If you are looking to understand how the resurrection of Jesus changed the world and affected our everyday life, then you should pick up Surprised by Hope. The “Hope” that the author speaks of is the unveiling reality of what God has promised He would do and what we can earnestly expect from reading scripture about the future. Surprised by Hope is without a doubt the number one book to understand what the Resurrection actually is and means for us, and what it does not.
One of the challenging points in Surprised by Hope, is the restructuring of how modern-day Christianity explains life after death. N.T. Wright brilliantly points out through scripture, that Resurrection is not about life after death, but is about life after life after death. What Jesus did on the Cross was not primarily fixated to alter the destination of where you or I will go when we die, but rather our participation in the future of God in the New Creation. As Wright put it,
Heaven is important, but it’s not the end of the world. – N.T. Wright
What I appreciate about Surprised by Hope is that does not leave us with a fancy theology that sounds nice to read out loud, but rather it captivates truth that motivates us to live out loud our love for Jesus here and now. The author will primarily address his readers to rethink three main topics:
- What happens when we die?
- What Jesus’ return will implicate?
- What is the mission of the Church?
My hope for you in reading Surprised by Hope is that you will develop a deep passion for reading scripture much more carefully, and a deep longing for the Hopeful future that God has given us and this world. This Hope is the reason Jesus came, lived, died, rose, and is soon coming again to give us.