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Paperback Jesus Wants to Save Christians: Learning to Read a Dangerous Book

ISBN: 0062125826

ISBN13: 9780062125828

Jesus Wants to Save Christians: Learning to Read a Dangerous Book

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Book Overview

"Bell and Golden trace redemption from Genesis to Revelation... delivering] a tough message the American church needs to hear." -- Christianity Today "Equal parts prophetic warning and call to action, Jesus Wants to Save Christians exhorts Jesus's followers to sacrifice their comforts and hear the 'cry of the oppressed.'" -- Grand Rapids Press In Jesus Wants to Save Christians , Rob Bell, the New York Times bestselling author of Love Wins joins with...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

the larger story

Rob Bell does it again. He takes us into the larger story of everything. He weaves our lives into the grander picture and allows us to start questioning how we act, what we do, and where our priorities lie. He really helps to make sense of a lot of the New Testament through the lens of the Old Testament. He doesn't dance around subjects either. He hits and he hits hard. I pray that what I learned I now learn to live out.

jesus also wants more cowbell

I tend to be a fan of Rob Bell's whenever I run across his work. Most are familiar with the NOOMA video series, and the many times I have been asked to give my opinion regarding them for use by various churches and small groups I have responded in the affirmative. Further, I think that Rob Bell's previous book efforts have been, though not without fault, very good reads. Having said that, I believe that the content he offers here is a solid statement and challenge for the church. This is by far his best book so far and should be read and discussed by church leaders and laity alike. (And, yes, the blocks on the cover are pretty cool and you should have to figure it out for yourself. . .) In the opening chapter, Bell/Golden propose a reading of the story of Scripture in such a way that Exodus (the book and event) is understood as the beginning. This does not discount Genesis, but rightly sets forth the notion that the biblical story is one of exodus for the oppressed. Further, he sets forth the story of Israel in the context of four geographical locations: Egypt, Sinai, Jerusalem, Babylon. These four locations work to demonstrate the arc of Israel's storyline as an exodus motif - the enslavement, exodus, empire, exile. Chapter Two addresses the Babylonian exile and the emerging hope of a return and restoration for Israel. The reading here is faithful to the biblical text and the context of Second Temple Judaism. Much of this chapter is given to the prophetic voice which was present during this time period, emphasizing the hope for those oppressed over and against the imperialism which dominated the political scene. Chapter Three then turns this hope to the fulfillment found in Jesus. Again, I am impressed with the presentation and detail of historical motifs emerging from the Second Temple period in Bell's discussion. This "David's other Son" idea is developed well in the context of messianic expectation. Of note with these two chapters, however (and this has been mentioned elsewhere and was particularly striking during my read-through) is that Bell barely interacts with any secondary literature on the topic. His perspective has obviously been influenced by perspectives such as N. T. Wright, yet Bell/Golden never acknowledges nor interacts with such writing in his book. This is a major disappointment for me, and almost displays a lack of concern for academic rigor. I'm not asking him to present a doctoral dissertation here, but some credit and interaction would be quite fruitful. From this point, Bell/Golden covers the movement of the gospel in the early church (Chapter Four). Here he demonstrates the cultural significance of its outward movement, and the radical shift from the Judaism of this period to the universal message of salvation found in the church. Chapter Five bounces from Revelation's message of kingdom against anti-kingdom (christ against anti-christ) into our modern world. I appreciate his statistics regarding

Bell's Incendiary Manifesto Throws Open Doors and Windows Toward God's World

No one who has followed Rob Bell's books and "Nooma" films should be surprised that "Jesus Wants to Save Christians" is not quite what it seems. Let's start with the cover. I don't want to spoil the "ah ha" by explaining it, but we're presented with a puzzle before we even open the book. Then, for a book about Jesus, it may seem strange that Jesus doesn't even step out on stage until page 78 of what's basically a 180-page book, if you don't count all the footnotes. But this is Rob's prophetic gift. He opens doors, throws open windows and leads us to new perspectives on faith. His "Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith (Cover Image May Vary)" certainly wasn't about American art and music. His "Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality" was about sex and God, but not in any form that you'd expect from an evangelical writer. I mean, who would envision that an inspirational book about sex from an American evangelical would detour through the Holocaust? But that's where Rob took us. The subtitle for this new book is "A Manifesto for the Church in Exile" -- a clear signal that Rob wants readers to work their way through this volume and then start moving in a new direction. This book is almost a cinematic invitation to see the Bible -- the whole Bible starting with the Hebrew Scriptures -- in a new way. It's the "new way" that pours the fuel into this manifesto. In fact, Rob is starting to sound a lot like John Dominic Crossan in "God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now" and Marcus Borg in "Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary." Now, there are major differences between Crossan, Borg and Bell in the way the three writers see the figure of Jesus in the gospels and today. But, all three converge in arguing that Jesus came to proclaim a new world order of compassionate concern for the neediest people on the planet. Deep in his book, Bell begins to drive his arguments home in passages like this: "The Bible has a lot to say about empires. Most of the Bible is a history told by people living in lands occupied by conquering superpowers. It's a book written from the underside of power. It's an oppression narrative. The majority of the Bible was written by a minority people living under the rule and reign of massive, mighty empires ... This can make the Bible a very difficult book to understand if you are reading it as a citizen of the most powerful empire the world has ever seen." Bell is not alone in issuing such a manifesto. But from the evangelical heartland in the upper Midwest, this is an incendiary epistle from one of America's hottest young voices.

Rob Bell challenges us to see our world through the eyes of Jesus

In his latest work, Jesus Wants To Save Christians, Rob Bell along with friend Don Golden reflects on the growing differences between the message of the Gospel as found in the Bible, and the message of the gospel as preached in many Western churches each Sunday. No doubt the criticisms will come that this book is anti-American, or un-Patriotic as Bell portrays America's growing global empire by way of comparison with other global empires of their time. The comparison is chilling and leaves the reader thinking, "what the heck are we doing?? Is this what Jesus wants for our nation??". Rob Bell is in essence calling for Reformation in the Church. It is a timely and indeed Prophetic book that calls out the mischief of the war-makers and calls the Bride back to its roots and a message of grace and redemption. Something that will no doubt grate painfully with many right-wing pseudo-Conservative "christians" that see foreign enemies as the real cause of our problems, rather that those domestic enemies Thomas Jefferson warned us of. Calling things as they really are and shining the light of Kingdom truth on where we are headed as a nation is something few men are brave enough to do. This book will challenge you to reflect on your own faith and ask yourself hard questions about your day to day opinions of war and terrorism and what our response as Followers of Christ should be. A Manifesto For the Church In Exile. The sub title is extremely fitting. This book should go hand in hand with another Manifesto written by a Christian, that of Congressman Dr. Ron Paul; The Revolution: A Manifesto. Both books are in agreement with each other but present the argument from two very different but very solid positions. I recommend both of these books together. Ending the book, Bell calls the reader to consider their place in the world. To stop waiting for something big to happen and to simply live the example of Christ for the rest of the world, and everything that entails. Buy this book, it will challenge and provoke you to see the world through the eyes of Jesus and not of the "Western Christian faith". And that, can only be a good thing. I give this book 5 out 5. If this review was helpful to you, please click yes below.

A Much Needed Manifesto

Rob Bell's third and most anticipated book(for me at least) hits shelves on October 1st. Fortunately for us, we had the opportunity to see the book before it comes out. Wanting to scan the book led me to read the prologue. After that brief introduction I was hooked. The book expounds on the journey of God's people from Egypt to Sinai to Jerusalem to Babylon. He then paralles that with the life of Christ, the Early Church, and the situation of the American Chruch today. One of his main points is that God hears the cry of the oppressed, and responds to that whether it is His people being oppressed or his people doing the oppressing. There is an ample amount of political talk that carries over with his descriptions, but they are insightful, relevant, and well thought out. Though Bell has been dogged by a lot of people within the church, the way in which he sees and explains scripture is unlike any of his contemporaries(personal opinion), and I believe this reveals the sincerity of his heart for following God. Another vital point, that I felt made the book timely, was his comparison to Solomons empire to what he deems the empire of America. The similarities are hard to ride off, and pierce the heart in a way that caused me to hear the cries of those that we(as a nation) are oppressing. He challenges the readers to question the difference between entitlement and blessing. Given the recent naming of my generation as the "Generation of Entitlement," this question must be posed by those who live as though they are entitled and those who are attempting to challenge, minister to, and dare those who are ingrained with the idea that they deserve more than mere grace. I would rather not give the book away, as I would recommend this book to anyone. But, if you have ever wondered about the connection between the Old and New Testaments, then read this book. Bell's setup reveals a completely new(to me)way of viewing the connection between the Testaments. This is vital since it is something that most Christians have wondered about. As I read, it was as though something clicked, and Bell's insights made me see more clearly God's authorship of Scripture. Not just divine authorship either, but good authorship, foreshadowing and connections like you wouldn't believe. And the lessons one can take away from these fresh ideas are timely and timeless. If you have ridden Rob Bell off because he is categorized as Emergent, or whatever else they've labeled him, give this book a chance. If you are one searching for a real way to live out your Christian life, this book will challenge you to make some changes. And any book that points out that Revelations is apocolyptic literature and pertained specifically to the people of the day, and not 2000 years later is worth reading(in my book)because it makes us focus on finding hope in what could happen here and now. Originally posted at: http://www.scandaloussanity.blogspot.com
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