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A Farewell to Mars: An Evangelical Pastor's Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace

4.36  ·  Rating Details ·  627 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
We know Jesus the Savior, but have we met Jesus, Prince of Peace? When did we accept vengeance as an acceptable part of the Christian life? How did violence and power seep into our understanding of faith and grace? For those troubled by this trend toward the sword, perhaps there is a better way. What if the message of Jesus differs radically from the drumbeats of war we ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 1st 2014 by David C. Cook
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Zach Anderson
Jun 06, 2014 Zach Anderson rated it it was amazing
Pardon my French, but holy crap! Okay, well that wasn't French. However, this book is one of the best books I have ever read. I'm a 4th generation Pentecostal/Charismatic believer, I've been in the ministry for 5 years, and I've been saved for 15 years. I'm the Pastor of a Campus Ministry, and have been running in Word of Faith circles for the last 13 years or so, therefore I was very easily able to identify where Brian was coming from. This book is absolutely amazing. Around February I was ...more
A quintessential vision of the Peaceable Kingdom of Jesus & an invitation to lay down our swords & turn them in plowshares.

The last full paragraph...

"I know what the cynics will say. I know how the scoffers will sneer. I know the non-dreamers believing only in the brutal ways of force will laugh me off as impossibly naive. But I don’t care. I’ve grown immune to their strain of unbelief. I’ve turned a corner. I believe that what Isaiah dreamed of, Jesus died for. I believe that what Isai
Rick Lee James
May 31, 2014 Rick Lee James rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading A Farewell To Mars. This is one of the most needed books I have ever read. It resonates so much with what I believe Jesus is saying to His church. I hope every pastor in America will read it because the Gospel of Peace is in fact the Gospel of Jesus. It's as deep as any book by Hauerwas or Yoder that I've ever read but infinitely more readable for the lay person. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the words in this book are the utterances of a prophet. However, as with ...more
Ty Melgren
Dec 27, 2014 Ty Melgren rated it liked it
"We forget that when we see Christ dead upon the cross, we discover a God who would rather die than kill his enemies."

I like the title of this book a lot. It's a Missouri guy, like me, trying to convince american christians that war and nationalism are completely at odds with everything Jesus said and did.

There's good ideas in here, but it's mostly stuff that's seemed obvious to me for a long time, and while reading this I kept thinking yeah yeah, i know, i've read the gospels, i've read Walt
Chris Bennett
Jun 21, 2014 Chris Bennett rated it really liked it
Compelling. Unsettling. A necessary conversation-starter for a church draped in "old glory."
Jul 20, 2014 David rated it really liked it
For me, as for many Christians in America, it has often been difficult to separate our commitments to Jesus and our patriotism as Americans. I remember singing songs to the greatness of America at church around national holidays. More recently, I remember being at a Christian conference that recognized a national holiday with a powerpoint presentation that seemed to praise American warplanes.

Brian Zahnd seems to have a similar history. In his book A Farewell to Mars, he tells much of his story.
Henk-Jan van der Klis
Jul 03, 2014 Henk-Jan van der Klis rated it it was amazing
Modern evangelical Christians stripped Jesus Christ to only being the part of the Godhead, a personal Savior that forgives our sins and grants us a ticket to heaven. What did we make of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, as e.g. Isiah prophesied, and Jesus Christ himself spoke of in the Gospels? When and why did we accept warfare in the name of God, vengeance and us versus them thinking? Brian Zahn rediscovered the missing pieces in his understanding of the Bible, repented from the war prayers he ...more
Robert Martin
Aug 21, 2016 Robert Martin rated it it was amazing
There are two wars going on in our world right now. The first is the obvious one against terrorism and the brutality of fanaticism in the Middle East. The second, though, is being fought in the hearts and minds of Christians the world over. Specifically, it is a fight to end our addiction to "good" violence, of our implicit blessing of war and even personal violence in the name of Jesus.

This book is, with tongue in cheek, the first really significant shot fired in this war, confessing a bloody p
Chris Williams
Oct 10, 2014 Chris Williams rated it did not like it
Zahnd, whose "Beauty Will Save the World" is fantastic, rants incoherently and cherry-picks from other philosophers and historians. There is an important discussion to be had about Christianity, peace, and the dangers of nationalism. But Zahnd seems to think that pacifism is not just a part of Christianity (and I'm a bit hesitant to totally accept that), but the central point of it. And it reeks of the ranting of someone who was once a conservative nationalist who has now become a liberal and ...more
Tim McLaughlin
Jun 06, 2014 Tim McLaughlin rated it liked it
It had a lot of really solid teaching and ideas. Some of the exegesis seemed a bit contrived and was not adequately supported, and his descriptions of Pilate seem to be built almost entirely on a fictional work he cites at length in the beginning despite the fact that we have enough historical data to have been more clear and accurate about him. But I think he makes his overall case well, and while significant review of some of his more nuanced interpretations is advised, I would strongly ...more
John Kelley
Aug 26, 2014 John Kelley rated it it was amazing
This book is utterly amazing! It completely reformulated my views on violence and I can't even comprehend how blinded I was before reading this book! This book is truly God inspired and removes the patriotic blinders that many of us read scripture through! This book is amazing and Brian Zahnd has truly been given a great revelation! My only wish is that he would have explained if/why wars of self-defense or defense of another is wrong or not.
Todd Wilhelm
Nov 24, 2014 Todd Wilhelm rated it it was amazing
"I think I caught a glimpse of truth out of the corner of my eye
A ghost, a whisper, a suspicion, a subtle and subversive rumor
So dangerous that every army would be commanded to march against it
So beautiful that it would drive those who see it to madness
Or sanity..."

-A poem by Brian Zahnd. See the link below for the full poem.

If you wish to read a book that will challenge your traditional American view of Christ and His kingdom you may wish to read this boo
Jenniet Galvan
Jun 25, 2014 Jenniet Galvan rated it it was amazing
I like books that make me think. And if they make me think deeply they get five stars. I like to think outside the box, especially the evangelical box that I kind of fell into during my 20s, quite happily I might add. I hope that Christians that are in their boxes, might peek outside and take a chance on having some of your deeply held idols obliterated. To me, this book is simply about following Jesus, taking a hard look at yourself and deciding if you are truly following the real Jesus or the ...more
Geoff Glenister
Mar 06, 2015 Geoff Glenister rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The cross is shock therapy for a world addicted to solving its problems through violence. The cross shocks us into the devastating realization that our system of violence murdered God!

I am not even sure what to say about this book. It surprised me, in more ways than one, and I am a bit overwhelmed after finishing it today.

I read a lot of books - I read a lot of difficult, very scholarly books. So, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't expecting this book to be so good. I read one user's review of th
Jul 27, 2014 Lon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favs
This might be the most important book I've read in the last couple of years. And, that is saying something. I've read some good books, by great authors. Every chapter Zahnd opened the scriptures to me in fresh ways. I've read Yoder, Brueggemann, Hauerwas, Girard; but Zahnd described Jesus' politics and this world's fundamental evil in such a way that it was made clear and convicting. Jesus told Pilate, his brothers, Caiphas, and Jews in Jerusalem that his kingdom did not work like theirs (or ...more
Derek Jordan
Feb 17, 2015 Derek Jordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All lives matter

This book captures an attitude of peace in the world that should be clearly seen in the scriptures. Maybe Brian could be reaching a bit with some of his arguments,but ultimately he is right in that we should be peacemakers.

The God of war should be left in our dust and we need to change our minds from one that sees the strong as right just because they beat up someone else.

I accepted Christ when I was 16 and I knew my life needed to be different after I did. Even then I was unsure
Barbara Blackburn
Aug 01, 2014 Barbara Blackburn rated it it was amazing
Absolutely groundbreaking and earth-shaking for me. It resonated with the idea that has been burning in my soul for so long, that to truly follow Jesus means actually listening to him, and what he said. It is not using him as a ticket out of hell, it is respecting him, loving him, listening and respecting him and seeing that his way is the way of Peace. Too long we've made him our puppet - forcing him to approve of our warlike, bloodthirsty utterly sinful quest for revenge and/or dominance.

John Powell
Jul 10, 2016 John Powell rated it really liked it
This book will challenge you even if you don't expect it to.

I'd seen Brian Zahnd quotes floating around, and I liked them, so I thought I'd check out this book. I expected to agree with everything he said - which was mostly true. But I was deluded in thinking that because I already agreed with him, the book would simply affirm me where I am. Wow, was I wrong.

This book will challenge you where the rubber meets the road. Sure I believe in Jesus. Yes, He is the Prince of Peace. Really? Then how doe
Aug 16, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
I usually reserve five stars for works of great literary merit. I have given five stars to A FAREWELL TO MARS in spite of the fact that it is not bound to become a classic. I give it five stars because of the eloquent passion and courage with which author Brian Zahnd voices Jesus' teachings about war. Zahnd writes confessionally, convincingly, biblically, and insightfully to all who will read. This is a book that deserves the widest possible audience. Evangelical Christians like myself will ...more
Brian Gumm
May 17, 2015 Brian Gumm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full of grace and wisdom

As a lifelong member of an Historic Peace Church, and trained in a Mennonite seminary, I think I've finally found a book on Christ's gospel of peace they I can read with "normal" Christians who haven't been inducted into my own Anabaptist tradition. Zahnd's writing is efficient, straightforward, full of grace and wisdom, and shows a deep respect for Scripture and the God in Christ which it reveals to us.

Christianity in post-9/11 America needs prophets like Zahnd to be he
Apr 16, 2015 Timthast rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has changed my view on the doctrine of Just War. Taking Jesus' teaching at face value, Brian makes a good case that the Resurrection of Jesus ended what was set in motion by the blood of Abel, and set in place a kingdom based on Peace. Governments may have armies but the advance of the Kingdom of God over evil should not dependent on them, nor should we bow at the altar of Mars, the god of war.
Jul 24, 2014 Rod rated it liked it
Reviewing this book on one of my Tumblrs. As a pacifist / nonviolent Christian I agree with Zahnd's approach. However, the exegesis was lacking and it was more lofty rhetoric and talking points than mostly in the middle of the book. Good intro for Christians who want to find the Prince of Peace.
Jul 18, 2016 Abbey rated it it was amazing
Wow. I'll be reading this again. Challenging thoughts. So great.
Susan Smith
Jul 02, 2014 Susan Smith rated it it was ok
Jeff Elliott
Aug 07, 2014 Jeff Elliott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ministry
I agree with many if not most of Zahnd's arguments. The difficulty is in the practical application and of what he asserts.

Here are some quotes I highlighted although some may require context and require statements that I both agree and disagree with:

Our responsibility is not to chaplain the state but to call the state to repentance and to surrender to the King who is Lord. Our responsibility is to be an alternative to the state. Christians would do far more good for our country by learning not t
Steve Watson
Dec 09, 2015 Steve Watson rated it it was amazing
Deep. Wise. True.
Beth Taylor
Oct 20, 2016 Beth Taylor rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. A painful truth for every human.
Ryan Byler
Oct 18, 2016 Ryan Byler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brian Zahnd passionately articulates the empire's need and desire for war. Violence, though, is not of the peaceable Kingdom that Jesus inaugurated through his life, death, and resurrection. May the church remember to walk in the ways of Jesus. Forgetting the ways of Jesus has allowed us to justify and even sanctify violence in the name of God. This is antichrist ideology.
Valerie Edmands
Oct 20, 2016 Valerie Edmands rated it it was amazing
This book did not answer all my questions. It it is a start. A very inspiring start.
Tyler Jarvis
Great thoughts bogged down in poor writing

A Farewell to Mars contains some excellent thoughts. I find myself agreeing with most of Brian Zahnd's points about peace and war. The church of today would have much more to offer the world if it adopted the way of Jesus' peace.

But this book wasn't very well written. It was extremely repetitive (particularly the first chapter). It is one idea hammered home until it splits the wood. The way Zahnd writes seems more at home on a wordpress site than in a b
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“The appropriate response to this gospel proclamation is to rethink everything in the light of the risen and ascended Christ and live accordingly. We rethink our lives (which is what it means to repent) not so we can escape a doomed planet, but in order to participate in God’s design to redeem the human person and renovate human society in Christ. Salvation is a restoration project, not an evacuation project!” 7 likes
“Christianity’s first apostles evangelized, not by trying to sign people up for an apocalyptic evacuation, but by announcing the arrival of a new world order. The apostles understood the kingdom of God as a new arrangement of human society where Jesus is the world’s true King. Put simply: because Jesus is Lord, the world is to be redeemed and not left in ruin.” 6 likes
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