I just finished reading “Jesus Wants to Save Christians” by Rob Bell and Don Golden. I must admit that I am a bit of a Rob Bell fan–I really enjoyed Velvet Elvis, and his Nooma video series rocks. I really enjoyed this new book, and I’m giving away three copies today! Read on to find out more…
His newest project takes a look at the Old Testament, and points out how eerily relevant it is to our modern-day world. He provides a fresh look at the book of Exodus, and the journeys of God’s people into and out of exile. His premise is that the church today is in exile, which he says is “what happens when you still have the power and the wealth and the influence, and yet in some way you’ve blown it because youu’ve forgotten why you were given it in the first place. … Exile is when you forget your story.”
A few months back I read Brian McLaren’s “Everything Must Change” and this book makes many of the same points, but in a much clearer and more concise way.
Bell and Golden write: “America is an empire. And the Bible has alot to say about empires. Most of the Bible is a history told by people living in lands occupied by conquering superpowers. It’s a book written from the underside of power. It’s an oppression narrative. the majority of the Bible was written by a minority people living under the rule and reigh of massive, mighter empires…This can make the Bible a very difficult book to understand if you are reading it as a citzen of the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Without careful study and reflection, and humility, it may even be possible to miss the central themes of the Scriptures.”
More and more, I’m convinced that if God has blessed our country, it is so that we can bless others. Not so that we can be smug or clueless about the suffering of others. As Bell writes, “Jesus wants to save our church from the exile of irrelevance. If we have any resources, any power, any voice, any influence, any energy, we must convert them into blessing for those who have no power, no voice, no influence.”
In light of all that’s going on in the world, even if you don’t agree with this book, I think it is important to read it. It challenged my assumptions and changed my perspective on Scripture and on world events.
I’ll send a free copy of Jesus Wants to Save Christians to the first three people to comment on this post. I’d love to have you read it and tell me what you think!