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A Review of N. T. Wright's "Surprised by Hope"

Good reading in preparation for Easter week

Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
by N. T. Wright
New York: HarperOne, 2008

Heaven has always been the focus of hope for those who follow Christ. But if N. T. Wright is correct, many of us who have fixed our hope on heaven have missed the point. Wright is Bishop of Durham for the Church of England and the controversial New Testament scholar who is arguably most famous for his assertion that Protestants have misread Paul's theology of righteousness and justification. In this book Wright takes aim at the Christian understanding of life after death. His goal is to correct as much as it is to inform. He contends that people inside the church are as confused about what the Bible teaches regarding the resurrection and the life to come as those outside the church.

The author complains that many Christians grow up assuming that whenever the New Testament mentions heaven, it refers to a place that is relevant only after death. Instead, he argues, ...

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