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Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,106 Ratings  ·  266 Reviews
There is a church not too far from us that recently added a $25 million addition to their building. Our local newspaper ran a front-page story not too long ago about a study revealing that one in five people in our city lives in poverty. This is a book about those two numbers.Jesus Wants to save Christians is a book about faith and fear, wealth and war, poverty, power, saf ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 22nd 2008 by Zondervan (first published August 22nd 2008)
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Aug 08, 2011 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
...I'm still kind of waiting for the substance, like maybe if I keep thinking about what I read it will be revealed to me. Perhaps I'm being a little mean, but this book, though given the honorable task of calling Christians back to Christ, attempts this by making naive and indefensible generalizations about politics and history (of which I happen to be a student) through the lens of an only less naive interpretation of the Bible (not that I'm a scholar) which quite happily leaves out things lik ...more
Jun 07, 2012 Ashleigh rated it it was amazing
It inspired two of my tattoos- what else do you need to know? I read a review that said it is "a manifesto that packs as much sociopolitical zing as rhetorical punch"- which seriously describes this book perfectly. A favorite quote: "For a growing number of people in our world, it appears that many Christians support some of the very things Jesus came to set people free from." That one quote sets the tone for this entire book. A call to live a life fully awake to the Kingdom, refusing to accept ...more
Dan Chance
May 18, 2012 Dan Chance rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
I just have finished the book and, I confess, I'm in way over my pay grade. The introduction just begins the discussion with a little story of how our misguided efforts to protect ourselves only manages to further dehumanize us and enslave us (leaving little for our known enemies to do that would be more injurious than what we are doing to our society ourselves). It really seems to be a digression from the main point of the book unless you can see it in the light of a world system doing all it c ...more
Jan 07, 2009 Lars rated it it was amazing
If you are not inspired to live like Jesus over and above living like an American after reading this book, you either completely missed the point or have some serious issues with syncretism to work out.

That said, Rob Bell paints a beautiful, poetic manifesto (for all the reviewers complaining about how 'short' the book was, perhaps a healthy understanding of expectations coming in would have been worthwhile) that far surpasses even his brilliant 'Velvet Elvis'. Bell says so much in so few words,
Apr 21, 2016 Rod rated it did not like it
Sorry everyone, but this was so annoying: I gotta give it one star.

Because Rob Bell doesn't seem to know what a Christian is. And I have no idea what Don Golden knows - or why he put his name on this?

Is it possible for me to write a polite review lovingly pointing out the issues I had with this babble? I'll try. My patience has been pushed to the limit (Yes, this was my third Rob Bell book as well).
Honestly, I do love Rob's complete waste of space in his pages - makes me feel like an ambit
Aug 31, 2015 Curtis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-again
I've read most of Rob Bell's books and this is my favourite. Using the work of Tom Holland as a foundation, Rob and Don lead readers through the cycle of Egypt, Sinai, Jerusalem and Babylon, drawing so many connections throughout the Scriptures I was astounded. How have I never been shown these before? There is clearly a metanarrative at work here and I find Holland's frame of the New Exodus as a strong motif (among others) for understanding it.

The dominant question throughout is, 'will those wi
Sep 01, 2014 Cornell rated it really liked it
Where was God when I lost my job? Where was God when my father died? Where was God when my son got sick? One of the most cliched answer to this question is "where He was when His Son was crucified."

That answer is true, those who give it mean well, but it is often inappropriate and may come off as very insensitive. In "Jesus Wants to Save Christians", Rob Bell calls Christians to live out the mission they have been saved for. He argues that the best and most effective way to live out the Christia
Mar 09, 2014 Longfellow rated it really liked it

Jesus Wants to Save Christians is a well-chosen, provoking title which accurately hints at its central focus, which is that in many ways the church—and particularly the church in America—has lost sight of what it means to live life in the way Jesus charged us. Beyond this, however, Bell and Golden appear to have written a testimony intended for an audience beyond Christians: even simple contextual points that are familiar to most Christians are observed and their relevance explained.

This easy-to
Nov 29, 2008 Shaun rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
This book presents a great challenge to the Christian church, particularly the Christians that live in America. The book has a great Biblical theme in discussing the history of God's people through the Exodus/Mt. Sinai, Jerusalem, and Babylon. The theme is a cycle of God's people who suffer oppression, are then delivered by a merciful God, then become arrogant and turn away from God, and then suffer oppression again as God brings judgment. The challenge today is which land are we living in? Sina ...more
Nov 26, 2008 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just minutes after the arrival of Thanksgiving Day 2008, this book serves as a reminder of one thing I’m especially thankful for this year.


My wife and I lived in an “Egypt” for a large portion of 2008.

I arrived in Egypt unexpectedly. I had no idea that I was headed there. Yet I am glad that I did not know. For had I known, I may have changed course, only to arrive there at a later date. Early on, I resisted Egypt, as if in denial of its existence or of my residence there. A time later, I
Mar 09, 2010 Doug rated it really liked it
This book was a strong, cool breeze. It flows very, very smoothly as it reveals the centrality of the Exodus theme throughout Scripture, culminating in a rich discussion of the Church and Eucharist, all in contrast to Egyptian and American empires. It's aimed at teens and twenty-somethings, and it's initial trendiness might put off older readers (it nearly did me). But stick with it. Look past the trendy formatting. It's clean and simple and profound. In some ways, it parallels Claiborne's Jesus ...more
Jun 09, 2016 Graham rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bell has the best of intentions, just like Peter Rollins or Brian McLaren or any number of other progressive theologians. But the substance just isn't there. All three of them write books that basically amount to "God is love and Jesus is good and we should imitate them by loving others." Which, great. But not only do they almost never get more rigorous than that, they actively overlook huge swathes of Scripture to make their points.

I was waiting the whole book for Bell to try to square his mess
Phil Whittall
May 18, 2016 Phil Whittall rated it it was ok
Jesus wants to save Christians is Rob Bell's (he of the Noomas and Velvet Elvis) third and probably most substantial book, co-authored with Don Golden from World Relief.

Its subtitle 'A Manifesto for the church in exile' neatly encapsulates the heart of the book. Church shouldn't be about empire and in the USA it is. Church should be about the mission of God which is calling people and creation out of exile (slavery to sin) and into the new reality of God's purposes.

The book isn't long, 181 pages
Erin Hecker
Apr 07, 2016 Erin Hecker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his trademark staccato voice, Bell builds a strong argument against the empire of the Westernized Church. Using the bible as both a reference point and a metaphor, he describes the lessons from Egypt to Babylon. The middle of the book is by far the best. After laying the foundation of the history of God's people, his words sting against today's Christians: affluent, irrelevant, and entitled.

My favorite passage? "Moses can see the days of abundance and blessing coming. Someday they will not on
Zachary Taylor
Mar 01, 2015 Zachary Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The world is on fire. And Rob Bell and Don Golden want Christians to care. Jesus Wants to Save Christians compels Christians with instantly accessible prose and apt Biblical references to consider both the social aspect of their faith and its roots in Hebrew Scripture. Rob Bell and Don Golden point toward four distinct historical periods – the Israelites enslavement in Egypt, their covenant with God on Mount Sinai, their subsequent prosperity in Jerusalem, and their catastrophic exile in Babylon ...more
Joshua Casey
Apr 23, 2015 Joshua Casey rated it liked it
Very typical of Bell's style, this succinct layman's introduction to new exodus theology was an enjoyable read, but not a groundbreaking "manifesto". I was going to rate it lower, but the wealth of endnotes for further reading bumped it up, as well as the final chapter. I tend to rate books based on whether or not I will refer to them in the future, either for quotes or simply for the joy of re-reading, and though I most likely won't ever read the first two-thirds of the book again, save for a c ...more
Trey Nowell
Dec 23, 2014 Trey Nowell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy the parallels Rob Bell makes in this book with Pharaoh, Solomon, the domination system of Rome, and of course, our present day America. We are very privileged to have all we do, being able to not worry about a next meal, post on the internet, obtain an education, etc. Bell plays on this is convicts the hearts of each person on what they should be doing in this life which is helping others. I think the book went a little off topic compared to others I read by Bell, but I enjoyed th ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Betsy rated it it was amazing
Like many other reviewers here, I see this book as a 3 or 4 star effort that becomes a high five when it slides into home. There are sure to be readers who will be offended or puzzled by the enslaving Egypt = late-reign Solomon = America connections he makes, but who can deny the logic that the drive to acquire leads to the drive to protect acquisitions, which can lead to wall-building and frequently army-building? The epilogue is powerful, so very powerful.
"God says to Cain, 'Listen!'
Because e
Ryan Fisher
Jun 03, 2013 Ryan Fisher rated it liked it
A quick read with a solid theme. There were times in the book that the author belabored the point a little too much, but overall a good book. The epilogue was the highlight. I would definitely recommend that!
Phillip Vincent
Apr 28, 2015 Phillip Vincent rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
A fresh (for me) look at something called the "new exodus" of Christians out of the slavery of sin. I found it encouraging and pleasantly brief. Bell's approach is to try and redeem American Christianity from an entitlement mentality that is poisoning the message and derailing us from God's purpose for his Church. He speaks of the Eucharist and how we serve Christ when we give ourselves wholly to his cause. One line I appreciated was that others can't receive what we don't give (or something lik ...more
Nov 20, 2008 Adriana rated it it was amazing
His best book yet. The whole thing blew my mind, page by page. Brilliant, Inspired, Mind-Blowing. Rob Bell asks the question others are afraid to. He really gets it.
Ryan Petrie
I am very disappointed by this book. I've always had great respect for Rob Bell, and never though he would stoop to politics, but... here I am.

This book essentially states that the main story of the Bible is people standing up against oppressors. It is essentially nothing more than recycled progressive propaganda.

He describes liberation theology, social justice, and anti-colonialism, and has a leftist-(almost) anti-american agenda.

He had some good points in the book about faith and spiritualit
Dec 29, 2008 Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Too much to say about this one...You just have to read it for yourselves!
Nyeisha (Bookbabe of Delaware)
Wow. All I can say is Wow. What an amazing book. Rob Bell really hit one out of the park with this one. I don't even know where to begin with this book. I will say that Rob Bell's examination of the Exodus and what it means for those the follow Christ. What really blew my mind is how Bell shows us that God is doing a "new thing" when Christ comes into the world. That Christ is ushering in a new Exodus. He is here to do what Moses did with the people in Egypt but on a much grander scale. Moses wa ...more
Tim Beck
Feb 25, 2009 Tim Beck rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
I've enjoyed Rob Bell's previous books as well as what he does with Nooma, so it comes at no surprise that i enjoyed Jesus Wants To Save Christians.

Bell and co-author Don Golden paint a nice picture of the dysfunctional first family found in Genesis and about how God provided a 'better way'.

Compare that with the story of Exodus, the story of those opposed to Jesus and the story of today's 'church'; God has been, throughout the history of our existence, showing us a better way... and time after
Jan 07, 2009 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, 2009
This book takes a stab at showing how the Old Testament story of Israel mirrors (to some degree) our lives individually and collectively today.

The storyline is as follows:

The Egyptians oppressed the Isrealites as slaves and ruled over them ruthlessly in order to protect the empire. The Egyptians placed slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor. This is a key example in the Biblical story of sin manifesting itself in the form of empire. God heard the cry of the Israelites and lib
Abby Stevens
Nov 05, 2009 Abby Stevens rated it liked it
I've really wrestled with many things in this book. It seems to me that the overall message Bell and Golden are sending is good--but there are moments in the book that made me stop and reconsider everything they'd just said. There were some leaps in logic that I wasn't able to get totally on board with.

Just like Velvet Elvis, I think this is a book to which I'll return to chew on some more. Until then, I'd recommend it to the critical thinking Christian who isn't afraid of the questions it leav
Scott Heaton
“Jesus wants to save our church from the exile of irrelevance.”

Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile by Rob Bell and Don Golden is a cool looking book. Let’s face it, the way Bell packages everything he puts out makes you go: “Oooooo neato!” With its hip lime green pages and mysterious puzzle cover, you are almost obligated to take it off the shelf and have a look at it. But does its attractive appearance reflect the content within the pages?

Recently I’ve been a par
Apr 21, 2010 Sean rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
This is Rob Bell's third book and his first time collaborating with someone, that being Don Golden. I know that Bell has been a controversial figure since. Here is a founder of a large church and he uses short videos and speaking tours to tell people about the Gospel. His actions regarding the Gospel don't exactly match up with how things have been done in the past. At first I was skeptical of him and now here I am having read all three of his books and saw him during his God's Aren't Angry tour ...more
Adam Parker
Jul 18, 2012 Adam Parker rated it really liked it
If you have ever seen any of the Nooma videos, then you will be able to relate to the content and writing style of this book. Rob Bell and Dan Golden present the story of exile from the Garden, to historical Israel, to Jesus, and finally to the modern church in such a profound and eye opening literary style it was awe inspiring. The authors drew connections between all of these different exiles throughout history and brought them all back to the message of Christ. To the death of Christ. There w ...more
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Rob Bell is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of the bestselling Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Drops Like Stars. A graduate of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, Bell speaks to large crowds around the world and has appeared in a pioneering series of short ...more
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“Most of the Bible is a history told by people living in lands occupied by conquering superpowers. It is 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 reign of massive, mighty empires, from the Egyptian Empire to the Babylonian Empire to the Persian Empire to the Assyrian Empire to the Roman Empire.

This can make the Bible a very difficult book to understand if you are reading it as a citizen of the the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Without careful study and reflection, and humility, it may even be possible to miss central themes of the Scriptures.”
“This is how you remember God: you bless those who need it the most in the same way that God blessed you when you needed it the most.” 1 likes
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