The Challenge of Heaven

Surprised by Hope is full of surprises for me. It is an incredibly tough book to digest and process. I love NT Wright, and one reason I love his work is he takes me to the mental and spiritual mat time and time again.

We need things in our lives that challenge us.

Someone saw my “Minnesota Public Radio” sticker on my car recently and basically sniffed at it. “If you knew the things they supported.”

Well, I’m “sniffed at” a lot. (I think I need to rework that sentence…)

If we only take in what we agree with, we need to remember the line: “If both of us agree on absolutely everything, one of us isn’t necessary.”

So… I read Wright because I admire his work, even if I don’t agree with all he says.

But he really challenges the notions we’ve had in the West of heaven. And he doesn’t leave any prisoners. He is as hard on universalists as he is on fundamentalists. Makes it kind of fun, in that respect.

But we DO need to ask some very tough questions of ourselves. Maybe if we weren’t so consumed with the question of who is “in” and who is “out” we might find a tougher question to ask, but one that is more relevant. Maybe we need to ask how God is going to redeem and renew his creation through us? Maybe if we ask THAT question, we’ll find we have something to actually do in our lives. The destination may not be the point. God transforming life may be the point. This seems to be what Wright is aiming us at in this discussion.

We need a larger vision in our lives. Far beyond buildings and bucks and … umm… that other thing… in the seats… (I really need to do some editing).

The larger vision is God’s vision of transformation. He is doing something new, something powerful. HE is Lord… not us. Should we not be paying attention to his instructions?

One thought on “The Challenge of Heaven

  1. I must say that Wright has ruined me for discussions of “heaven”. 😉 Great post by the way…and I’m glad you are enjoying it as well. I just finished my copy last week. This is a MUST read (IMO) for every pastor and church leader (at the very least). I will be buying copies for my board for Christmas.

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