"" bshawise: Surprised by Hope

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Surprised by Hope

You ever gone to a restaurant and had something so delicious that you can hardly stand it? The kind of dish that with every bite you and your date stare dumbfounded and excited at each other and just nod (mouth full) at its deliciousness. Something so good you want to punch the chef with a happy, I-can't-believe-you're-so-amazing-at-cookery haymaker to the ear. Or maybe you've heard a new song from some new artist that just knocked your socks off and changes the way you feel about music as a whole. Or a 3D movie that melted your brain and you spend the next two weeks saying, "Have you seen....?"

I feel this way about N.T. Wright's, Surprised by Hope. I haven't been this excited about a book since perhaps the first literature class I took in college that sent me on a path I'm still on of chasing after the written word and figuring out a way to be a part of it. I can say without hesitation that Wright's words have changed my life. I feel like a doctor has joined me for coffee every morning and diagnosed why I'm so bored with cultural Christianity. I don't have the time or ability to articulate all the reasons why. I beg you to go out and buy the book today.

Here's an article in Time that kind of summarizes what some of the book is about.

Here's a video of Bishop Tom.

Here's a quote from the chapter I read this morning. This happens nearly every morning, that I read something and just sit back and try to pull my brain back down from outer space.

"Part of the role of the church in the past was-and could and should be again- to foster and sustain lives of beauty and aesthetic meaning at every level, from music making in the village pub to drama in the local primary school, from artists' and photographers' workshops to still-life painting classes, from symphony concerts (well, they managed them in the concentration camps; how inventive might we be?) to driftwood sculptures. The church, because it is the family that believes in hope for new creation, should be the place in every town and village where new creativity bursts forth for the whole community, pointing to the hope that, like all beauty, always comes as a surprise."

I have more hope than I've had in a long long time because of the knowledge Dr. Wright is dropping on me. I want to slug him square in the jaw with a happy haymaker then share a pint with him at the village pub. I can think of no other way to thank him.


Joe said...

I'm like a proud parent right now...

Sandy Maudlin said...

An excellent read!