Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (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.
About the Author
A prolific writer of both scholarly and popular books, N.T. Wright has written over thirty books, including Simply Christian, The Original Jesus: The Life and Vision of a Revolutionary, What Saint Paul Really Said, The Challenge of Jesus and The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions. His magisterial work, Jesus and the Victory of God, is widely regarded as one of the most significant contributions to contemporary New Testament studies. His N. T. Wright For Everyone Series includes commentaries covering the entire New Testament. Formerly bishop of Durham in England, Wright is research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He was formerly canon theologian of Westminster Abbey and dean of Lichfield Cathedral. He also taught New Testament studies for twenty years at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford Universities. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Gregorian University in Rome and many other institutions around the world. In addition to his many books, Wright reaches a broad audience through his frequent media appearances. A sought-after commentator, Wright writes frequently for newspapers in England, including theTimes, the Independent and the Guardian. He has been interviewed numerous times by radio and television broadcasters on both sides of the Atlantic, including ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS and NPR.
“This book is N.T. Wright at his finest.”
-Rob Bell, author of Velvet Elvis
A crystal-clear, powerful course-correction for all of us--Christian or otherwise. If you want to know what Easter is about, get yourself a copy of Surprised by Hope and hunker down for the read of a lifetime....literally.
-Phyllis Tickle, Beliefnet.com
His conclusions are both simple and world-shaking
This book will be widely read because it stirs together Scripture, tradition, art and world affairs with pleasing metaphors and public courage.
-The Dallas Morning News
“Wright’s unwavering faith in the resurrection is quite evident as he defends the Easter narratives on historical and theological grounds.”
“N.T. Wright can write. . . when it comes to questions of Christ’s resurrection and what that means, no one is more persuasive. Wright’s new book, Surprised by Hope, builds on C.S. Lewis’ succinct defense of the faith and takes it to a new level.”
“In calling Christians to an epistemology of love and a re-emphasis of the Easter season, Wright knocked it out of the park.”
-Beliefnet (A "Top Religious Book of the Year")