My latest read is SURPRISED BY HOPE by N.T. Wright. The cover sleeve gives a good synopsis: "Wright convincingly argues that what we believe about life after death directly affects what we believe about life before death. For if God intends to renew the whole creation—and if this has already begun in Jesus's resurrection—the church cannot stop at "saving souls" but must anticipate the eventual renewal by working for God's kingdom in the wider world, bringing healing and hope in the present life."
I've not "bought into" Bishop Wright's theology yet. I may or may not. Nor have I read the whole book, but the first two chapters raise some very interesting thoughts for me. I'm a social progressive at heart, and this quote from the book intrigued me. "The classic Christian doctrine, therefore, is actually far more powerful and revolutionary then the Platonic one. It was people who believed robustly in the resurrection, not people who compromised and went in for a mere spiritualized survival, who stood up against Caesar in the first centuries of the Christian era. A piety that sees death as the moment of "going home at last," the time when we are "called to God's eternal peace," has no quarrel with power-mongers who want to carve up the world to suit their own ends. Resurrection, by contrast, has always gone with a strong view of God's justice and of God as the good creator. Those twin beliefs give rise not to a meek acquiescence to injustice in the world, but to a robust determination to oppose it."
I'm a social progressive, but this is not to be viewed as political, however my politics are derived from my beliefs. As I read I'll post some things from time to time, so you'll have a better idea of what I derive as I'm reading. Stay tuned!!