31 books I can’t live without: Surprised by Hope (20)

This month I’m participating in the #write31days challenge by highlighting 31 books I can’t live without. Check out this post for more information, and otherwise, read on! 


513xkl1il-_sx331_bo1204203200_Title: Surprised by Hope 

Author: N.T. Wright

Synopsis: The “Anglican bishop tackles the biblical question of what happens after we die and shows how most Christians get it wrong. We do not “go to” heaven; we are resurrected and heaven comes down to earth–a difference that makes all of the difference to how we live on earth. The scholar takes on one of life’s most controversial topics, a matter of life, death, spirituality, and survival for everyone living in the world today.”

Why I can’t live without this book: You’d think I’d have more theology books on this past month’s list, given that I hold a Masters of Theology – but really, just because I’ve read them doesn’t mean they’re my favorite. (Theology professors everywhere shutter in disbelief, I know). But this one, which isn’t technically one of his theological treatises but is actually written for the lay reader, is a winner. Wright changed the way I think about heaven and “life after life after death” (as he puts it), in general. And besides, we named our oldest child after being introduced to the biblical “canon” by Wright himself. So, give him a try, will you?

(One of my) favorite quotes: “Salvation, then, is not “going to heaven” but “being raised to life in God’s new heaven and new earth.” But as soon as we put it like this we realize that the New Testament is full of hints, indications, and downright assertions that this salvation isn’t just something we have to wait for in the long-distance future. We can enjoy it here and now (always partially, of course, since we all still have to die), genuinely anticipating in the present what is to come in the future.” See? Total game-changer.

So, Surprised by Hope: are you a fan? I suppose you need to be interested in theology in general in order to have an appreciate for N.T. Wright, but I sure like what he has to say. Agree? Disagree? 

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6 thoughts on “31 books I can’t live without: Surprised by Hope (20)

  1. As with most all of your picks so far, agree! I need to do a re-read of this one. At the time I first read it, I remember it coming as a surprise. It gave me a lot to think about. So now maybe I wouldn’t be so surprised. 🙂

    1. Cool. Yeah, the first time I read it I was like WHAT THE WHAT?! I think I’ve read it 3x now, and don’t find it quite as surprising but still pretty amazing, nonetheless. 🙂

  2. This is another one I made my husband read for our reading challenge. Tom Wright is so amazing, but this is my all-time favorite. I read it around the time of Love Wins, and this one (for so many reasons) did such a better job of explaining the heaven-hell mythology.

    1. Yes. Tom Wright is a theologian. Rob Bell is a storyteller. I like them both immensely, but for different reasons, and in that way, this one wins. 😉

  3. I listen to 99% of the books I consume, and it bums me out this one isn’t on Audible for some reason, even though so many of his other books are, and it’s seems by unscientific Twitter observation that it his most popular book.
    ANYWAY, this is still on my list of must buy the book and read it.
    Also, I am bummed you are moving because I kept thinking I might one day have been able to meet you IRL since I live not far from where you are now.

    1. So interesting it’s not on Audible when so many of his other ones are! And oh man: would have loved to connect in person, but yeah. Crazy moving craziness. 😉

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