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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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!

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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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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Outstanding book

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

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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.

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Very Helpful

Heaven, Hell, Renewed Earth, Christian Mission, The Good News of Jesus. This book is a great start for helping answer some questions and theological concerns you might have. Very grateful for NT Wright.

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Great insight

NT Wright is brilliant at looking at the New Testament through the eyes of those in the first century. He brings up great points and reinterprets the Christian hope as something that we don't just get at heaven, but here on earth. Highly recommend

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good insight into truth

more realistic biblical and sensical presentation of what jesus really did and what awaits us