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Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus Paperback – March 9, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061568228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061568220
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Robin Meyers emerges in Saving Jesus from the Church as a national voice for a new Christianity. He is a well read scholar and a superb communicator. He writes with a refreshing honesty and a disarming authority. This book is a treat.” (John Shelby Spong, author of Jesus for the Non-Religious)

“With crisply prophetic joy, Meyers calls seekers and believers alike to leave belief about God behind in favor of becoming imitators of Jesus. We can save Jesus from the church, and in doing so, recreate faith communities freed from hypocrisy and filled with hope.” (Diana Butler Bass, author of Christianity for the Rest of Us)

“Every once in a while, a book comes along that changes everything. This is the book. It is scholarly, pastoral, prophetic, and eloquent--all in equal measure. Robin Meyers has spoken truth to power, and the church he loves will never be the same.” (Desmond Tutu)

“The time is right for this book and this book is right for the time.” (Fred B. Craddock, Bandy Distinguished Professor of Preaching and New Testament Emeritus, Emory University)

“In a progressive rather than negatively critical mode, in strong contrast to much of Far Right Protestantism, pastor/NPR commentator Meyers (philosophy, Oklahoma City Univ.) suggests with typical elegance that a recovery of true Christianity emphasizes compassion over condemnation, blessing over sin, and equity over individual prosperity. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal, starred review)

“Meyers’ insightful and provocative critique of contemporary Christianity will stimulate energetic theologizing: deconstruction, reconstruction, or impassioned defense of the inherited tradition. Thank you, Robin, for convening this urgently needed conversation.” (Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., president and founder of The Healing of the Nations Foundation)

“A perceptive book . . . Not many authors can present such progressive ideas and still come across as reasonable and loving. Meyers masters such a task.” (Oklahoma City Oklahoman)

From the Back Cover

Countless thoughtful people are now so disgusted with the marriage of bad theology and hypocritical behavior by the church that a new Reformation is required in which the purpose of religion itself is reimagined.

Meyers takes the best of biblical scholarship and recasts these core Christian concepts to exhort the church to pursue an alternative vision of the Christian life:

  • Jesus as Teacher, not Savior
  • Christianity as Compassion, not Condemnation
  • Prosperity as Dangerous, not Divine
  • Discipleship as Obedience, not Control
  • Religion as Relationship, not Righteousness

This is not a call to the church to move to the far left or to try something brand new. Rather, it is the recovery of something very old. Saving Jesus from the Church shows us what it means to be a Christian and how to follow Jesus' teachings today.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Rev. Dr. Robin R. Meyers is a nationally known UCC pastor, professor, peace activist, and the author of six books about progressive Christianity and American society. He has been the senior minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC church, Oklahoma City, for 27 years. He is also a tenured full professor of rhetoric in the philosophy department at Oklahoma City University. Dr. Meyers lectures and gives workshops on church renewal around the country (see robinmeyers.com), and is an award-winning commentator for NPR. His teaching and preaching offer a non-literal, non-dogmantic approach to Christianity, and his politics are neither left nor right, but rather subversive for the cause of love. He seeks to build, not a collection of "believers," but a Beloved Community devoted to embodying peace and justice in a broken world. As a professor, he teaches the ancient canons of rhetoric, urging his students to think critically and fearlessly about the things they think they know. His method is Socratic, grounded in the belief that the truth is accessible but often obscured, and that love is life's highest achievement. His books all revolve around questions of religion, ethics, and language--that is, around transcendence, morality, and the redemptive power of telling the truth. His latest book, "The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus" is endorsed by Desmond Tutu, Bill Moyers, Marcus Borg, Harvey Cox, Parker Palmer, Brian McLaren, Diana Butler Bass, and Fred Craddock.

Customer Reviews

This book was very engrossing from the minute I picked it up and started reading it.
Salras
It instead brings the teachings of Jesus to the fore and reminds us of the two most important commandments: Love the Lord God and love your neighbor as yourself.
LS in PDX
Growing up as a Catholic I cannot help but see Jesus in a similar situation to the author challenging some of the practices and thinking of our churches today.
Hebe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

222 of 245 people found the following review helpful By ErickinOKC on March 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Does it matter if Jesus was born to a virgin or not? Does it matter if Jesus was born in a manger or a field, to a virgin or a wife with several children? Does it change anything if Jesus wasn't really, physically raised from the dead? Is He somehow less influential, less important, less moral? Are His words or His actions any less significant or inspirational if he had a girlfriend or a companion? Then why, Meyers asks, is that all we talk about anymore?

The title and its accompanying cover say much of what needs to be said about the new book from Oklahoma City resident, author, professor, scholar, syndicated columnist, and controversial reverend Robin Meyers. The bluest man in the reddest state has put his new book to the masses for what he hopes will be a uniting, not dividing, result. With such a title, you'd think it a stretch, but Meyers' approach and respect for the subject is convincing for anyone who makes it past the Prologue.

This book attempts to dissect, as the previous sentence begins to describe, the human side of Jesus and the deity which was created in his remembrance. Jesus the human was about peace, unconditional love, inclusiveness, aiding the sick and the poor, forgiving, and fellowship. The deity, on the other hand, is much more about commandments and rules, practices and rituals, do's and don'ts. Dr. Meyers points out that merely believing in Jesus has no impact on our daily lives. Following Jesus, though, can change everything.

Dr. Meyers seeks to find the common ground in all the divisiveness and debate about religion.
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111 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Gossett on March 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Every so often, a book comes into my life and acts like the hand that shakes a snow globe, disturbing all of the molecules of my existence and rearranging my internal landscape. My college Intro to New Testament class textbook, Henri Nouwen's Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life, Parker Palmer's To Know as We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey, and a handful of others have gone beyond being engaging or thought-provoking to being truly transformational forces in my life. To that short list, I'll now add a new one: Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus by Robin R. Meyers. It's a book that really should come with a warning label on it, like, "This book will either change your life, your ministry, your faith, your friendships, and just about everything else...or, you'll be too afraid to let it do so!"

Meyers, the pastor of Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City and the author of four books, surveys the state of the church and of contemporary Christianity--conservative and liberal--and doesn't think much of it is in sync with the message of Jesus. The bottom line for Meyers is that the church has overemphasized belief rather than actions that indicate one is following Jesus, and each chapter points us in the right direction.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Anna Katerine on September 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
I really loved this book. Robin Meyers liberates Jesus from the stiffling straightjacket of being a god to being a man who believed in God and saw life in God as something to be lived. Meyers makes the point over and over again that not only is a literal view of the bible untenible, it reduces humans to only being interested in what it takes for their own personal "rescue", not to mention what it says about a god if there is one. Biblical scholarship makes it plain that the ideas of Jesus as god were added later, and I agree with Meyers and others like him that this was a litergy meant to explain, in the understanding of people at that time, their feeling of what Jesus was. Anyone who wants to believe in a god that kills for the price of his favor is welcome to their tribal and evil god. Anyone raised in the church was given the belief that Jesus is god, that he came here on a rescue mission, and the only thing that counts is that you say the right things so god gives you a ticket to the good side of the park when you die. What if Meyers and others are right and that view was wrong? Christianity started as an offshoot of judaism. Perhaps it is time to consider the background Jesus came from when looking at what he represented.

Although most religious people will see Meyers views as stripping the mystery out of God, I believe it restores it. Remember, people, Jesus was not a christian!!! It is shocking how many christians believe that Jesus was not jewish. He was a jewish man raised in the jewish vision of god, and he took that understanding to a higher level by insisting that living through the prisim of, not a merciful god but a loving god, should inform decisions about how to live.
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