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Surprised by Hope

Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
Written by: N. T. Wright
Narrated by: James Langton
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
5.0 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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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 listeners say about Surprised by Hope

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Amazing and insightful!!

Thank you NT Wright for this book. It really helps put heaven, Gods kingdom, new creation and resurrection in perspective.

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A necessary challenge

N. T. Wright routinely challenges Mainstream Christianity to rethink assumed beliefs which in some cases are not as orthodox as we might think. The resurrection is one of the big ones dealt with in this book. A great book and great narration.

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ingenious

I loved this book. Wright explains the atonement in such a way that it gave me hope, instead of making me feel guilty for not having enough faith.

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  • Gene Lane
  • 2018-09-04

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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  • Drew Riese
  • 2019-05-30

Game Changer.

NT Wright offers a more holistic take on what the Bible teaches about Christ's return. Instead of the Gnostic, esoteric arguments and disputes so prevalent in the church, teachers who fight over when the rapture is going to happen, NT Wright provides a gracious alternative which removes the power of knowledge from the certified clergy and gives an empowering, all-consumingly hopeful perspective to us laymen granting joy and purpose to all who have ever longed for redemption and restoration.

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  • Scott Macdonald
  • 2019-01-16

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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  • Annie
  • 2018-11-28

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!

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  • M. hooper
  • 2018-08-04

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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  • Arlen Stoltzfus
  • 2019-10-30

Great book to listen to

Enjoying listening to this audio book. As NT Wright can get a bit long winded, listening was helpful to get through the book to the end. I found it an inspiring book, as always from Wright.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-22

Have a Listen!

If you are new to this topic, you may find yourself listening to this audible book more than once! I had to buy a hard copy after listening so that I could dig into all of the scripture references.

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  • Ada Tarcau
  • 2019-06-15

Integrative thorough big picture of the hope of new creation

Clear, well thought out, integrative ideas, both theoretical and practical, in a tone of relaxed seriousness and good humour. It really changed my worldview and answered a lot of my questions! Also great performance! It was a treat!

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  • Jon Johnson
  • 2019-06-01

Insightful and inspires deep hope

I very much enjoyed this book. It got pretty deep and theological at times, but it definitely deepened my faith and convictions. God was glorified by this book.

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  • John Sheehan
  • 2019-01-07

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.

3 people found this helpful