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Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith Paperback – June 1, 2009
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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"Digging through the ruins of a `house built on sand,' Glenn Packiam lays bare the shameless lies of a way of religion that is without foundations in Jesus or Scripture. But it is far more than exposé. This is an honest, personal, detailed story of a Christian leader refusing cynicism and embracing forgiveness and hope." --Eugene H. Peterson, professor emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
“What a great read! Page after page I found myself hooked. Glenn has written a book that not only engaged my mind, but also made my heart beat faster for Jesus.” --David Nasser, author and speaker
“Glenn Packiam is not only a gifted songwriter and worship leader, penning songs that capture the heart of our generation, but he is also a gifted writer whose textured voice needs to be heard. Secondhand Jesus is a much-needed challenge for every believer to embrace knowing God like they never have before.” --Margaret Feinberg, popular speaker and author of Scouting the Divine
"Glenn Packiam is not only a gifted songwriter and worship leader, penning songs that capture the heart of our generation, but he is also a gifted writer whose textured voice needs to be heard. Secondhand Jesus is a much-needed challenge for every believer to embrace knowing God like they never have before."
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In his Forward Glenn Packiam writes, "It's a clear-eyed and unflinching look at how Christians, pastors included, miss Jesus and misrepresent Him. It's a ruthless and yet loving critique of how often we, with all the best of intentions, redefine what it means to know Jesus and worship Him alone."
That's the best review of this book I can find. I do study and read daily from the bible and many other books and I've gained an insight on how often we only hear about the happy side of Christianity, there aren't many ministers who will take us to task for not doing what God has asked us to do. People want a religion that does not challenge them, they want to put a few dollars in the collection plate each Sunday and that completes their duty to God for the week.
I've realized that being a Christian is a whole lot more than we know or were ever told. This book is a great start in gaining an insight into just what we as Christians should be doing and thinking and how we have been led to believe that the washed down sanitized version of God and Christ is just what we need.
The book goes on to draw parallels between the false rumours about God that we are tempted to believe and the manner in which the ark of the covenant was treated:
* God will give me what I want: The Israelites thought that the ark would make them win their battles until it was captured by the Philistines.
* God can be added to my list of loyalties: The Philistines thought that the ark could be added to their other gods until the chief god Dagon fell prostrate before it.
* God is pleased with my goodness: When the ark was returned, many Israelites were killed after disrespecting God's holiness by looking inside it.
* God prefers specialists: Uzzah died after the cart was carried on a cart instead of being carried personally by priests; and in the same way God is not pleased when we delegate the work of "carrying" him to specialist priests and pastors, rather than relating to him personally.
It often takes a catastrophic event for us to stop believing the rumours and start believing God; for the author it was the very public moral failure of his senior pastor followed by a shooting at the church that caused him to re-evaluate his faith.
So what does the book urge us to do? Ironically, as the author acknowledges, our tendency as believers is to respond to God's grace with our own work and effort, and so the reader will be working out how he or she can work harder, be better, read the Bible more, or do some other Christian duty that needs more attention. The only way to respond to God's invitation is to draw near in worship. This is a well-written and engaging book, and I highly recommend it.
The book reminds us that God is God and we are not -- that He is holy, separate, sovereign, and not there to serve our whims or ensure we have good parking spaces when we go to the mall. Packiam demonstrates this by giving personal accounts of his own spiritual journey and by retelling biblical stories, making them come to life. He reminds us of God's holiness by spending time discussing the Ark of the Covenant, specifically the folly of thinking you can "use" it for your purposes. As Packiam unfolds this, he gives the best explanation of the death of Uzzah that I've ever heard. Perhaps it's a common explanation, but it never clicked in my head until I read Chapter 9, Carts.
This book would be a good read for someone who is beginning to question the shallowness of some Christian media presentations. It would be challenging to read for someone who feels God lives to make our lives pleasant. It would be a healthy read for anyone who wants to or needs to see God more accurately.
I believe the message in this book is relevant whether it was read 5 years ago, today or will be read 20 years from now. It is something we, as children of God, need to think about constantly. I have recommended this book to others and will continue to do so. I plan on purchasing more used copies through Amazon to give away.
This book is well worth the read! It can be a life-changing experience if read with an open heart and mind. God bless you!
Most recent customer reviews
-Extremely Jesus centered but at the same time hits a lot of major topics
-Very well written and well organized
-Challenges and sums up very...Read more