Jesus Wants to Save Christians: Learning to Read a Dangerous Book

Jesus Wants to Save Christians: Learning to Read a Dangerous Book

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by Rob Bell, Don Golden
     
 

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“Bell and Golden trace redemption from Genesis to Revelation...[delivering] a tough message the American church needs to hear.”
Christianity Today

“Equal parts prophetic warning and call to action, Jesus Wants to Save Christians exhorts Jesus’s followers to sacrifice their comforts and hear the ‘cry of

Overview

“Bell and Golden trace redemption from Genesis to Revelation...[delivering] a tough message the American church needs to hear.”
Christianity Today

“Equal parts prophetic warning and call to action, Jesus Wants to Save Christians exhorts Jesus’s followers to sacrifice their comforts and hear the ‘cry of the oppressed.’”
Grand Rapids Press

In Jesus Wants to Save Christians, Rob Bell, the New York Times bestselling author of Love Wins joins with Don Golden, Christian activist and vice president of World Relief, to call upon the church to break from its cultural captivity and challenge the assumptions of the American Empire. Bell, whom the New York Times calls “one of the country’s most influential evangelical pastors” and whom Time Magazine named one of the most influential people in 2011, is a pioneer in the movement seeking new Christian expression, and anyone who has ever questioned their faith or is those looking for answers they cannot find in their own church’s standard teachings will discover a new creed in Bell and Golden’s provocative and spiritually enlightening work.

Editorial Reviews

Time Magazine
"Bell is at the forefront of a rethinking of Christianity in America."
Christianity Today
“Bell and Golden deliver a tough message the American church needs to hear.”
Time magazine
“Bell is at the forefront of a rethinking of Christianity in America.”
New York Times
“One of the country’s most influential evangelical pastors.”
USA Today
“One of the nation’s rock-star-popular young pastors.”
Boston Globe
“Rob Bell is one of the hottest names in contemporary evangelical life.”
Grand Rapids Press
“Equal parts prophetic warning and call to action, Jesus Wants to Save Christians exhorts Jesus’ followers to sacrifice their comforts and hear the ‘cry of the oppressed’-the hungry and poor about whom God cares deeply.”
Spirituality and Practice
“Bell and Golden present a clarion call for a justice emphasis within Christianity and, given the nightmarish developments in the U.S. and the world, it could not have come at a better time!”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062125842
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/24/2012
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
521,708
File size:
295 KB

Read an Excerpt

JESUS WANTS TO SAVE CHRISTIANS
A Manifesto for the Church in Exile


By Rob Bell Don Golden
Zondervan
Copyright © 2008

Rob Bell and Don Golden
All right reserved.


ISBN: 978-0-310-27502-2



Chapter One JESUS WANTS TO SAVE CHRISTIANS THE CRY OF THE OPPRESSED

The first book of the Bible ... Exodus?

Well, yes, and, of course, no.

No, because the first book of the Bible is Genesis. At least when a person picks it up and starts reading from the "in the beginning God created" part.

And yes, because many scholars see Exodus, the second book of the Bible, as the book in which the central story of redemption begins - liberation from Egypt.

Egypt, the superpower of its day, was ruled by Pharaoh, who responded to the threat of the growing number of Israelites in his country by forcing them into slavery. They had to work every day without a break, making bricks, building storehouses for Pharaoh.

Egypt is an empire,

built on the backs of Israelite slave labor,

brick by

brick by

brick.

But right away in the book of Exodus, there is a disruption. Things change. And the change begins with God saying:

"I have indeed seen the misery of my people ..."

"I have heard them crying out ..."

"I have come down to rescue them ..."

"I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them ..."

A God who sees and hears. A God who hears the cry. The Hebrew word used here for cry is sa'aq, and we find it all throughout the Bible. Sa'aq is the expression of pain, the ouch, the sound we utter when we are wounded.

But sa'aq is also a question, a question that arises out of the pain of the wound. Where is justice? Did anybody see that? Who will come to my rescue? Did anybody hear that? Or am I alone here?

Sa'aq is what Abel's blood does from the ground after he's killed by his brother.

The Israelites are oppressed, they're in misery, they're suffering - and when they cry out, God hears.

This is a God who always hears the cry.

This is central to who God is: God always hears the cry of the oppressed.

The cry inaugurates history. It kicks things in gear. It shakes things up and gets them moving. The cry is the catalyst, the cause, the reason that a new story unfolds.

But God in this story doesn't just hear the cry. God does something about it. The exodus is how God responds to the cry.

Think about your life. What are the moments that have shaped you the most? If you were to pick just a couple, what would they be? Periods of transformation, times when your eyes were opened, decisions you made that affected the rest of your life.

How many of them came when you reached the end of your rope?

When everything fell apart?

When you were confronted with your powerlessness?

When you were ready to admit your life was unmanageable?

When there was nothing left to do but cry out?

For many people, it was their cry,

their desperation,

their acknowledgment of their oppression,

that was the beginning of their liberation.

When we're on top, when the system works for us, when we are capable of managing our lives, what is there for God to do?

But the cry - the cry inaugurates redemptive history. These slaves in Egypt cry out and God hears and something new happens. Things aren't how they were. Things change.

These slaves are rescued from the oppression of Egypt.

* EGYPT

In the Bible, Egypt is a place, a country, a nation where the story begins. But it's much, much more. To understand how central Egypt is to the flow of the biblical story, we have to go back to the introduction to the Bible, to the garden of Eden.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from JESUS WANTS TO SAVE CHRISTIANS by Rob Bell Don Golden
Copyright © 2008 by Rob Bell and Don Golden. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Rob Bell is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and spiritual teacher. His books include Love Wins, How to Be Here, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, Velvet Elvis, The Zimzum of Love, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Drops Like Stars. He hosts the weekly podcast The Robcast, which was named by iTunes as one of the best of 2015. He was profiled in The New Yorker and in TIME Magazine as one of 2011’s hundred most influential people. He and his wife, Kristen, have three children and live in Los Angeles.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Date of Birth:
August 23, 1970
Place of Birth:
Lansing, Michigan
Education:
B.S., Wheaton College, 1992; M. Div., Fuller Seminary, 1995

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Jesus Wants to Save Christians 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Tom_B More than 1 year ago
Most of us know at least a few "bible stories." But precious few people in our modern times have ever endeavored to understand the bible as a complete narrative. I have studied new exodus Theology for years now and I think Rob did an excellent job presenting it in the medium he had (for another short example of this read "Jesus for President" by Shane Claiborne). I teach part time, and my students and I read the bible this way (as a narrative not as broken stories) it usually takes a year or more of regular reading, studying, and reflection to really dig into the whole biblical narrative. But here Rob presents it in an accessible way that helps to put the pieces together. In the end Rob's point, and its a good one, is that we need to adjust our lives to match our theology, NOT adjust our theology to match our way of life. I hope you find the time in your busy life to listen for God as he tries to call you out of the culture of comfort you currently live in. Grace and Peace
mickimac More than 1 year ago
As always, Rob Bell questions the traditional and uncompromising beliefs held by many modern Christians. So often held hostage by the difference in doctrines between different Christian denominations, today's Christians have much to gain by reading Rob's thoughts on the real message and mandate given to us by Christ: show compassion to all. Rob challenges Christians to go beyond the walls of their church and follow this mandate, the only true way to follow Jesus. He always insists on cutting away all the details that keep us apart, presenting in simple words the real message of the New Testament.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Guest More than 1 year ago
The content puts a fresh perspective on the Bible and its core purpose. Bell is a theological poet and uses word imagery that really impacts biblical perspective. Worth the read, plus at least one or two more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very enjoyable. Bell takes the reader on a journey of Empires, Oppression and ultimately Exodus. I love how all the insight provided into the traditions and customs of the Jewish people during both the days of Moses and Jesus and how it affects what is written in the Bible, it makes so much sense. Of course, the story doesn't just focus on past events, but places the focus on the present and what the churches responsibility is according to the scripture towards the poor and oppressed. It's an easy read, but once you finish, you'll be both inspired and challenged in your faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The content is very good. The author outlines the bible; makes it easy to understand and gives his own insights. Well thought out and put together in a very comprehensive manner.
JerryDePoyJr More than 1 year ago
Rob Bell's prophetic exhortation calls the Church to return to her original calling: to make disciples of the Resurrected Christ... This book challenges the reader to pledge allegiance to another Way, and to remember where we came from; exile to liberation. - Jerry DePoy Jr.
mcarmen-naples More than 1 year ago
It is a wonderful book, you will be thinking about .... for days and days ! It is also a great book for a book club discussion.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it would be showing something interesting in point of view. And the longer I read it the less I cared to continue, so I stopped reading it.
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