on 27 October 2008
Neither the cover nor the title would be likely to inspire you to buy this book which would be a pity. They do not do it justice. N T Wright methodically goes through the scriptural basis for what happens after death. His use of 'life after life after death' may give a clue to his (well scripturally) supported view of the ultimate eternal life connected to God's heavenly kingdom but firmly placed on the earth. This view may surprise many 'orthodox' Christians but that is even more reason why they should read it. Note that N T Wright is not from some fringe pseudo-christian movement but is an experienced and theologically knowledgeable Anglican bishop. He skilfully debunks many myths such as 'eternal life on heavenly clouds' and even the much cherished (especially in the USA) 'rapture' concept. You may not agree with his conclusions but his case deserves to be read and if you do believe what he says, you will, as he himself states, be surprised at the difference in attitude it can make to you as a Christian in regard to this life, the environment etc. It certainly all fits together in a much more logical manner that what most Christians seem to believe about life after death (even if they have got exactly what they do believe clear in their own mind!) after centuries of incorporation into church theology of many non scriptural ideas. There is just one warning. It is a deep theological book and you will have to think as you read it. It is not a light read. It is serious stuff but if you want to get beyond Christian 'babyfood' into real theology, this should not deter you. If this is not a subject with which you are familiar you may also need to ensure you have the correct vocabulary knowledge of some of the terms. However I beleve that thia book is worth the effort of reading. I believe that this is one of the best if not the best book I have read on what the true Christian hope of life after death should be and what difference that should make to how a Christian lives their life now on the earth before death.
on 4 June 2014
The job of revitalising Christian eschatology cannot be done more robustly than it is done by the hand of Prof. Wright. Undeniably, his recent past as Bishop Wright is in itself trust-enticing. But the big job is brought off in Prof. Wright's rigorously Bible-based expositions, and by his argument that we have real and plentiful reason to rejoice. His style of rejoicing is not to do with the singing of boring hymns in churchy monotony. Rather, he commends holiday-making and champagne breakfasts!
Refreshingly, Prof. Wright does not preach. He is not even slightly patronising. He puts his point, and defends it with rigorous logic. And, like the true don he is, he makes heavy weather of nothing, and is not sparing with his excellent wit.
One thing I could not quite see the reason for, other than that it is fact, is Prof.Wright's concern to emphasise the Jewishness of Christ. Is he putting paid to theses that have proposed that Christ was not Jewish but Assyrian, etc? Still, this is aspect of his work interesting in itself, and in no way a fault of it. Jaded Christians, or curious non-Christians, will find this work a very good read indeed.