Read an Excerpt
Surprised by Hope Leader's Guide
By N.T. Wright
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2010 N. T. Wright
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSession One HOPE FOR THE WORLD
God wants his people to experience hope and to share it with the world. Hope that has world transforming power is more than just anticipation of what God will do in the future. It is the coming of God's kingdom here on earth ... today.
This DVD study series, based on N. T. Wright's book of the same name, invites us to look closer and think deeper. Wright has a beautiful way of pointing to the familiar and helping us see things we never noticed before.
There are words in the Christian vocabulary that can feel familiar, almost a bit worn. Words like heaven, resurrection, salvation, and the church should stir our imagination and cause our heart to race, but often they can feel mundane.
In these six sessions you will be invited to take a fresh new look at the theological landscape of the Christian faith. N. T. Wright will be your tour guide. Along the way those familiar landmarks, locations, and ideas will begin to take on new meaning that will do more than stir your heart ... they will transform your life!
The first destination on this journey is the place where the Christian hope is born. What is the source of our hope? Can the hope found in Jesus really transform our lives andthe world in which we live? And, how can those who follow Christ bring his light to a hope-starved world?
"God's kingdom" in the preaching of Jesus refers not to postmortem destiny, not to our escape from this world into another one, but to God's sovereign rule coming "on earth as it is in heaven."
TALK ABOUT IT
How might living with the assurance and hope of heaven, and having confidence in the resurrection, move us to action and bring hope right where we live today?
What we say about death and resurrection gives shape and color to everything else. If we are not careful, we will offer merely a "hope" that is no longer a surprise, no longer able to transform lives and communities in the present, no longer generated by the resurrection of Jesus himself and looking forward to the promised new heavens and new earth.
DVD TEACHING NOTES
As you watch the DVD teaching segment for session one, featuring N. T. Wright, use the following outline to record anything that stands out to you.
People all around of the world are asking, "Is there any hope?" and they do so with good reason! Two particular ways that people can go astray:
The "secret code" approach
The "escape the world" approach
The biblical vision for this world and the future
What the Bible means and does not mean when it talks about judging the world
The Gospels and Jesus' teaching about hope and God's kingdom
The conflict between the message of God's kingdom coming and the presiding powers of Jesus' day (religious and political)
The apostle Paul's vision of hope
A good definition of being the church
"Thy kingdom come, on earth as in heaven," remains one of the most powerful and revolutionary sentences we can ever say. As I see it, the prayer was powerfully answered at the first Easter and will finally be answered fully when heaven and earth are joined in the new Jerusalem. Easter was when Hope in person surprised the whole world by coming forward from the future into the present.
1. Tell a story from your personal life, church life, or national history, where a person of hope stood up for others during a hard time and helped bring hope back to the people.
2. N. T. Wright lives and ministers in a region where there is potential for hopelessness and fatalism. Name places in your community or country where hope seems to have run out and that desperately need a fresh infusion of the hope that only God can bring.
3. If someone asked you, "What is the hope of the Christian faith?" what would you answer?
Excerpted from Surprised by Hope Leader's Guide by N.T. Wright Copyright © 2010 by N. T. Wright. Excerpted by permission.
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