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Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church Hardcover – Feb 5 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Wright, one of the greatest, and certainly most prolific, Bible scholars in the world, will touch a nerve with this book. What happens when we die? How should we think about heaven, hell, purgatory and eternal life? Wright critiques the views of heaven that have become regnant in Western culture, especially the assumption of the continuance of the soul after death in a sort of blissful non-bodily existence. This is simply not Christian teaching, Wright insists. The New Testament's clear witness is to the resurrection of the body, not the migration of the soul. And not right away, but only when Jesus returns in judgment and glory. The "paradise," the experience of being "with Christ" spoken of occasionally in the scriptures, is a period of waiting for this return. But Christian teaching of life after death should really be an emphasis on "life after life after death"-the resurrection of the body, which is also the ground for all faithful political action, as the last part of this book argues. Wright's prose is as accessible as it is learned-an increasingly rare combination. No one can doubt his erudition or the greatness of the churchmanship of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. One wonders, however, at the regular citation of his own previous work. And no other scholar can get away so cleanly with continuing to propagate the "hellenization thesis," by which the early church is eventually polluted by contaminating Greek philosophical influence.
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“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 (Library Journal)
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.” (America Magazine)
“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.” (World Magazine)
“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"))
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is also Wright's attempt to find a way out of the theological swamp the mainline churches are mired in with Conservatives and Liberals fighting each other. As such, it is brilliant work which takes the Lord's prayer and applies it to the mission and work of the church. The ending is not only a surprising hope, there is also surprising power for those who care to reach out and take it up.
The book is well written, and references his larger works so those interested in pursuing ideas further may easily find Wright's more in-depth treatments of various subjects.
Some reader's seemed to take offense at Wright's attempt to make his theological insights practical and govern how we live. Some might take offense when he links certain dispensationalist concepts and non-ecologically sound policies? I believe some of his statements are made in the more prophetic tradition, in the wake of John the Baptist and the Hebrew prophets, whose messages were very political.... and thus unpopular.
If his statements rankle and irritate, then maybe it is the spirit of God trying to get our attention. We should at the least carefully discern Wright's ideas to determine if they are biblical, and not allow our politics/patriotism to a priori dismiss them.
Most recent customer reviews
Wright is an everyday theologian whose thoughts are explained in practical language. He makes truth clear and readable and practical. Hope runs deep in this book!Published 5 months ago by Paddles
Best book on New Testament theology that I have read in a very long time.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
really liked this book. Supported a lot of my thinking regarding the "life after life after death" and the resurrection of the body. Read morePublished 20 months ago by robert moulton
An excellent and much needed Biblical theological
exposition of key Christian beliefs. NT. Wright is the
most accessible scripture scholar on the scene at the... Read more
What a great book. What a great hope. That we live now in this resurrection life and shall again. Amen.Published on Feb. 6 2014 by Dennis Maione
I am a Catholic and enjoyed this book by this Anglican Bishop who gives great insight into the Word of God as revealed to the world through events and scripture. Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2013 by R. Leitch
An excellent series of talks. Clear concise and biblical teaching well informed by both history and the present. Great to view and discuss as a group.Published on June 28 2013 by Jim Sanderson