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

Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church Audiobook, by N. T. Wright Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: N. T. Wright Narrator: James Langton Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2018 ISBN: 9780062836342
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In this groundbreaking book—available in audio for the first time—renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N. T. Wright argues that Christians have not distorted the Bible’s message about heaven and what happens after we die.

For years, Christians have been asking, "If you died tonight, do you know where you would go?" It turns out that many believers have been giving the wrong answer. It is not heaven.

Wright outlines the present confusion about a Christian’s future hope and shows how it is deeply intertwined with how we live today. Wright asserts that Christianity’s most distinctive idea is bodily resurrection, and provides a magisterial defense for a literal resurrection of Jesus. Wright then explores our expectation of "new heavens and a new earth," revealing what happens to the dead until then and what will happen with the "second coming" of Jesus. For many, including many Christians, it will come as a great surprise to learn that heaven comes to earth instead of us going to heaven.

Wright convincingly argues that what we believe about life after death directly affects what we believe about life before death. For if God intends to renew the whole creation—and if this has already begun in Jesus’s resurrection—the church cannot stop at "saving souls" but must anticipate the eventual renewal by working for God’s kingdom in the wider world, bringing healing and hope in the present life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The Christian church owes a great debt to Bishop Wright’s scholarly work on the resurrection of Jesus.”

    Weekly Standard

  • “When it comes to questions of Christ’s resurrection and what that means, no one is more persuasive…Builds on C. S. Lewis’ succinct defense of the faith and takes it to a new level.”

    World Magazine

  • “One of the most formidable minds in the world of Christian thought.”

    Time

  • “This is quite simply the best book we have on the substance of Christian hope.”

    Will Willimon, Bishop in the United Methodist Church

  • “Recovers the original, radical understanding of resurrection, salvation, and the Good News.”

    Dallas Willard, author of The Divine Conspiracy

  • “Wright argues that in his ministry resurrection is called the first fruits of the new creation because it demonstrated that the conditions of the new creation could be realized, however imperfectly, in the old, and by human agency. In the long run, Christian hope empowers and enjoins Christians to heal humanity and nature now, not to participate in general degradation through war, greed, and pollution.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Wright, one of the greatest, and certainly most prolific, Bible scholars in the world, will touch a nerve with this book.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Prose, deep but not murky, is lightened by glints of humor. For any library serving patrons who are willing to think a bit about religion.”

    Library Journal

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About the Author

N. T. Wright, former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, now serves as chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air. He is the award-winning author of such books as Simply Christian, Surprised by Hope, After You Believe, Simply Jesus, How God Became King, and the series Christian Origins and the Question of God, and he is the translator of The Kingdom New Testament.

About the Narrator

James Langton, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, trained as an actor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and later as a musician at the Guildhall School in London. He has worked in radio, film, and television, also appearing in theater in England and on Broadway. He is also a professional musician who led the internationally renowned Pasadena Roof Orchestra from 1996 to 2002.