Logos Bible Software
Sign In
Products>Surprised by Hope

Surprised by Hope

, 2007
ISBN: 9780281056170

Digital Logos Edition

Logos Editions are fully connected to your library and Bible study tools.


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


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

Top Highlights

“First, what is the ultimate Christian hope? Second, what hope is there for change, rescue, transformation, new possibilities within the world in the present? And the main answer can be put like this. As long as we see ‘Christian hope’ in terms of ‘going to heaven’, of a ‘salvation’ which is essentially away from this world, the two questions are bound to appear as unrelated.” (Page 5)

“But if the ‘Christian hope’ is for God’s new creation, for ‘new heavens and new earth’—and if that hope has already come to life in Jesus of Nazareth—then there is every reason to join the two questions together.” (Page 5)

“But the language of heaven in the New Testament doesn’t work that way. ‘God’s kingdom’ in the preaching of Jesus refers, not to post-mortem destiny, not to our escape from this world into another one, but about God’s sovereign rule coming ‘on earth as it is in heaven’.” (Page 25)

“‘Salvation’, then, is not ‘going to heaven’, but ‘being raised to life in God’s new heaven and new earth’.” (Page 210)

“They believed that God was going to do for the whole cosmos what he had done for Jesus at Easter.” (Page 104)

  • 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: 2024-03-25T20:59:07Z
N. T. Wright

Nicholas Thomas “Tom” Wright (1948–) is a New Testament scholar, Pauline theologian, and Anglican bishop and currently Research Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Mary's College in the University of St Andrews and Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Christianity Today named him one of today's top theologians. 

Wright was born in Morpeth, Northumberland, and recounts an awareness of God's presence from a young age—and that relationship with God ever since is reflected in his life and work. He's a prolific author; one of his most popular books, Surprised by Hope, frames the resurrection of the dead as the appropriate hope for all believers rather than an overemphasis on just "going to heaven when you die." He's among the leading theologians in the New Perspective on Paul debate. Wright has several honorary doctoral degrees, and in 2014, the British Academy awarded him the Burkitt Medal "in recognition of special service to biblical studies." In 2015, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Wright served as chaplain at Cambridge from 1978 to 1981, then 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 the bishop of Durham from 2003–10. In addition to the entire New Testament for Everyone Series, some of N. T. Wright's books include The New Testament in Its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians, Who Was Jesus, The New Testament and the People of God, God and the Pandemic, Evil and the Justice of God, Surprised by Hope, and Simply Christian. He coauthored Jesus the Final Days with Craig A. Evans.


26 ratings

Sign in with your Faithlife account

  1. Joseph Snodgrass
  2. Matt DeVore

    Matt DeVore


  3. John R Lee

    John R Lee


  4. John McWilliams

    John McWilliams


  5. Nathan



  6. Veli-Pekka Haarala
  7. 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.
  8. Seongo-Ho PARK
  9. Harwood Leonard
  10. Allen Browne

    Allen Browne



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