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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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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.
Readers will find the book very accessible and easy to read. The author tackles a variety of related/integrated topics that challenge the notion that the U.S. (or any country for that matter) can be "Christian." Chapter 7 (The Conspiracy of Entanglement) is especially important for those who may be numb to their own tendency to conflate the faith of Jesus with a very uniquely American approach to Christianity.
The whole book is an important reminder and warning about the dangers of getting Jesus (and loyalty to him) tangled up with loyalty to American Civil Religion. Add this one to your own library along with many others in a growing collection of books challenging followers of Jesus to hold loyalty to Him over loyalty to any other power, government, nation, idea, tribe, political party, or cause.