The point of this final of the book is that a proper grasp of the (surprising) future hope held out to us in Jesus Christ leads directly and, to many people, equally surprising, to a vision of the present hope that is the basis of all Christian mission. To hope for a better future in this world–for the poor, the sick, the lonely and depressed, for the slaves, the refugees, the hungry and homeless, for that abused, the paranoid, the downtrodden and despairing, and in fact for the whole wide, wonderful, and wounded world–is not something else, something extra, something tacked on to the gospel as an afterthought. And to work for that intermediate hope, the surprising hope that comes forward from God’s ultimate future into God’s urgent present, is not a distraction from the task of mission and evangelism in the present. It is a central, essential, vital, and life-giving part of it.
N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope, 192.