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Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile Hardcover – September 22, 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of Velvet Elvis and Sex God teams up with fellow pastor Golden to write a manifesto that packs as much sociopolitical zing as rhetorical punch. If Americans today miss the central message of the Bible, say the authors, the reason is that the United States is an empire like those described in Scripture that build powerful armies and seek to protect what they accumulate rather than promote justice and mercy. Chapter titles such as "Swollen-bellied black babies, soccer moms on Prozac, and the mark of the beast" will provoke many readers. Likely to get a bigger rise is the suggestion that when the Bible says enemies will one day worship together, that includes today's enemies, the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The writing is frequently paragraphed into very short chunks of prose. This dramatic book is politically charged but not party-bent, bearing a message evangelicals need: that Jesus didn't come just to save people for heaven someday but to transform his followers and the physical world now.
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From the Back Cover

'It's a book about faith and fear, wealth and war, poverty, power, safety, terror, Bibles, bombs, and homeland insecurity, It's about empty empires and the truth that everybody's a priest, it's about oppression, occupation, and what happens when Christians support, animate and participate in the very things Jesus came to set people free from. It's about what it means to be a part of the church of Jesus in a world where some people fly planes into buildings while others pick up groceries in Hummers.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310275024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310275022
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In his latest work, Jesus Wants To Save Christians, Rob Bell along with friend Don Golden reflects on the growing differences between the message of the Gospel as found in the Bible, and the message of the gospel as preached in many Western churches each Sunday.

No doubt the criticisms will come that this book is anti-American, or un-Patriotic as Bell portrays America's growing global empire by way of comparison with other global empires of their time. The comparison is chilling and leaves the reader thinking, "what the heck are we doing?? Is this what Jesus wants for our nation??".

Rob Bell is in essence calling for Reformation in the Church. It is a timely and indeed Prophetic book that calls out the mischief of the war-makers and calls the Bride back to its roots and a message of grace and redemption. Something that will no doubt grate painfully with many right-wing pseudo-Conservative "christians" that see foreign enemies as the real cause of our problems, rather that those domestic enemies Thomas Jefferson warned us of.

Calling things as they really are and shining the light of Kingdom truth on where we are headed as a nation is something few men are brave enough to do. This book will challenge you to reflect on your own faith and ask yourself hard questions about your day to day opinions of war and terrorism and what our response as Followers of Christ should be.

A Manifesto For the Church In Exile. The sub title is extremely fitting. This book should go hand in hand with another Manifesto written by a Christian, that of Congressman Dr. Ron Paul; The Revolution: A Manifesto.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I finished this book last night, and I continue to hold to my stance that even if you do not totally agree with Rob Bell's theology he always brings up some very good points that are worth think about and discussing. This book is a collaborative work of Rob Bell Teaching Pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids and the former Lead Pastor of said church Don Golden on the current exile of the Church in America.

The point and ideas that Rob and Don make in this book are clear and simple enough that I do not want to ruin it with a shoddy summary but I do encourage you to read this book. Bell is known to sometimes make links and correlations between New and Old Testament that are sometimes thin at best. And there are a few of those, also in one biblical reference he confuses Philip the Evangelist with the Apostle Philip, but small little things like this do not take away from the fact that Rob Bell & Don Golden bring forth some very interesting ideas that can really make you reevaluate what you think your position in the world is.

There are people who love everything Rob Bell writes or speaks about, they will enjoy this book. There are people who hate everything thing Rob Bell writes or speaks about, they will dislike the book and probably find hundred's of things wrong with it. Then, there are those of us to listen to Bell, and agree with him on some things and disagree with him on others. I get the feeling that is the kind of reader or listener he enjoys the most. Bell & Golden don't ever claim to have everything right, but they do want to ask questions and encourage people to think and do. If you read this book with an open and without preconceived notions this book should deliver that for you.
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Format: Hardcover
To be honest, I have tried to like Rob Bell's work many times without much luck. That's probably a bad way to start a review.

I'm not a Bell-basher, but I'm not a fan either; I understand his appeal, but it doesn't appeal to me; I have been to his church, I know some people there, and I like them and have enjoyed worshiping at Mars Hill.

Many who haven't read Rob Bell's books are at least familiar with the phenomenally successful series of short films called Nooma (which are quite good). Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile is the third of his provocatively titled books - the previous two being Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith (my review) and Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality.

If you've ever heard Bell speak, it's easy to hear his voice when you read his books - his pacing, pauses, and emphases are communicated well by the format of the text. The size and outside cover designs are clever and appealing, making them nice books to be seen with.

In Jesus Wants to Save Christians Bell uses the motif of exile to illustrate the condition of God's people at present and in times past, drawing parallels between the two. Exile, by Bell's definition, is "when you fail to convert your blessings into blessings for others... [and] when you find yourself a stranger to the purposes of God."

Bell wisely recommends that, "a Christian should get very nervous when the flag and the Bible start holding hands. This is not a romance we want to encourage." And adds: "For a growing number of people in our world, it appears that many Christians support some of the very things Jesus came to set people free from.
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