N.T. Wright, Suprised by Hope 1

I read N.T. Wright’s book on the church, resurrection and heaven and absolutely loved it.  I’m going to divide up my review of it over three separate posts because it is so full and challenging.  It’s certainly well written – and it is theologically robust and adventurous.  I’m actually enjoying reading through it a second time so that I can better understand and grow through Wright’s work.

The first section of the book explores current beliefs on mankind’s ultimate destination(s) and how those views have developed even from the earliest days of the church.  Wright contends that clarity must be sought regarding heaven becasue the end will greatly influence the day we live in.

Here’s a few of the highlights:

  • p.26, “A piety that sees death as the moment of “going home at last,” the time when we are “called to God’s eternal peace,” has no quarrel with powermongers who want to carve up the world to suit their own ends.  Resurrection, by contrast, has always gone with a stron view of God’s justice and of god as the good creator.”
  • p.40, “The cross, we note, already had a symbolic meaning throughout the roman world, long before it had a new one for the Christians.  It meant: we Romans run this place, and if you get in our way we’ll obliterate you – and do it pretty nastily too.”
  • p.50, “…we find the development of the very early belief that Jesus is Lord and that therefore Caesar is not.”
  • p.73, “…the resurrection is not, as it were, a highly peculiar event with in the present world (though it is that as well); it is, principally, the defining event of the new creation, the world that is being born with Jesus.”
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