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Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics to Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb Paperback – January 20, 2017
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"Jesus Untangled is a clarion call for Christians towake up to the many ways we have compromised our distinct calling as citizensof the kingdom of God by becoming entangled with the affairs of the kingdom ofthe world. It is a prophetic call for us to remember, and to never againforget, that we are soldiers of God's kingdom." - Greg Boyd, author "The Myth of a Christian Nation."
"If you can't stand being challenged, only affirmed, well don't read this book! Keith will make you think and re-think. Jesus Untangled is a helpful corrective to a tragic mistake made by both the Christian right and the Christian left: Confusing our own politics with the beautiful, transcendent mission of the church." - Brant Hansen, radio host and author of "Unoffendable."
"Jesus Untangled touches some of the most sensitive nerves in the religious world. You may struggle deeply with some of the details he presents, but Keith Giles does a superb job of uncovering the lie that wraps the flag or national symbol of any country around Jesus. Our allegiance is only to the Lamb of God." - Jon Zens, author, teacher and New Testament scholar.
"In Jesus Untangled Keith Giles has put into words the cries and moans my heart has been making for years. This book could have been called Jesus Unstrangled because Keith is pumping oxygen back into our relationship with Christ and helping release the chokehold of American Churchianity. If your blood runs red, white, and blue while your faith sits meek and mild then I dare you to read this book!" -- Kent C. Williamson, Emmy nominated director of "By War & By God."
About the Author
Keith Giles is a former pastor who abandoned the pulpit to follow Jesus, and ended up founding a church where 100% of the offering is given away to help the poor in his surrounding community. He lives in Orange, California with his wife and two sons.
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This book also reminds us that the Christian world is much bigger than and the majority of Christ’s followers in this world are NOT American and as such are not acquainted with American idealism, party politics and certain political agendas. This means we need to understand that when a non-American becomes a believer, they won’t necessarily want to suddenly become a right wing evangelical. We likewise need to also understand that not every bible believing Christian in America is a right wing Republican either.
While this is a good book, it falls just a little bit short in my opinion because it only goes half way. In rightly warning us about the dangers of entangling our faith with the beliefs of political right, Keith seems to have completely forgotten that the political spectrum has two wings. While he is absolutely right to excoriate the political right like he has, he needs to do much more than giving the political left a somewhat indifferent in passing, “oh by the way” as he has here.
That is why this book demands a sequel. I would propose calling it “Jesus Totally Untangled!” In his next volume Keith should investigate and uncover the virtue signaling do-gooders of the phony political left who shamelessly puff themselves up as good people whilst looking down their noses at anyone and everyone who might disagree with them just like the Pharisee who publicly shamed the publican in Luke 18 for the hypocrites they truly are. Jesus had an awful lot to say about hypocrites and the charlatans on the political left likewise need to be called out and thoroughly exposed as well.
As Keith often asks: “What do you get when you mix religion and politics?” The answer to that question is of course, “Politics!” Put another way, mixing the two is both perverse and dangerous because the relationship is anything but symbiotic and only politics survives. That is why as followers of Christ we should put away all politics, left or right and even when it pertains to those issues we just so happen to agree with. When it comes to politicians and politics, it might be permissible for the Christian to criticize but to endorse, even tepidly, is another thing altogether!
Early Anabaptist leader Michael Sattler often cautioned his followers to be wary of and to avoid the leaven of the “Scribes and the Pharisees.” In Sattler’s description of the two, the scribes were strict traditionalists who couldn’t make the step of separating their faith from the patronage and protection of the state. They could very easily be likened to our modern day star spangled right wing evangelical conservatives. As for Sattler’s Pharisees, they were too concerned with their own self-righteous attitudes and equally perverse in his opinion. They compare very well to today’s virtue signaling holier-than-thou folks on the political left.
I think that Keith Giles is right when he asserts the idea that followers of Jesus should disentangle themselves with the political affairs of this world but, in the process of disengaging with either the political right or left, it’s important that they take great care so as not to become ensnared by the other side in the process. That is why this book, though quite good, demands further untangling to make it a complete work!
Millennia of human empires and governments have proven that holding the power to govern has never been and is never going to be the solution to society’s ills and the issues our nation faces. Keith reminds us that the only answer is the one God offers: Christ. In fact, Christ Himself is our example in avoiding being caught up in the politics and issues that surround us. When Satan offered the kingdoms of the world to Him, Jesus refused the temptation of political/governmental power saying, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” (Matt. 4:10b, NIV) In Jesus Untangled we're cautioned to avoid becoming entangled with any political party—whether right, left, or center—because, as followers of Christ, we stand with him, not with those in political power.
Keith highlights what the body of Christ looks like when we only serve one master: We live “lives that are radically different from everyone who is not of our Father’s Kingdom." We let go of our nationalism and tribalism and see ourselves only as citizens of His Kingdom. And we can truthfully say: “My only identity is in Christ. The rest of me died when I took up my cross to follow Him.”
I grew up in a military family and was comfortable with the fact that my own faith was deeply entangled with patriotism. But, after many years as a believer, that began to change as I continued on my spiritual journey seeking what it means to truly follow Christ. Jesus Untangled is a terrific affirmation of what I’ve been learning on this journey, and I find myself pondering with real appreciation Keith’s POV in areas that I'm still working through.
I recommend this book for anyone who follows Christ and give it 4.5 stars, which is high praise indeed from me.
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Most recent customer reviews
Well written and very informative.