Surprised by Hope is an outstanding book. Wright cogently describes what is the commonly promoted conventional understanding of heaven, hell, salvation, life after death, resurrection and many other topics of critical interest to many Christians. He reframes many of these topics looking from the perspective of Jesus and the early Christians, helping us jettison long-standing distortions of these truths due to our western world view of truth. It is a refreshing, scholarly read, which I would recommend to all thinking Christians. If the reader is not interested in exploring ideas beyond their current frame of reference, this book will be a stressful read. Wright is one of the outstanding Anglican biblical scholars of our generation. ( )
  larrydellis | Jun 3, 2015 |
True to the title, I was surprised by the book and encouraged by the message. In an age where churches operate like corporations and measure their success through metrics like attendance and "conversions" it was nice to read a book that attempts to address the real issue of the church: transforming lives for he better. The book discusses how the message of the Gospel is that God is redeeming all of creation and that Heaven is a physical place that is much closer than we might think. In fact, some of us may be looking for it in the wrong place.

The author uses logic and scriptural references to produce solid arguments for all of his points, successfully making his case each time. This is not a writer (or theologian) who gives standard responses and pat answers to tough questions - he's logically and prayerfully gone through these issues. I will be reading more of his work. ( )
  Neftzger | Sep 6, 2013 |
In the wing of the Church that I am most associated and comfortable with, N.T.Wright is currently seemingly in exile over his differing views on justification. But he is also one of evangelicalism's greatest scholars. His 'magisterial' books on Christian origins are brilliant, and equally useful in academia and in pastoral ministry. I remember seeing 'Jesus and the Victory of God' on the shelf of my mentor, a few weeks before going to study a secular theology degree, where his books are respected and admired.

This book, then, 'Surprised by Hope', is of a rather different bent. It is primarily, both self-explanatorially and by reading it, about the Christian Gospel of hope grounded in the key terms 'salvation, resurrection and eternal life'. But it is also about the way in which hope can be discovered in the present world. Wright argues passionately that we need to put God back in his place, put hope back at the top, and be surprised by Hope. The first two phrases really sum up an attitude that demands a conversation!

'What are we waiting for?'

'And what are we going to do about it in the meantime?'

This post, arguably, is less a review, and more of an encouragement to read the book. After all, the measured, hopeful thoughts of a serious theologian are of rather more value than a backwater internet blogger! One thing that stuck with me was early on in the book. Bodily resurrection is key. (For a discussion of this, check out my previous series, and ideally read N.T.Wright on the subject!) As Wright puts it; 'It was people who believed robustly in the resurrection, not people who compromised and went in for a mere spiritualised survival, who stood up against Caesar in the first centuries of the Christian era'. Do we believe robustly enough in the resurrection, if we believe at all? This inflammatory statement is a call to action - are we of the same calibre of Christian who stood up against the Roman empire? If not, why not?

Wright goes on throughout the book in an orderly fashion, expounding what hope can mean. And at the end of what appears to be a call to radical action, the most radical challenge occurs. It echoes the great commission; 'at the centre of the picture there stands the personal call of the Gospel of Jesus to every child, woman and man'. This is not an easily critiqued orthopraxy (right practice, similar to orthodoxy - right belief) that Wright is expressing, but a mighty reflection of what he believes to be most necessary. Wright then explores evangelism with an awareness of pitfalls and challenges - rare for someone with so much knowledge!

I end this review with what N.T.Wright ends the book with. It draws so much together, and is a powerful challenge:

'Hands up those who have heard the message that every act of love, every deed done in Christ and done by the Spirit, every work of true creativity - every time justice is done, peace is made, families are healed, temptation is resisted, true freedom is sought and won - that this very earthly event takes its place within a long history of things which implement Jesus' own resurrection, and anticipate the final new creation, and act as signposts of hope, pointing back to the first and on to the second...'

Thanks for reading. Now go and read the book! ( )
  Admiralcreedy | Nov 15, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Surprised by Hope will be one of Wright’s most widely-read books. Though readers should proceed with caution regarding some of Wright’s proposals, the wheat in this book far outweighs the chaff.
added by hf22 | editThe Gospel Coalition, Trevin Wax (Apr 25, 2013)
N. T. Wright is one of the most talented writers among New Testament scholars today. In this book he presents his understanding of what the Scriptures teach about heaven, the resurrection, and the church's mission.

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Wright, NTmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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What are we waiting for?
Five snapshots set the scene for the two questions which this book addresses.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
In six invigorating, faith-inspiring sessions - Hope, Resurrection, Heaven, Second Coming, Salvation, and Church - premier biblical scholar N. T. Wright reveals the amazing, full scope of what God's Word has to say about the world to come and the world that is. What is heaven really like? Is our main duty as Christians simply to help non-Christians get there? What hope does the Gospel hold for this present life, and in what ways does God intend for us to experience that hope personally and spread its healing power to the world around us? 

Ideal for Bible studies, Sunday school classes, and groups large or small, this DVD curriculum complete with leader's guide will give participants a clearer vision both of the future, and of God's kingdom at hand today. An example of the participant book is also included.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061551821, Hardcover)

For years Christians have been asking, "If you died tonight, do you know where you would go?" It turns out that many believers have been giving the wrong answer. It is not heaven.

Award-winning author N. T. Wright outlines the present confusion about a Christian's future hope and shows how it is deeply intertwined with how we live today. Wright, who is one of today's premier Bible scholars, asserts that Christianity's most distinctive idea is bodily resurrection. He provides a magisterial defense for a literal resurrection of Jesus and shows how this became the cornerstone for the Christian community's hope in the bodily resurrection of all people at the end of the age. Wright then explores our expectation of "new heavens and a new earth," revealing what happens to the dead until then and what will happen with the "second coming" of Jesus. For many, including many Christians, all this will come as a great surprise.

Wright convincingly argues that what we believe about life after death directly affects what we believe about life before death. For if God intends to renew the whole creation—and if this has already begun in Jesus's resurrection—the church cannot stop at "saving souls" but must anticipate the eventual renewal by working for God's kingdom in the wider world, bringing healing and hope in the present life.

Lively and accessible, this book will surprise and excite all who are interested in the meaning of life, not only after death but before it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:20 -0400)

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Offers a reinterpretation of biblical teaching on what happens after death, arguing that literal bodily resurrection is at the heart of Christianity and exploring the implications of this for the church's work in the world.

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