- Gebundene Ausgabe: 352 Seiten
- Verlag: HarperOne (5. Februar 2008)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0061551821
- ISBN-13: 978-0061551826
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,9 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 182.300 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 5. Februar 2008
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“This book is N.T. Wright at his finest.” (Rob Bell, author of Velvet Elvis)
His conclusions are both simple and world-shaking (Library Journal)
This book will be widely read because it stirs together Scripture, tradition, art and world affairs with pleasing metaphors and public courage. (The Dallas Morning News)
“Wright’s unwavering faith in the resurrection is quite evident as he defends the Easter narratives on historical and theological grounds.” (America Magazine)
“N.T. Wright can write. . . when it comes to questions of Christ’s resurrection and what that means, no one is more persuasive. Wright’s new book, Surprised by Hope, builds on C.S. Lewis’ succinct defense of the faith and takes it to a new level.” (World Magazine)
“In calling Christians to an epistemology of love and a re-emphasis of the Easter season, Wright knocked it out of the park.” (Beliefnet (A "Top Religious Book of the Year"))
A crystal-clear, powerful course-correction for all of us--Christian or otherwise. If you want to know what Easter is about, get yourself a copy of Surprised by Hope and hunker down for the read of a lifetime....literally. (Phyllis Tickle, Beliefnet.com)
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.
Award-winning author N. T. Wright outlines the present confusion about a Christian's future hope and shows how it is deeply intertwined with how we live today. Wright, who is one of today's premier Bible scholars, asserts that Christianity's most distinctive idea is bodily resurrection. He provides a magisterial defense for a literal resurrection of Jesus and shows how this became the cornerstone for the Christian community's hope in the bodily resurrection of all people at the end of the age. 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, all this will come as a great surprise.
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.
Lively and accessible, this book will surprise and excite all who are interested in the meaning of life, not only after death but before it.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Zwei Teile hat dieses Buch. Der erste Teil beschäftigt sich mit den Gründen, an der christlichen Auferstehungshoffnung festzuhalten. Dabei weist N.T. Wright nach, dass sich die Auferstehung Jesu aus keiner gängigen Jenseitserwartung der damaligen Welt, sei sie jüdisch oder heidnisch, ableiten lässt. Sie stellt ein einzigartiges Phänomen dar und ist von so einer grundlegenden Aussagekraft, dass sie schlechterdings das Phantasieprodukt einzelner frustrierter Jünger gewesen sein kann. Die weitere Sprengkraft dieser Vorstellung kann man nach N.T. Wright nur nachvollziehen, wenn an jenem "Ostermorgen" in Jerusalem tatsächlich etwas passiert ist, dass alle bisherigen Vorstellungen sprengt.
Als historisch arbeitender Neutestamentler hat Wright dazu schon seine voluminöse Monographie "The Resurrection of the Son of God" veröffentlicht, die dieses Argument wissenschaftlich unterfüttert. "Suprised by Hope" ist sozusagen die populäre Zusammenfassung seines Standardwerkes für alle, die sich nicht durch hunderte Seiten von Fachliteratur durchkämpfen wollen. Das Argument, das Wright in beiden Büchern allerdings führt, ist bestechend. Im Gegensatz zu vielen Kollegen seiner Zunft und anderen kritischen Zeitgenossen setzt er nicht methodologisch voraus, dass ein Ereignis, wie die Auferstehung Jesu, einfach nicht passiert sein könne. Er wendet sich vielmehr den Quellen zu und argumentiert anhand der Evidenzen, die sich aufzeigen lassen. In bester angelsächsischer Tradition lässt er empirische Funde sprechen und gibt damit dem Leser Kriterien an die Hand, sie in dieser oder jener Weise zu deuten.
Der zweite Teil des Buches ist allerdings nicht weniger spannend: Während man den ersten Teil als eine Zusammenfassung seines wissenschaftlichen Werkes sehen kann, dreht sich der zweite um die Frage nach der Bedeutung der Auferstehung Jesu für die Zukunftshoffnung der Christen. Zentrale These Wrights: Die christliche Hoffnung sei nicht, "in den Himmel zu kommen, wenn man sterbe." Die Auferstehungshoffnung bedeute die Auferweckung der (im Glauben gestorbenen) Toten zu einem neuen unvergänglichen Leben auf dieser erneuerten Erde. Nicht der Himmel als Bereich Gottes sei der Hoffnungsplatz der Christen, auch nicht eine vernichtete und neu geschaffene Welt, sondern diese Welt, erneuert durch den Geist Gottes. So geht es Wright u.a. darum, die Leiblichkeit der christlichen Ewigkeitshoffnung zu betonen. Nicht die Seele, sondern der ganze Mensch sei Bereich des Heilshandelns Gottes. Von daher kommt Wright auch zu einer Betonung einer christlichen Sozialethik, die nicht auf Gewinnung von Seelen oder privatem Seelenheil beruht, sondern auf einer Erlösungshoffnung für den gesamten Kosmos. Christen seien dazu berufen, jetzt schon in Richtung der endgültigen Verwandlung tätig zu werden, anstatt die Welt dem freien Spiel der Mächte zu überlassen. Noch seien die Verstorbenen in einer Art Zwischenzustand bei Gott geborgen. Aber das endgültige Ziel sei das "Leben nach dem Leben nach dem Tod," auch wenn sich in der christlichen Tradition mancherorts die Vorstellung eines Lebens nach dem Tod auf eine unkörperliche Himmelsvorstellung beschränkt hätte.
N.T. Wrights Buch gibt es leider (noch) nicht auf Deutsch - vielleicht auch, weil sich nach einigem Nachdenken manches am Ende doch eher bekannt anhört. Ich kenne allerdings kein anderes Buch, das mit so viel Verve und Überzeugungskraft in unsere moderne Zeit die Hoffnung der Auferstehung zur Sprache gebracht hat. Es hätte es verdient, auch hierzulande von vielen gelesen zu werden.
I enjoy reading books about practical theology, but in the course of that I haven't touched many books that were really enjoyable, be it because of the insufficient treatment of the title or because the language was awkward. In this book, however, N.T. Wright manages to combine relevant theological insight, refreshing serenity, helpful applications and an enjoyably concise language in a convincing manner. And to add to my pleasure the content of "Surprised by hope" was definitely able to fulfill the promise of its title.
The only thing that irritated me a bit was Mr Wright's exegesis of certain difficult verses and passages (passages that seemingly contradict the "new" perspective on heaven and life after death). Imho that was not always entirely convincing.
But overall I highly enjoyed it.
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The subject of this book focuses on the misunderstanding that centers around many western churches when discussing the eternal destination of the Christian. According to Wright, the common misconception is that we will dwell in heaven forever. Instead, Wright argues, Heaven is only a temporary resting spot, and one day in the future, all Christians past and present will again live on the earth under Jesus’ reign.
The main drawback for this book is that Wright seems to want to overly convince his readers of this fact. He states scripture after scripture, hymn after hymn, story after story, to prove his point. It’s a bit much. I think the reason that such confusion exists is because, for most people, the debate of “where” we will be is not that significant. Instead, most people when discussing eschatology are more concerned with “how”. As long as we’re in a place “like” heaven, we don’t seem to mind exactly where we’ll unpack our suitcase for eternity.
As Wright makes his arguments, he seems more driven towards left-brain thinking than right-brained thinking. He doesn’t spend too much time talking about what this new world will be like and what everyone will experience. He assures us that even though we will all be working and have some sort of job in God’s kingdom, all souls will, in fact, relish the experience. When it comes to such matters that are somewhat mysterious, the author doesn’t claim to offer heavy handed explanations based on what he might feel. If he doesn’t know, he doesn’t know, and has no trouble at all stating this in the book.
The big challenge that he gives Christians is that if we are to one day live in this world with Jesus as our king, we must take care of the world as it is now. We must “get it ready” for the glory of God. I think this is where his real struggle is with a lot of Western thinking. Too often, many Christians today have “End Times” syndrome. They’re so convinced that Jesus will rapture the saints at any moment, that they don’t seem to care about things such as acid rain or global warming. After all, this is only our temporary home, right? This is what the author is trying so hard to dispel. Being a Christian, he says, involves a lot of ‘doing’ in addition to ‘witnessing’.
It’s quite interesting (although many would find it insulting) when the author finds faults in many practices that Western (particularly U.S.) churches engage in every Sunday. He’s not a fan of “check off the box” salvation, and he clearly doesn’t believe in such widely held beliefs as the rapture of the church. I’m not one with a degree in theology, so I can’t challenge him on such sentiments, but he seems think that as a body, Christians definitely need to be doing more both within their church and community, and within the world itself.
He doesn’t spend very much time talking about “who gets to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven”. He states that he’s clearly not a Universalist (although he confesses that such a concept might not be completely foreign to God), and the main reason behind this thinking is the wickedness that some people possess. I confess I would have liked to have him expound on this a bit more. He makes references to such obvious atrocities such as Nazism and sexual slavery, but where exactly does he draw the line? Aren’t all evil without the blood of Jesus? Then, some of his “evils” that he describes didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. He quickly mentions “Hiroshima” for example. Hiroshima? What exactly is “evil” about this? I’m assuming he’s referring to the atom bomb, and yes, this was truly a very evil event, but who was ultimately responsible? Some would argue Harry Truman, but others would say it was the mayhems of Japan and their treatment of American POWs that actually caused the unfortunate event. So his failure to go into more depth left me a bit disappointed.
I still felt this was an excellent book. If anything, it causes one to rethink and reevaluate such predispositions that many Christians have had, say, forever. Such debate is healthy, I believe. Although he doesn’t argue that one must “work” towards salvation (at least that wasn’t the impression that I got), he does plainly say that once one is saved, the converted heart should want to work for God’s glory – both in this life and the next.
He wrote in the Preface to this 2008 book, “At the first level, the book is obviously about death and about what can be said from a Christian perspective about what lies beyond it… I approach the question as a biblical theologian, drawing on other disciplines but hoping to supply what they usually lack with what I believe the church needs to recapture: the classic Christian answer to the question of death and beyond, which these days is not so much disbelieved … as simply now known… At the second level, then, the book is about the groundwork of practical and even political theology---of, that is, Christian reflection on the nature of the task we face as we seek to bring God’s kingdom to bear on the real and painful world in which we live.” (Pg. xi-xiii)
In the first chapter, he outlines, “This book addresses two questions that have often been dealt with entirely separately but that, I passionately believe, belong tightly together. First, what is the ultimate Christian hope? Second, what hope is there for change, rescue, transformation, new possibilities within the world in the present? And the main answer can be put like this. As long as we see Christian hope in terms of ‘going to heaven,’ of a salvation that is essentially AWAY from this world, the two questions are bound to appear as unrelated… But if the Christian hope is for God’s new creation, for ‘new heavens and new earth,’ and if that hope has already come to life in Jesus of Nazareth, then there is every reason to join the two questions together. And if that is so, we find that answering the one is also answering the other.” (Pg. 5)
He observes, “the robust Jewish and Christian doctrine of the resurrection… gives more value, not less, to the present world and to our present bodies… The classic Christian doctrine, therefore, is actually far more powerful and revolutionary than the Platonic one… A piety that sees death as the moment of ‘going home at last’ … has no quarrel with power-mongers who want to carve up the world to suit their own ends. Resurrection, by contrast, has always gone with a strong view of God’s justice and of God as the good creator. Those twin beliefs give rise not to a meek acquiescence to injustice in the world but to a robust determination to oppose it.” (Pg. 26-27)
He points out, “much Christian and sub-Christian tradition has assumed that we all do indeed have souls that need saving and that the soul, if saved, will be the part of us that goes to heaven when we die. All this, however, finds minimal support in the New Testament, including the teaching of Jesus, where the word ‘soul’ … reflects not to a disembodied entity… but rather to what we would call the whole person or personality… the idea that every human possesses and immortal soul, which is the ‘real’ part of them, finds little support in the Bible.” (Pg. 28)
He strongly rejects “the revisionist position on Jesus’s resurrection… that the earliest Christians believed that Jesus after his death had been exalted to heaven or that they had a strange sense that his mission… we now going ahead in a new way and that this kind of belief let them to say he’d been raised from the dead…We all can have visions. Plenty of people dream about recently dead friends… That doesn’t mean they’ve been raised from the dead… this [revisionist] solution isn’t just incredible, it’s impossible… A little bit of disciplined historical imagination is all it takes to blow away enormous piles of so-called historical criticism.” (Pg. 48-50)
He observes, “the resurrection narratives in the gospels never, ever say anything like, ‘Jesus is raised, therefore we shall go to heaven when we die.’ … No. Insofar as the event is interpreted, Easter has a very this-worldly, present-age meaning: Jesus is raised, so he is the Messiah, and therefore he is the world’s true Lord… so we must act as his heralds, announcing his lordship to the entire world, making his kingdom come on earth as in heaven!” (Pg. 56) He concludes, “Jesus’s tomb really was empty… the disciples really did encounter him in ways that convinced them that he was not simply a ghost or hallucination.” (Pg. 58)
He suggests that in 1 Corinthians 15, “Paul is clearly articulating a theology of a NEW CREATION. Every force, every authority in the whole cosmos, will be subjected to the Messiah, and finally death itself will give up its power… Death as we now know it is the last enemy, not a good part of the good creation; and therefore death must be defeated if the life-giving God is to be honored as the true lord of the world. When this has happened… Jesus the Messiah… will hand over the rule of the kingdom to his father, and God will be all in all.” (Pg. 99-100)
He states, “The word ‘eschatology’ … doesn’t just refer to death, judgment, heaven and hell, as used to be thought… It also refers to the strongly held belief of … virtually all early Christians, that history was going somewhere under the guidance of God and that where it was going was toward God’s new world of justice, healing, and hope. The transition from the present world to the new one would be a matter not of the destruction of the present space-time universe but of its radical healing.” (Pg. 122)
He argues, “People often assume that the early church used ‘parousia’ simply to mean ‘the second coming of Jesus’ and that by this even they all envisaged, in a quite literal fashion, the scenario of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (Jesus coming down on a cloud and people flying upward to meet him). Neither of these assumptions is in fact correct… Now suppose that Paul…wanted to say two things… first, that the Jesus they worshipped was near in spirit but absent in body but that one day he would be present in body and that the whole world, themselves included, would know the sudden transforming power of that presence. A natural word to use for this would be ‘parousia.’ At the same time, supposed they wanted to say that the Jesus who had been raised from the dead … was the rightful Lord of the world… so the absent but ruling Lord of the world would one day appear and rule in person within this world… Again, the natural word to use for this would be ‘parousia.’” (Pg. 128-129)
He asserts, “People who believe that Jesus is already Lord and that he will appear again as judge of the world are called equipped… to think and act quite differently in the world from those who don’t.” (Pg. 144)
He notes, “My proposition is that the traditional picture of people going to either heaven or hell in a one-stage postmortem journey… represents a serious distortion and diminution of the Christian hope. Bodily resurrection is not just one odd bit of that hope. It is the element that gives shape and meaning to the rest of the story we tell about god’s ultimate purposes.” (Pg. 148) He adds, “Resurrection … was a way of talking about a new bodily life AFTER whatever state of existence one might enter immediately upon death. It was, in other words, life AFTER life after death.” (Pg. 151) Later, he reiterates, “The ultimate destination is (once more) NOT ‘going to heaven when you die’ but being bodily raised into the transformed, glorious likeness of Jesus Christ.” (Pg. 168)
He contends, “The word ‘immortality’ is often used to mean ‘DISEMBODIED immortality,’ and it is sometimes used in a sharp contrast with resurrection. As a result, we easily forget Paul’s point about the resurrection body. It will be a body, but it will not be subject to mortality… There is a world of difference between this belief and a belief in an ‘immortal soul.’ … In the New Testament, however, immortality is something that only God possesses by nature and that he then shares, as a gift of grace rather than an innate possession, with his people.” (Pg. 160-161)
He explains, “I do not believe in a purgatory as a place, a time, or a state… In fact, Paul makes it clear… that it’s the present life that is meant to function as a purgatory. The sufferings of the present time, not of some postmortem state, are the valley through which we have to pass in order to reach the glorious future… The myth of purgatory is an allegory, a projection from the present onto the future. This is why purgatory appeals to the imagination.” (Pg. 170-171) However, “Since both the departed saints and we ourselves are in Christ, we share with them in the ‘communion of saints.’ They are still our brothers and sisters in Christ… Why then should we not pray for and with them?” (Pg. 172)
Of the final judgement, he says, “I find it quite impossible… to suppose that there will be no ultimate condemnation, no final loss, no human beings to whom, as C.S. Lewis put it, God will eventually say, ‘THY will be done.’ I wish it were otherwise…” (Pg. 180) He continues, “My suggestion is that it is possible for human beings so to continue down this road, so to refuse all whisperings of good news, all glimmers of the true light, all promptings to turn and go the other way… that after death they become at last, by their own effective choice, beings that ONCE WERE HUMAN BUT NOW ARE NOT, creatures that have ceased to bear the divine image at all. With the death of that body… they pass simultaneously not only beyond hope but beyond pity. There is no concentration camp … not torture chamber in the palace of delight. Those creatures that still exist in an ex-human state, no longer reflecting their maker in any meaningful sense, can no longer excite in themselves or others the natural sympathy some feel even for the hardened criminal.” (Pg. 182-183)
He argues, “As long as we see salvation in terms of going to heaven when we die, the main work of the church is bound to be seen in terms of saving souls for that future. But when we see salvation… in terms of God’s promised new heavens and new earth and of our promised resurrection to share in that new and gloriously embodied reality… then the main work of the church here and now demands to be rethought in consequence.” (Pg. 196-197)
The last part of the book goes into political implications. (E.g., “the major task that faces us in our generation… is that of the massive economic imbalance of the world”; pg. 216)
Wright’s ruminations will be of keen interest to anyone studying such ‘eschatological’ matters.