Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

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Zondervan, Feb 5, 2008 - Religion - 352 pages

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.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gottfried_leibniz - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this book. I loved his analogy of Wittgenstein's poker with Karl Popper. I'm glad I read this book, as Wright emphasizes our idea of heaven simply is Platonism, disembodied spirit ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gottfried_leibniz - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this book. I loved his analogy of Wittgenstein's poker with Karl Popper. I'm glad I read this book, as Wright emphasizes our idea of heaven simply is Platonism, disembodied spirit ... Read full review

Contents

I
3
II
13
III
31
IV
53
V
79
VI
93
VII
109
VIII
123
IX
137
X
147
XI
165
XII
189
XIII
207
XIV
233
XV
255
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About the author (2008)

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 serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. For twenty years Wright taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford Universities, and he has been featured on ABC News, Dateline, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air. Wright is the award-winning author of After You Believe, Surprised by Hope, Simply Christian, The Challenge of Jesus, and The Meaning of Jesus (coauthored with Marcus Borg), as well as the much-heralded series Christian Origins and the Question of God.

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