The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything [NOOK Book]

Overview

When Brian McLaren began offering an alternative vision of Christian faith and life in books such as A New Kind of Christian and A Generous Orthodoxy, he ignited a firestorm of praise and condemnation that continues to spread across the religious landscape. To some religious conservatives, McLaren is a dangerous rebel without a doctrinally-correct cause. Some fundamentalist websites have even claimed he's in league with the devil and have ...

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The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything

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Overview

When Brian McLaren began offering an alternative vision of Christian faith and life in books such as A New Kind of Christian and A Generous Orthodoxy, he ignited a firestorm of praise and condemnation that continues to spread across the religious landscape. To some religious conservatives, McLaren is a dangerous rebel without a doctrinally-correct cause. Some fundamentalist websites have even claimed he's in league with the devil and have consigned him to flames.


To others though, Brian is a fresh voice, a welcome antidote to the staleness, superficiality, and negativity of the religious status quo. A wide array of people from Evangelical, Catholic, and Mainline Protestant backgrounds claim that through his books they have begun to rediscover the faith they'd lost or rejected. And around the world, many readers say that he has helped them find-for the first time in their lives-a faith that makes sense and rings true. For many, he articulates the promise of what is being called "emerging Christianity."


In The Secret Message of Jesus you'll find what's at the center of Brian's critique of conventional Christianity, and what's at the heart of his expanding vision. In the process, you'll meet a Jesus who may be altogether new to you, a Jesus who is…



  • Not the crusading conqueror of religious broadcasting;

  • Not the religious mascot of partisan religion;

  • Not heaven's ticket-checker, whose words have been commandeered by the church to include and exclude, judge and stigmatize, pacify and domesticate.

McLaren invites you to discover afresh the transforming message of Jesus-an open invitation to radical change, an enlightening revelation that exposes sham and ignites hope, an epic story that is good news for everyone, whatever their gender, race, class, politics, or religion.


 "Pastor and best-selling author McLaren revisits the gospel material from a fresh-and at times radical-perspective . . . He does an excellent job of capturing Jesus' quiet, revolutionary style."


--Publishers Weekly (starred review)


"Here McLaren shares his own ferocious journey in pondering the teachings and actions of Jesus. It is McLaren's lack of salesmanship or agenda that creates a refreshing picture of the man from Galilee who changed history."


--Donald Miller, Author of Blue Like Jazz


"In this critical book, Brian challenges us to ask what it would mean to truly live the message of Jesus today, and thus to risk turning everything upside down."


--Jim Wallis, Author of God's Politics and editor of Sojourners


"Compelling, crucial and liberating: a book for those who seek to experience the blessed heat of Christianity at its source."


--Anne Rice, Author of Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Through the years, I have frequently had an uncomfortable feeling that the portrait of Jesus I found in the New Testament didn't fit with the images of Jesus in the church." Eventually, this unsettling feeling led evangelist Brian McLaren to begin a quest for the essential message of the Nazarene's life and work. The Secret Message of Jesus promises no Da Vinci Code–like revelations of cover-ups or conspiracy; instead it offers an honest exploration of bedrock Christian truths that even hard-core believers often neglect.
Publishers Weekly
Pastor and bestselling author McLaren (A New Kind of Christian) explores Jesus's teaching in this book, placing it in its Jewish context, analyzing its tenets and expression, and trying to work out how it should be lived today. McLaren starts with the assumption that the church may not have accurately understood Jesus's "secret message" (hidden "as a treasure one must seek in order to find"). He revisits the gospel material from a fresh-and at times radical-perspective. The church has focused on salvation as a means to "heaven after you die" for too long, according to McLaren; we should take Jesus at his word when he says "the kingdom of God is here now," and work to assist that kingdom by being peacemakers and loving others. McLaren admits to not exploring every topic here in depth, in an effort to keep the book brief, but he does an excellent job of capturing Jesus's quiet, revolutionary style-the prophet who spoke in parables, who didn't want people to talk about his miracles, who challenged established Jewish thought, and paradoxically found ultimate fulfillment and victory through death. Conservative evangelicals will be critical of some points (and there are weaknesses here), but this book will appeal to a broad spectrum of people who want to understand Jesus. (Apr. 4) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The Secret Message of Jesus is a book that could change everything, if only it were first read and then followed. McLaren, the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Washington-Baltimore area and a sought-after speaker and writer, here offers a fresh, nonhypocritical, outside-the-box approach and wise understanding to one of the essential messages taught by Jesus Christ (never mind that this "secret" had been uncovered decades ago and is already taught by many Christians throughout the world). Written with the same warm and sincere style as his previous A New Kind of Christian and A Generous Orthodoxy, this book has great potential to alleviate fear, hate, and marginalization. Mainstream Christendom has long needed a fresh start or renewal, and McLaren is calling for a Christian theology that has no barriers to creed, race, or nationality and that is synonymous with Thomas P. Rausch's thoughts in Towards a Truly Catholic Church. He is even bold enough to enjoin those of the Jewish, Islamic, and other traditions to participate. Highly recommended for all libraries and readers. [McLaren's two web sites-www.emergentvillage.com and www.anewkindofchristian.com-offer additional information.-Ed.]-Gary P. Gillum, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418526740
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/4/2006
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 177,459
  • File size: 528 KB

Meet the Author

Brian D. McLaren is an internationally known speaker and the author of over ten highly acclaimed books on contemporary Christianity, including A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy, and The Secret Message of Jesus.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2006

    McLaren Might Be Onto Something

    Author McLaren offers a non-traditional look at Jesus' message -- one which might lead to being able to live life more abundantly and radically change the world. While I disagree with some of the concepts that McLaren present from his contextual understanding of Greek, Hebrew and English, they are not necessarily 'improperly uses Greek, Hebrew, and English meanings which cause the misinterpretation of many words' as the previous commentator states. They are, however, a fresh and rethinking of such words using a more historically accurate context in which they where originally written. The Publishers Week and Library Journal's reviews offer a more accurate description of this book than ¿Misleading¿ does. Mainstream Christendom certainly has been in long need of a fresh start or renewal. Worth the read and worth considering -- even if you reject the concepts present in whole or in part.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2006

    Misleading

    Sadly, this book portrays the wrong perception of what a Christian should be and what Jesus' message really was. The author deliberately takes stories and events out of context to prove his perception. McLaren improperly uses Greek, Hebrew, and English meanings which cause the misinterpretation of many words, like repentance, and stories. There are books with the correct interpretation that tell the whole story and use the correct definitons. This book is not worthy of consideration due to its many false and untrue teachings. In his look for a hidden message, McLaren has totally missed it.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    Another quality writing

    Brian has set the faith community on a journey that will have far and long reaching effect on a body who is open to real growth and maturity. I count his writings as necessary as Richard Rohr and Carl McColeman. Awesome,

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Open Secret

    McLaren presents this discussion out of concern for the current generation of Americans and other Westerners who have dismissed the church and standard Christianity as out of touch, irrelevant and perverted. He discovers that a large percentage of the current population actually are very open to Jesus, even have a quite positive attitude toward Jesus, but not the Christianity as an established religious system.

    As McLaren takes a look at teaching of Jesus in the Gospels, he explores the original contexts of the life and times of Jesus. Outlining the social and political setting, he takes a look at Jesus' teachings and finds more of them make sense without the cultural and philosophical blinders that have accrued in the western culture we have inherited.

    McLaren makes sense of the radical, revolutionary message of Jesus, and portrays the dangerous role of his message of a new Rule of God that challenged the established Divine Empire of Rome with its Emperor Cult. He lays bare the Good News in this message and the radical possibilities that offers to us today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2009

    Extraordinary Writing

    This book truly changed my outlook, as well as my fundamental beliefs and understanding. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to explore the true message of Christ.

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  • Posted December 29, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Same whore, new dress

    Now that I have your attention. Even if there is some wheat in all this chaff, wading through the confusion is not worth it.<BR/><BR/>Those of us who have been around, or those who study history, will recognize McLaren's approach. There was a movement in the 19th and early 20th century that tried to recapture the "historical Jesus". In order to do that, all manner of mental, linguistic, literary, and theological gymnastics were applied to the reading of the Gospels. The Apostle Paul was largely dismissed (or wildly reinterpreted) and "new" meaning was found in the ancient story of Jesus. The practitioners of these methods came largely from a modernist and rational philosophical point of view and they told you what they did and how they reached their conclusions. What came out of that exercise was a Jesus who was a moralistic, revolutionary, compassionate, iconoclastic, reformer. Not the divine, incarnate Son of God, second Person of the Trinity. If that's not an issue, try McLaren.<BR/><BR/>McLaren reaches the same (or similar) distination by taking a psot-modern, deconstructionist route. With some assembly required, he constructs a new vision of Jesus' teaching that is winsome and beguilling if you have even a shred of sympathy and human decency. It doesn't so much make sense as feel good. His frequent use of "What if ..." and "Imagine ..." are hints that you have to abandon considerable common sense in order to adopt his reasoning. This is required, according to McLaren, because we can't possible appreciate Jesus day, language, politics, religion, economics, historical setting, yaddah, yaddah. This walk on the thoelogical "wild side" may leave one lost and disoriented, but take heart, McLaren will tell you what to think starting on about page 138 when he informs us about what Jesus would tell us if he were here today.<BR/><BR/>Mclaren is a voice of theological liberalism, cloaked in post-modern garb. He is appealing to the disaffected western, affluent, educated, idealistic but mostly ambivolent or apathetic "buster" to Gen-Y -something age group. His approach is basically a conspiracy theory against chrisendom (especially current evangelicalism), and he has gained a hearing. Many of his conclusions are note worthy, but his method of reaching them is destructive, filled with speculation, and utterly self-serving.<BR/><BR/>My modest proficiencies at biblical Greek and Hebrew tell me that McLaren is not to be trusted in the big things because he has been corrupt in the little things. His vulgar paraphase of Matthew 7 (pg. 127) is a synthesis of his own musings and a thorough going product of eisegesis at it's worst.<BR/><BR/>I can't recommend this book to anyone as it plays on sympathies and sensibilities in a very manipulative way. It is, however, a glimpe into the hazy thinking of the emergent church movement. In that regard, it is well-written and organized. The content is suspect. It made my brain hurt. A lot. Packer's "Knowing God" is a much better treatment of Jesus message - with no secrets.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2007

    A new understanding

    I heard about this book and had to read it, a new and refreshing view on Jesus' teachings.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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