Surprised by Hope

Every year I used to read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book. After a while I sometimes found they were a bit fluffy, and then one year the recommended book was definitely ‘Happy Clappy.’ I don’t know how he or she managed it but I was definitely distracted by the noise. After that I chose my own book and several times returned to Esther de Waal’s book ‘Seeking God,’ which is still a wonderful help for a mother trying to raise a Christian family.

I don’t know what the Archbishop’s recommendation is this year. Possibly ‘Batting Both Ways: a clerical manual’ or perhaps ‘Sex in the City (of God)’.

This year I’m going to read ‘Surprised by Hope’ by Tom Wright which I bought after seeing him interviewed on television. Its sub-title is ‘Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church’ and although I’ve only read the Preface so far I’ve already found plenty to make me pause. So much so that I thought I would share with you some of Bishop Wright’s thoughts. The beginning is brilliant.

“What are we waiting for? And what are we going to do about it in the meantime?”

If you ever read the Ancient Briton’s blog you will find one recent post, about the election (failed) of a new Bishop of Llandaff, which has at least 104 comments! Basically, what all the writers are asking are those same two questions. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of us have left the Church in Wales because it has been taken over by feminists and the LGBT+ brigade and has tried to justify its stance by reinterpreting the Bible anyway you like. We don’t like, so we’ve left. With luck Tom Wright will suggest something I can do about that situation.

At one level this book is about death “and about what can be said, from a Christian perspective, about what lies beyond it.” At a second level it is a “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.”

A bit later on he makes a comment that definitely needs pondering upon. “All our language about future states of the world, and of ourselves, consists of complex pictures which may or may not correspond very well to the ultimate reality. But that doesn’t mean it’s anybody’s guess, or that every opinion is as good as every other one.” (My emphasis)

How refreshing! I shall enjoy reading on.

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