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Discovering The God Imagination: Reconstructing A Whole New Christianity Paperback – July 1, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


In Discovering the God Imagination, Brink asks the hard questions about sin and atonement with not only humility, but also with candor, honesty. forthrightness, and clarity.
--Phyllis Tickle

Jonathan Brink has given us a gift, a Gospel gift.  In this well written and honest book he walks us back into the story of God and what we discover is both revolutionary and at the same time obvious.
--Doug Pagitt

About the Author

Jonathan Brink is an author, spiritual formation coach, speaker and consultant. He is the Managing Director of Thrive, a process for engaging the Way of Jesus. Jonathan holds a BA in Bible from William Jessup University and an MA in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. Contact: www.jonathanbrink.com

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453650741
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453650745
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,019,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Elizabeth B. Dyer on August 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you have ever had trouble reconciling traditional atonement theories with an all powerful God who loves unconditionally you should read this book. Jonathan Brink suggests that we have misunderstood the gospel. He backs up his theory with scripture (his knowledge of scripture is impressive) and his explanations fit with what I know about scripture and God - so much that I found myself repeatedly thining "why didn't I think of that before".

The question "what is the gospel?" is at the very heart of Christianity and our answer to the question most certainly impacts the way we live out our faith. This is a great opportunity for us to join in an important conversation about the gospel, the problem God wants to solve for us and what it means to be a part of the solution.

As you read through Discovering The God Imagination I think you will find yourself having a lot of "aha" moments.

I highly recommend the book.
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Format: Paperback
Jonathan opens up a very important conversation with the suggestions in his book. Whether someone believes or not, this is simply a conversation worth joining. I planned to submit more of a "book review" and instead I felt led to share from more of a personal journey.

Jonathan's book says, "The only way to lose what is true is to lose God's perspective, to lose the objective basis for judgment...And all we have is our relative experience that resides as data...The very thing we use to base truth on becomes relative, and we suffer the consequences."

I spent many years avoiding the Bible even though I considered myself a very spiritual person, and often prayed many times throughout the day. The stories/lessons in the Bible did not add up for me. I wanted to know more. I wanted to ask more questions about the things that seemed impossible, and there were so many traditional beliefs that I was "taught" to just accept as truth and challenging it was considered rebellious.

Until I experienced a very bad marriage and even worse divorce, I hadn't truly connected on a very deep level with God where I could call it a relationship. I realized, through my restoration process, that my deepening relationship with God was opening up simple truths for me. I began to become interested in what love really is, what the true meaning and practice of Grace is, what it means to love your neighbor, how to really let go of guilt after praying for forgiveness and answers to many more simple questions about things I was just told how to believe, from Church, family, friends and the more traditional beliefs. I wanted to feel it. I didn't want to just read it. Even then, I continued to be intimidated by the complexity of the Bible and feared my own misinterpretations.
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Format: Paperback
I agree with Jonathan Brink that there are flaws in how we view God.
That God created us but shortly after allowed us to be tricked by Satan and became evil at the core.
That God could not be in a relationship with his children anymore... that he couldn't love us since we were by nature evil.
That God's judgment towards us will now be one of eternal torment.
That the only way God could get us back was by killing his own son.

Jonathan Brink lists a number of concerns from this story we have created. I have wrestled with the same concerns. Basically it just doesn't paint a picture of a God who loves me the way I am. It's a God I should fear, but not a God to get too close with.

Jonathan Brink proposes we have misread the story. That the fall in the garden wasn't so much us becoming evil, but us losing sight of the good that we are. We have been tricked into viewing ourselves as evil. But we are still the good that God created. We need to understand that God always loves us, that God always sees the good in us - the good that he created - in His own image.

I love that Jonathan Brink is encouraging Christ followers to revisit this topic. I'd love to see more people engaging in the discussion.

The way I've personally sorted it out is this: I'm not sure if we have created the right questions. I'm not sure if we need to decide if our nature is basically good, or basically evil. I'm not convinced that was one of the big questions the writers of Scripture were attempting to answer. I tend to think of us as children. Yes children can do evil selfish things, but they are also capable of doing loving unselfish things.
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Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered how God came up with ... well, everything?

During my two days at Big Tent Christianity, I picked up a review copy of Jonathan Brink`s Discovering the God Imagination. I'm glad I did.

Many of the books I review here are from publishing houses that don't necessarily cater to my type of Christianity, but I fully believe in trying to understand all sides of an issue, and I believe many of them inform why I believe what I believe.

This book, however, spoke to me in a way that few books have. I have wrestled for a long time with issues of theology. Even before I knew what it meant to wrestle with issues of theology, I questioned and wondered and asked. (Far too few people wonder nowadays, don't you think?)

There are so many things about "popular" Christianity that just don't line up. Beyond Biblical contradictions, beyond conservative vs. liberal, beyond the sexuality question -- some things don't line up about God.

In this book, Brink addresses many of the questions I've been struggling with for years. And he does it in a new way! I have found many theologians, colleagues, classmates, professors, who have the same struggles and questions that I do, but their resolutions are unfinished and at times unsettling.

If God is love, if God is peace, if God is the great Parent, then why does God intend God's only son Jesus to die a violent, horrific death on the cross? How does that act forgive sins? And why does that only come around thousands of years after the first "sin" is committed?

Those are the questions I have struggled with for many years, and the kinds of questions that turn people away from God and religion.
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