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Surprised by Hope

Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
Narrated by: James Langton
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (163 ratings)
Regular price: $30.79
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Publisher's Summary

In this groundbreaking book - available in audio for the first time - renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and best-selling author N. T. Wright argues that Christians have not distorted the Bible's message about heaven and what happens after we die.

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.

Wright outlines the present confusion about a Christian's future hope and shows how it is deeply intertwined with how we live today. Wright asserts that Christianity's most distinctive idea is bodily resurrection, and provides a magisterial defense for a literal resurrection of Jesus. 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, it will come as a great surprise to learn that heaven comes to earth instead of us going to heaven.

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.

©2010 Nicholas Thomas Wright (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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Worth listening to!

I want to listen to it again to better wrap my mind around what he says. This concept of our destiny is not what I was taught, and I'd like to hear the scripture passages again and read through them to be sure the Bible really teaches this. If it is, it is truly surprisingly hopeful!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding book

By far my favorite NT Wright book thus far. One to reread again and again. Great format here too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Necessary!

Amazing input on what Christian thought really is on life after life after death and on life before life after death.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A valuable yet partial lens for viewing mission

I enjoyed the book and even took notes along the way. There are plenty of valid implications of what the resurrection means for Christian thinking and living. Wright, however, is so frustrated by modern evangelicalism and it's cross-centeredness that he finds a way to discuss the implications of the resurrection apart from the cross altogether. He prefers to see everything in light of creation and new creation, with the resurrection as central. While the resurrection is central, he leaves out it's obvious counterpart, the crucifixion. While it all sounds very lovely, living on mission to bring about a just and beautiful world is a limited view of mission and one that many non-Christians would hardly argue with. In the end, it doesn't adequately deal with the implications of the atonement. Ultimately, his views here are not fully ancient and not fully modern, and more likely his own personal view. I still recommend it for chewing on and pulling out what is good.

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Food For Thought

What an amazing journey N. T. Wright takes his reader as he sets out to answer what is the ultimate Christian hope and what hope is there for real change and transformation within the world in the present as the text of this book walks us past the incarnation that gives us great joy into the realm of the resurrection that brings us incredible hope now and for eternity to come.

Like hitting the brick wall of Christianity's biggest misconceptions N. T. Wright hammers away eye-opening thought-provoking statements like “Take Christmas away, and in biblicaarmse,rms you lose two chapters at the front of Matthew and Luke, nothing else. Take Easter away, and you don’t have a New Testament; you don’t have a Christianity; as Paul says, you are still in your sins.”

If you are looking for a meated discourse that will cause you to think, challenge your belief, and give you insight then Surprised by Hope will make a wonderful dance partner for this challenge.

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Not the NT Wright’s best but still good

The book starts strong and Wright presents his material very well. It becomes loose around half way through but it come back together and then Wright finishes strong.

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erudite study of the Christian hope

once thru isn't enough! the depth of discovery and how to apply in our own lives, churches, communities is only hindered by own limited imaginations. thank you Mr. Wright; your words are inspired and inspiring.

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NT Wright Does it again.

Like most NT Wright books I walked away with an new perspective on the Kingdom of God and what the Bible actually says about it. This book is a game changer when it comes to what the Bible actually says about the afterlife.

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Book great, narrator grating

Some of the best narrators on the audible website are British. When well done, they have perfect diction along with a smooth tone of voice. Unfortunately not so with Surprised by Hope. When a British broadcaster also has a sing-song vocal rhythm and a nasal voice the effect can be grating after a while. Unfortunately this seems to be what James Langdon has though he does often try to change the inflections and emphasis at times the sing song pattern does often come back with the nasal intonation.(There are some famous singers like that too.) So after a while the narration almost becomes a distraction or even irritating for this book(Surprised by Hope) which is an excellent book with some very good points. I don't know who chose this narrator(maybe because he is British and NT Wright is) but they need to be more selective in choosing a narrator.

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  • Anna
  • GAUTIER, MS, United States
  • 07-21-18

Great food for thought

I enjoyed listening and found it encouragement to persevere as a believer through trials. Thank you.