A few things are striking me as I read N.T. Wright’s Surprised By Hope.
1. I think I would be lucky to walk away with 50% comprehension. I get the feeling that I may be becoming dumber as I read or at the very least I am grossly aware of my ignorance.
2. If you aren’t familiar with the book essentially he is proposing that our notions of heaven are simply unBiblical and our view of life after death should be more centered in putting things to right/order/justice in a literal Kingdom of God on Earth. One of the ways he addresses what he calls “rapture theology” is by referring to Jesus coming down to rapture everyone as a “spaceman” the thought of the Bishop of Durham referring to Jesus as a spaceman always makes me smile.
3. He also comments on heaven (in our Western perception) is really the place where “God’s purposes for the future are stored up” Not only is this thought challenging and refreshing but his subsequent illustration also brings a smile to my face.
“If I say to a friend. ‘I’ve kept some beer in the fridge for you,’ that doesn’t mean that he has to climb into the fridge in order to drink the beer.”
Understanding the cultural differences I still find it refreshingly to see the leading NT scholar use beer in an analogy that doesn’t condemn the beverage or the partaker(s)