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

ISBN-10: 0061551821

ISBN-13: 9780061551826

Edition: 2008

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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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Book details

List price: $24.99
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 2/5/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.13" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

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 severing as the Chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews; he has been featured on ABC News , Dateline , The Colbert Report , and Fresh Air . Wright is the award-winning author of The Case for the Psalms , How God Became King , Simply Jesus , After You Believe , Surprised by Hope , Simply Christian , Scripture and the Authority of God , and The Meaning of Jesus (coauthored with Marcus Borg), as well as translator for The Kingdom New Testament .

Setting the Scene
All Dressed Up and No Place to Go?
Confusion about Hope: The Wider World
Varieties of Belief
Puzzled About Paradise?
Christian Confusion About Hope
Exploring the Options
The Effects of Confusion
Wider Implications of Confusion
The Key Questions
Early Christian Hope in Its Historical Setting
Resurrection and Life after Death in Ancient Paganism and Judaism
The Surprising Character of Early Christian Hope
The Strange Story of Easter
Stories Without Precedent
Easter and History
God's Future Plan
Cosmic Future: Progress or Despair?
Evolutionary Optimism
Souls in Transit
What the Whole World's Waiting For
Fundamental Structures of Hope
Seedtime and Harvest
The Victorious Battle
Citizens of Heaven, Colonizing the Earth
God Will Be All in All
New Birth
The Marriage of Heaven and Earth
Jesus, Heaven, and New Creation
The Ascension
What About the Second Coming?
When He Appears
Coming, Appearing, Revealing, Royal Presence
Jesus, the Coming Judge
Second Coming and Judgment
The Redemption of Our Bodies
Resurrection: Life After Life After Death
Resurrection in Corinth
Resurrection: Later Debates
Rethinking Resurrection Today: Who, Where, What Why, When, and How
Purgatory, Paradise, Hell
Beyond Hope, Beyond Pity
Conclusion: Human Goals and New Creation
Hope in Practice: Resurrection and the Mission of the Church
Rethinking Salvation: Heaven, Earth, and the Kingdom of God
The Meaning of Salvation
The Kingdom of God
Building for the Kingdom
Reshaping the Church for Mission (1): Biblical Roots
The Gospels and Acts
Reshaping the Church for Mission (2): Living the Future
Introduction: Celebrating Easter
Space, Time, and Matter: Creation Redeemed
Resurrection and Mission
Resurrection and Spirituality
Two Easter Sermons
Biblical Passages
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