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Surprised by Hope Paperback – 21 Dec 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK Publishing; 1st Edition edition (21 Dec. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 028105617X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281056170
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 368,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Tom Wright is Bishop of Durham and is a regular broadcaster on radio and television. He is the author of over forty books, including the popular For Everyone guides to the New Testament and the magisterial series entitled Christian Origins and the Question of God.

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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Bevan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 May 2008
Format: Paperback
What are we waiting for? And what are we going to do about it in the meantime? These are the big questions Tom Wright asks right at the start of this wide-ranging examination of the classic Christian concept of hope. Characteristically thorough, but nevertheless crystal-clear throughout, Wright's book takes a critical look at an idea that, for Christians as much as for anyone else, has become rather `fuzzy'.

But if you thought Christian hope was simply a matter of clocking into heaven when you die (perhaps after a period of dutiful post-death `journeying' - the idea of purgatory being very much in vogue, it seems), Wright may make you think again. Master of the pithy phrase, he draws the reader's attention to "life after `life after death` " - for the ultimate reality is a new heaven and a new earth. And that has massive implications for our lives now: it means we are not `restoring a great painting that's shortly going to be thrown on the fire', or planting roses in a garden about to be bulldozed: what we do now matters for all time and eternity. So we need to take this earth - its beauties, our bodies, justice, God's rule - with the utmost seriousness. And celebrate the person and the event that give it all value and undergird its hope - Jesus and his resurrection. In one of my favourite passages, Wright urges us to celebrate Easter right through to ascension, using the time to take up something new that might help us `wake up in a whole new way' - give us `a sniff of new possibilities, new hopes, new ventures' - and in doing so bring something of the real meaning of Easter.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. Lines on 26 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
Great book - I love Tom Wright's academic writing style, historically and biblically accurate. Its a pleasure to read something that is so much more than the "fluff" that we are often dished up with regard to christian paperbacks. The topic is something that is dear to my heart in the present post modern culture and the book has given me a surprising amount of hope for the future.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
Tom Wright sets out to describe his whole world-view in this one book, and he does a good job. If one should sum up the book in one term, "new creation" would probably be very appropriate.

One of the book's weaknesses happens to be one of its strengths as well. You often get the impression that Wright could've written much more on a particular subject, but then he chooses to go on to something else. In this sense, the book deals with a lot of issues, but from a somewhat general perspective. Let it be said that Wright is a man of "the big picture".

I particularly like how he provides a balanced view on the old fight between "saving souls" and "making this world a better place". Wright recognizes that these two ideas are closely connected according to the New Testament. I was very intrigued by the idea that God actually sets out to save the world, not just the people in it. Yet, people are part of what's being saved, and they're part of his way of saving everything and everyone else.

I would encourage all ministers to familiarise themselves with Tom Wright (sometimes called N.T. Wright) and his theological approach to the New Testament. He really is one of the most knowledgable theologians of the 21st century.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Weir on 12 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
Bishop Wright writes in his inimitable way a book that one has difficulty in putting down. He questions and answers the problems we all have about the Reurrection; however, as one might expect, he leaves a lot to ones own faith, without which we would be failures as Christians. Probably the best bit of the book for me is the last three sections (13 - 15) concerning the mission of the Church and it's future. Many churches are having real difficulty facing up to the problems of falling congregations; Tom Wright provides some well thought out and helpful ways and suggestions as to how we all need to get out there and do as we were bid by Jesus to spread the good news.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. John Fudge on 17 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was bought for me by my spiritual director after the death of my mother. I thought it particularly well written, excellent in contenmt and in challenge. It has done me a great deal of good, and I'm grateful to the author for the strength it has put into me.

I've quoted (and credited) it often.

One particularly helpful insight was regarding the restoration of Peter after Christ's resurrection, and the depth of recognition revealed in the question 'do you love me'.

I'm sure if Tom had written as NT I wouldn't have grasped it properly and guess that in simplifying the material he's opened himself to some criticism from academics.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Neutral VINE VOICE on 25 July 2012
Format: Paperback
Tom Wright has written a remarkable book which re-states the Christian message for the modern world. He has done this, not by deserting the main tenets of Christian belief, but by re-examination of the central principle of hope in Christian thought. His purpose is to bring the beliefs of the early Church to life again and show how those misrepresented beliefs can be applied to re-energise the surprise of the Christian hope, especially with the dying and the dispossessed. In sum his argument is that Christian hope is not a matter of going away from the world into heaven but of applying God's creation in today's world.

Wright argues that many Christians are confused about their own beliefs. He suggests that "a good deal of our current view of death and the life beyond has come from....impulses in the culture which have created at best semi-Christian informal traditions". These require "proper examination in the clear light of scripture". He points out that "the idea that every human possesses an immortal soul, which is the 'real' part of them, finds little support in the Bible." When used in the Bible the word 'soul' conveys the idea of the whole person, the personality, rather than "a disembodied entity hidden within the outer shell of the disposable body." In addition, Wright places the concept of life after death in the context of first century Judaism and beliefs existing in both Greece and Rome.

Anyone looking for the resurrection as myth will be disappointed. Wright has no doubt that the resurrection is historical fact which makes "the strange story of Easter" compelling.
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