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Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus Hardcover – February 24, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews

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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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Stated First Edition First Printing edition (February 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006156821X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061568213
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #992,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
Despite the Scriptural warning about "lukewarmness" in Christians, I ended up feeling lukewarm about this book and it gets a lukewarm review.

Let me start by noting for the record that several reviewers may not have actually read the book, for they identify Robin Meyers as a "she". That was good for a chuckle.

I'd give his book five stars "if only" the preponderance concerned what we, as 21st. century Christians, should be and should be about. This is where the book shines.

But Meyers insists on "debunking" a number of traditional Christian doctrines -- and the substitution of others he finds more palatable. He evidently feels demolishing old beliefs is a prerequisite for changing how Christians do ministry in the world.

I'd be happier with a less scorched-earth approach. Meyers doesn't need to throw the baby Jesus out with the baptismal bathwater in order to make his point about modern-day lay ministry and where it clearly could stand some improvement.

Although his heart and spirit are in the right place, I'm not so sure about his head (as evinced by his argumentative writing style). He constantly portrays things in dichotomies (even after warning us to beware of "terminal false" dichotomies). He seems unable to acknowledge any middle ground, and in the real world, the middle ground is where most of us stand.

It's easy to ascribe this mindset to decades of being a progressive pastor in a State full of fundamentalists; it's hard to imagine him not developing a degree of "siege mentality". But he, or his editor, should've kept it under better control -- since he's writing for a mass market that likely doesn't see things in his preferred subtle hues of black and white.
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