For my 21st birthday last month, some friends of mine gave me the book Surprised By Hope by N.T. Wright. It ended up being one of the best gifts (and best books) I have ever received/read.
In Surprised By Hope, Wright asks the questions: What is the ultimate Christian hope? (What are we waiting for?) And what are we to do about it in the meantime?
With these questions in mind, Wright goes through various parts of the Scriptures – both Old and New Testament – and explains how the resurrection and God’s recreation of heaven and earth (which started with Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection) is central to the Christian’s hope and work in the world, because it is central to what God is doing in the world.
Today, many of the ideas Christians have about salvation, heaven, and resurrection are misguided and – unfortunately, but consequently – unbiblical. Wright helps his readers rethink and better understand salvation, heaven, the resurrection, and the mission of the church.
And when a person understands these realities, there is hope, and this hope gives birth to the mission/work one does. Because ultimately, Wright argues, the Church’s hope shapes and defines what the mission of the Church is, because the mission is an outworking of that hope.
The book is FULL of insights and wisdom.Each time I finished a chapter, I wanted to read more. I couldn’t put the book down! It was so captivating and so good, that it became one of my favortie books. (I added it to my top 5 books on faith, hope, and love in my library.)
If you’ve ever struggled with understanding the resurrection, heaven, or the mission of Church, this book will help you understand it better. It’s a MUST read, and I highly recommend you go pick up a copy and begin reading it today.