Surprised by Hope Book Summary - Surprised by Hope Book explained in key points

Surprised by Hope summary

N.T. Wright

Brief summary

Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright challenges traditional views of the afterlife, emphasizing the resurrection of the body and the renewal of all creation. It offers a refreshing perspective on the Christian hope.

Give Feedback
Table of Contents

    Surprised by Hope
    Summary of key ideas

    Understand The Concept Of Christian Hope

    In Surprised by Hope, authored by N.T. Wright, we delve into a fresh and nuanced perspective on Christian hope, its biblical basis, and its wider implications in our contemporary era. The initial part of the book focuses on the popular understanding of life, death, and afterlife, and the ways in which these views have become intertwined with traditional Christian teachings. Wright challenges the common belief in 'heaven' as a vaguely defined, endless paradise, noting that this image does not stay true to the essence of the New Testament.

    Moving further, Wright offers a careful reading of biblical accounts, predominantly from the Gospels and the writings of Paul. He suggests that what happens after death is not the soul's journey to heaven but resurrection, a new life in a transformed, physical body. According to him, the concept of bodily resurrection, as opposed to the idea of immortality of the soul, is central to the original Christian understanding.

    Resurrection: Central to Christian Belief

    After clarifying his understanding of Christian hope, in the middle part of the book, Wright dives deeper into the substance of resurrection. Restoring the bodily resurrection's significance in Jesus' life, he explains that this event is not just proof of life after death, but also a life-transforming reality, celebrated in early Christianity as a revolution of the material world. For Wright, the resurrection of Jesus implies a fresh perspective on God's redeemable creation and our role within it.

    This view, distinct from widely accepted views, implies that the 'Kingdom of God' doesn't refer to an ethereal 'heaven', but rather reintroduces us to a transformed and redeemed version of our present world, a new heaven and a new earth. Wright reinstates the essence of Christian hope as a restored, renewed, and reconciled universe rather than abstract spiritual detachment.

    Christian Hope And Its Practical Implications

    Having established his understanding of Christian hope, Wright explores the implications of this viewpoint in our present-day lives. He posits that the comprehensive nature of the Christian hope in the Kingdom of God should impact our approach towards life, environment, politics and social justice. Wright perceives resurrection as a call to action in the present world, advocating for hope-filled progress, rather than waiting passively for the “end times”.

    His vision shapes an understanding of the Church not only as a community that hopes for a personal salvation or heavenly rewards but also collectively works for the Kingdom of God here on earth, under the benevolent global reign of Christ. Hence, justified Christian hope, according to Wright, is not about escaping the world but about participating in God's mission to redeem and renew it.

    A Call to Action: Care for the World

    Coming to the concluding part, Wright asserts that Christian hope should motivate and guide our actions, particularly in terms of social justice and environmental concerns. As believers in a resurrected and transfigured world, Christians should feel compelled to care for the environment and fight against social inequalities, he argues.

    To sum up, Surprised by Hope presents a thought-provoking exploration of Christian hope, rooted in the reality of resurrection rather than the departure of souls to heaven. To Wright, this conviction acts as a clarion call for Christians to take their roles seriously as caretakers of God's Creation, making a difference now, in anticipation of the world’s ultimate redemption.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Surprised by Hope about?

    In "Surprised by Hope," N.T. Wright challenges the common perception of heaven as a place of disembodied existence and instead presents a compelling argument for the Christian belief in the resurrection of the body and the renewal of all creation. Drawing on biblical scholarship and theological insights, Wright offers a fresh perspective on the ultimate hope of the Christian faith and its implications for how we live our lives in the present. This thought-provoking book invites readers to reconsider their understanding of the afterlife and embrace a more holistic and transformative vision of God's redemptive plan for the world.

    Surprised by Hope Review

    Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright (2007) challenges traditional views of heaven, hell, and the afterlife, offering a fresh perspective on the Christian hope and its implications for our lives. Reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • It presents a compelling case for a robust and holistic understanding of resurrection and the restoration of all things.
    • With biblical scholarship, thoughtful analysis, and theological insight, it provides a solid foundation for reimagining our role in God's plan for the world.
    • The book's thought-provoking ideas and hopeful vision of the future prevent it from being just another theological treatise, making it a captivating and inspiring read.

    Who should read Surprised by Hope?

    • Individuals seeking a new perspective on life after death and the meaning of hope
    • Readers interested in the intersection of theology and contemporary culture
    • Those curious about exploring the historical and biblical context of Christian faith

    About the Author

    N.T. Wright is a renowned theologian and author. He has written extensively on Christian theology and the historical Jesus. Wright's book, "Surprised by Hope," explores the concept of the afterlife and the Christian hope of resurrection. Through a careful examination of biblical texts and historical context, he presents a compelling argument for a renewed understanding of the Christian faith. Wright's work has had a significant impact on contemporary Christian thought and has been widely acclaimed for its scholarly depth and accessible style.

    Categories with Surprised by Hope

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Surprised by Hope FAQs 

    What is the main message of Surprised by Hope?

    The main message of Surprised by Hope is that the Christian hope is not about life after death, but about the life after life after death.

    How long does it take to read Surprised by Hope?

    The reading time for Surprised by Hope varies depending on the reader's pace. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Surprised by Hope a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Surprised by Hope is a thought-provoking book that challenges traditional beliefs about the afterlife and offers a fresh perspective on Christian hope.

    Who is the author of Surprised by Hope?

    The author of Surprised by Hope is N.T. Wright.

    What to read after Surprised by Hope?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Surprised by Hope, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
    • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
    • The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama
    • On Being by Peter Atkins
    • The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton
    • Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson
    • Choose Yourself by James Altucher
    • Going Clear by Lawrence Wright
    • Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer
    • The Power of No by James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher