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Beauty Will Save the World: Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of Christianity Paperback – January 3, 2012
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"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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Some of my favorite quotes from this book are:
Instead of angry protesters shaking our fists at a secular culture, we should be joyful singers transforming the secular with the sacred.
Christianity as the ongoing expression of the Jesus story lived out in the lives of individuals and in the heart of society is a beauty that can redeem the world.
The cross is the beauty of Christianity because it is at the cross that we encounter cosuffering love and costly forgiveness in its most beautiful form.
When we lose sight of the subtle beauty of the cruciform we become seduced by the power, prestige, and pragmatism of politics.
Christ persuades, not by the force of Caesar, but by the beauty of love.
True morality consists in how well we care for one another, not what sort of behaviour we wish to impose on one another.Read more ›
Well, to start with, his development of the basic thesis is more with applications than illustrations. Yes, the way of Jesus is far more beautiful, more appealing to the heart, than violence or strict justice. Yes, the Beatitudes challenge us to see the appeal of vulnerable caring. But to my mind those do not develop the asserted mechanism, and show how it works. Rather, they apply it to a series of contrasts between the two ways, more to illustrate the contrast than to illuminate how beauty saves.
Zahnd begins with Dostoyevsky's assertion that beauty will save the world, and argues, correctly in my view, that we have neglected this aspect of the appeal of Godliness in our Enlightenment-saturated world.
Politics has been compared to sausage-making in its unappealing grubbiness, and yes, the closer one looks, the less inspiring it is. But when Zahnd gets to the case of Hitchens' closer look at Mother Theresa, he drifts past with a shallow dismissal, rather than engaging the challenging issues raised.
I fear the book as a whole left me with that feeling: good insights, published before really thinking them through. Sermon depth, and a memorable, even pivotal sermon at that, but not really book depth.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
INCREDIBLE book. Eyeopening on so many levels. If you approach with an open mind and and open heart this book will speak deeply to you.Published 2 days ago by RoyalArsenal
In a world of sound bytes and bumper sticker Christianity, Zahnd recaptures the cruciform beauty of the Christ and of Christian community.Published 2 months ago by William Daylong
I found a few good lines in this read , but so buried in philosophers and too many words , that they were hard to remember . Read morePublished 4 months ago by loulou
Excellent review of the Church getting it right and getting it wrong. Also of Beauty and the role it plays in even this present day way of life.Published 7 months ago by bluebeard
Zahnd invites Christians to behave according to the model of Jesus Christ and provides examples of how well-intended Christians, in the name of patriotism to country, behave in... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Christine C. Benson
Gave this book to everyone for Christmas. It is my favorite read of the year. Every chapter was stunning! Best book on the Kingdom of God. It is an enjoyable read for everyone.Published 7 months ago by Jamie West Zumwalt
This book has been one of the most influential books I have read on religion. The beauty and mystery of the incarnation still blow my mind. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Brosiah
This book is well written though different in approach. Jesus is indeed the answer to beauty, but the expression of that truth by this author is not the typical. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Brooke
Upon the recommendation of several friends, I purchased this book and now I heartily commend it to anyone who wants to find different language to describe the Good News, the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Leon Bloder