For the last three or four years, I’ve been saying to anyone who cared to listen (and to some who didn’t) that the most important Christian book that I’ve read for ages is The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church by Frost and Hirsch. Shaping helped me rethink my whole view of the purpose of the church and the nature of Christian mission creating a revolution in my thinking. However, another book has stolen Shaping’s crown, and now the most important book I’ve read of late has to be Surprised by Hope by Tom Wright. In the same way that Frost and Hirsch pushed me to examine some of my preconceptions about the church, Wright causes me to examine my ideas about the nature of Christian hope and its impact on Christian life and mission. Don’t take my word for it: Wright is interviewed about his book in Time Magazine and you can read it here. You will find it stimulating and probably controversial, but don’t dismiss what he has to say on the basis of the interview – read the book too.