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Surprised by Hope

, 2007
ISBN: 9780281056170


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What do Christians hope for? To leave this wicked world and go to ‘heaven’? For the ‘kingdom of God’ to grow gradually on earth? What do we mean by the ‘resurrection of the body’, and how does that fit with the popular image of sitting on clouds playing harps? And how does all this affect the way we live in the here and now?

Tom Wright, one of our leading theologians, addresses these questions in this provocative and wide-ranging new book. He outlines the present confusion about future hope in both church and world. Then, having explained why Christians believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus himself, he explores the biblical hope for ‘new heavens and new earth’, and shows how the ‘second coming’ of Jesus, and the eventual resurrection, belong within that larger picture, together with the intermediate hope for ‘heaven’. 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’ 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.

Praise for the Print Edition

This unmissable book . . . is a must-read.

—Krish Kandiah for Christianity Magazine

Product Details

  • Title: Surprised by Hope
  • Author: N. T. Wright
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 338
  • Christian Group: Anglican

About N. T. Wright

Nicholas Tom Wright, commonly known as N. T. Wright or Tom Wright, is Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Andrews University. Previously, he was the bishop of Durham. He has researched, taught, and lectured on the New Testament at McGill, Oxford, and Cambridge Universities, and has been named by Christianity Today a top theologian. He is best known for his scholarly contributions to the historical study of Jesus and the New Perspective on Paul. His work interacts with the positions of James Dunn, E. P. Sanders, Marcus Borg, and Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Wright has written and lectured extensively around the world, authoring more than forty books and numerous articles in scholarly journals and popular periodicals. He is best known for his Christian Origins and the Question of God Series, of which three of the anticipated six volumes are finished.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition

Resource Experts
  • Title: Surprised by Hope
  • Author: N. T. Wright
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Print Publication Date: 2007
  • Logos Release Date: 2011
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Second Advent; Heaven › Christianity
  • ISBNs: 9780281056170, 028105617X
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T03:14:43Z
N. T. Wright

Nicholas Thomas “Tom” Wright (1948–) has been named by Christianity Today as one of our time’s top theologians. He is currently professor of New Testament and early Christianity at St. Andrews University. Wright holds a bachelor’s degree in theology, a master’s in Anglican ministry, and a DPhil, all from University of Oxford.

A fellow and chaplain at Cambridge from 1978 to 1981, he then served as assistant professor of New Testament language and literature at McGill University in Montreal. Before becoming a chaplain, tutor, lecturer, and fellow at Oxford in 1986, Wright served as dean of Lichfield Cathedral, canon theologian of Westminster Abbey, and bishop of Durham.

His academic work has usually been published under the name “N. T. Wright,” but works such as What St. Paul Really Said and Simply Christian, aimed at a more popular readership, were published under the less formal name of “Tom Wright.”


25 ratings

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  1. Matt DeVore

    Matt DeVore


  2. John R Lee

    John R Lee


  3. John McWilliams

    John McWilliams


  4. Nathan



  5. Veli-Pekka Haarala
  6. DrGregWaddell



    N. T. Wright's book has a clear, often-repeated, singular message: The hope of the early Christian faith was bodily resurrection and a redeemed cosmos (a New Heavens and New Earth). He effectively shows how the church (both liberal and conservative) has fallen for the old Platonic dualism that pits physicality against spirituality, evidenced in the common notion that the purpose of salvation is that individuals can "go to heaven," when they die. Wright shows that this is simply not true, at least as viewed unanimously among the early church leaders and teachers. I have often heard people shrug off any interest in eschatology by saying, "I don't really care how Jesus does it, I just know that, in the end, he will win." Wright powerfully demonstrates that an accurate understanding of biblical eschatology affects everything, out motivations, out politics, our ethics, our reactions to death, everything. In other words, it is practical in the extreme. This was a great read and I can honestly say, it has had and will continue to have a profound impact on every aspect of my Christian beliefs as I reexamine all Scripture now from the perspective of God's purpose for cosmic redemption, the bodily resurrection, and the descent of the New Jerusalem to the New Earth as heaven finally and eternally becomes fused with earth. Come Lord Jesus.

  7. Seongo-Ho PARK
  8. Harwood Leonard
  9. Allen Browne

    Allen Browne


  10. jeongroky@gmail.com


Digital list price: $22.99
Save $4.00 (17%)