Eric's Reviews > Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright
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's review
Mar 12, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: christian-religion
Read in March, 2010

Part 1 deals with our present beliefs on Jesus' resurrection but especially our resurrection and whether we go to heaven or whether (as Wright argues) we will eventually be resurrected on this same earth. He argues against the two predominate arguments that currently abound: 1. That we will go to heaven and this earth will be destroyed and 2. We die and become eternal spirits on the earth (or something like that).

Part 2: Wright argues that earth will be changed, redeemed, but not destroyed. Therefore what we do to our bodies and the planet matter in God's scheme of things. He argues that the early Christians never believed in a heaven where they would go when they die but rather that Jesus' resurrection ushered in a new era where people would go to sleep (some kind of intermediary stage) but eventually be resurrected to this earth.

Part 3: Wright lays out the implication of a "proper biblical view" of Jesus' resurrection and our future resurrection. He argues that we should be working towards "justice, beauty and evangelism." He says that our mission is not to survive until our death but to be fighting for justice, building a more beautiful world and evangelizing, meaning, proclaiming Jesus as the Lord of the world, whether we recognize him or not.

A very interesting book, to be honest I had not thought that much about what happens when I die. I probably fall into that camp that just assumes we are working towards heaven. But this book has made me realize how important our view of the end is for how we live and act now. Wright's arguments resonated with me.

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