Red Letters

Red Letters

Surprised by Hope

Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

It's Friday and we're about to start board meetings here at Children's HopeChest, so off to the races! I have a great book recommendation for you this week. It's by a theologian I quite respect. Read this book. It will challenge your walk and force you to focus on deeper spiritual issues. Here's a breakdown:

In Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright focuses on three things that are important to your faith:

1. Taking a look at Christianity's understanding of life after death and grounding it sound theology.


2. A huge focus on his views of eschatology (the end of all things and the destiny of man) that come from his many writings on the Resurrection of Jesus.

3. He talks about what it looks like for a Christian to live on this earth by giving their lives to evangelism, spirituality, and social justice. I like this part!

This is definitely a book that will force you to think. Sometimes we need to escape and read a good fiction book and sometimes we need to pick up something that causes us to wrestle with theology. Happy wrestling. 


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David Smith

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:34 am

Hi Tom,
I saw this book listed in your sidebar about a year ago and figured anything you were reading I should check out. Good book and I hope your other blog readers take your recommendation. Thanks for all you do for child poverty and injustice and for motivating us to be more like Jesus in our concern for “the least of these.”

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Mary DeMuth

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:51 am

This is my husband’s favorite book. I need to read it.

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Terri Lynn

posted May 7, 2010 at 11:52 am

This book is definitely in my top five! The gospel writers repeatedly state that Jesus preached the good news of the KINGDOM. What was he saying? Is the good news more than just telling people that they will go heaven when they die?
N.T. Wright says that the “kingdom of heaven” is the sovereign rule of God which according to Jesus was and is breaking in to the present world, to earth. “This, as we have seen, is what the resurrection and ascension of Jesus and the gift of the Spirit are all about. They are designed not to take us away from this earth but rather to make us agents of the transformation of this earth, anticipating the day when, as we are promised, ‘the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.'”
Christianity cannot just be the study of Christianity. Compassion has to be the heartbeat of every church and every believer.
Thank you, Tom and Children’s Hope Chest, for being agents of change! We heard you speak at the Orphan Summit and are thrilled by what you are doing throughout the world!

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posted May 8, 2010 at 9:22 am

Outstanding book. I HIGHLY recommend it.

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