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Beauty Will Save the World: Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of Christianity Paperback – January 3, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Charisma House (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616385855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616385859
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brian Zahnd is blunt, bold, and biblical—an authentic prophetic voice in the lineage of Elijah and Amos." —Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus, Regent College, and Translator of The Message

About the Author

Brian Zahnd is the founding pastor of Word of Life Church,  a thriving congregation in St. Joseph, Missouri.
 

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Customer Reviews

I am so glad I read this book, and I hope you will, too.
Ronnica Rothe
We are to love one another unconditionally - everyone - a universal love - to a brokenhearted world in need of the saving beauty of Christ.
Debby Henry
The book uses stories, usually real life stories, and insightful metaphors.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read Beauty Will Save the World and was impressed on so many levels. I am a Christian but I had considered walking away from the Church, and for a brief spell actually did. I had got to the point where it seemed like Christianity had nothing stimulating to say. There is nothing wrong with getting right with God and accepting Jesus as my savior but I just knew there had to be more to following Christ than that.

Brian Zahnd helped me re-discover the true center of Christianity. Jesus was not only crucified but Jesus forgave those who crucified him. Jesus calls us to love the world as He loves the world, to make love and forgiveness the new center of human society. My personal salvation is indeed only half the story because Jesus brings salvation to human society as well. There is a way of life that is beautifull and Jesus shows us the way. This is a message needed in the modern world. There is a whole new context for being Christian and living Christ-like. Key to this is understanding the beauty of Christ on the Cross, living the sermon on the mount, and how that beauty changes how we see and live in this world.

The message is not brought to the reader by treatises, statements of doctrine, or argumentation. The book uses stories, usually real life stories, and insightful metaphors. Brian Zahnd is not trying to convince the reader to change their mind but helping the reader see life through a new lens.

On a more personal note for the last several years it seemed like all the intellectually stimulating and interesting books on theology and ethics were written by writers such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. These atheists never convinced me to abandon my belief in God but were thought stimulating and effective at pointing out where many Christians had gone wrong.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Thinking-Praying on December 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have the greatest respect for Pastor Zahnd's ability to inspire through helping our
belief that the deepest, purest longings of our heart can be realized.
His books are historical, Scriptural, and written with great clarity.
Ultimately they help us to draw nearer to God through a broader perspective
and greater understanding of basic doctrine in an contemporary way.
Zahnd appeals to our reason, while sharing glimpses of the depths and heights of
faith, hope,and love as a beautiful mystery embraced universally by humanity.
He writes in a highly educated, life lived to the fullest, fashion.
Embracing the concepts of Christian courage and faith in Zahnd's first book,
the forgiveness of unconditional love in his second, and beauty in his third
would not only change the world, it would go a long way to making it what it was created to be.
You will not easily forget what he has written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Over the past couple years I have occasionally thought about the role of beauty in theology.

NT Wright in his book Simply Christian talks about the role of Beauty in theology and I think that was really the first time that I had heard someone speak of beauty in the way.

Neither Zahnd nor Wright are talking about physical beauty. Instead they are talking about conceptual beauty, maybe awe or amazement would be synonyms, but not quite.

For Zahnd, when we miss the concept of beauty, we make Christianity into something that is fully discoverable, more of a science than an art. And more important we try to gain control over our faith (and God.)

"That focal point is this: Jesus is the full revelation of God. Jesus is the eternal Word of God made human flesh. Truly this is the greatest wonder of all. The wonder we long for is found in the sacred mysteries of the faith, and a return to these mysteries can recapture the wonder. Recapturing wonder is part of salvation. We become jaded and bored because we mistakenly think there are no more mysteries to imbue us with wonder, but the Incarnation is an eternal fountain of mystery and wonder. In the mystery and wonder of the Incarnation is found the beauty that saves the world."

The central point of beauty for Zahnd is the cross. The cross is the symbol of Jesus' power, a power of sacrifice, not of domination. So much of the book is a discussion of the cross as beautiful and a discussion of what is lost when we lose the wonder of the incarnation and the cross.

"A kind of kitsch Christianity is what we are left with if we don't take the Incarnation seriously.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Terry M. Wildman on March 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A treasure hidden for those who hunger for the beauty of the Kingdom of God. An unexpected beauty, in the form of the cross of Jesus. God can turn the ugly Roman cross, an instrument of violence and torture, into a symbol of hope and new life. The way of violence becomes the way of peace. True power is revealed in weakness.

The world's version of truth; power enforced by violence, is demonstrated by Pilate's verdict--crucify him! God's version of the truth; self sacrificial love, demonstrated by Jesus verdict--Father, forgive them, overturns Pilate's verdict and reveals a hidden treasure in the resurrection. "Peace be unto you" becomes the victory cry of a New Kind of World. Satan is defeated with a demonstration of God's love that was unanticipated by the "powers."

I will have to revisit the book on a regular basis. It goes onto my "read again" shelf. You can't go wrong with this one!
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