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

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  5,580 Ratings  ·  286 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, sa ...more
Audio CD, 4 pages
Published September 28th 2008 by Zondervan Publishing Company (first published August 22nd 2008)
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Dan Chance
Apr 25, 2012 Dan Chance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 05, 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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 07, 2009 Lars rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
I think this is probably a lower rating than it deserves, but I read it directly after another book of his which was positively impacting. Also, I am reading this many years and deep revelations (for Mr. Bell) after having written it. Good insights,though. I just think both he and I have moved farther down the path. I do wish I would have found this earlier in my journey - I would have known I wasn't alone.
Dec 13, 2013 Longfellow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Sep 01, 2014 Cornell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, 2010 Doug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 01, 2008 Brad rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 29, 2008 Shaun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 10, 2014 Curtis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 11, 2016 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again, Rob Bell is crossing the line of the conservative, American Christian mindset. And once again, I can only imagine the militaristic agenda he denounces will undoubtedly be aimed at him from within the Church. That's why I love this book (and it's Biblical, providing a good slap in the face to dissenters).
Ryan Fisher
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!
Dec 29, 2008 Tyler rated it it was amazing
Too much to say about this one...You just have to read it for yourselves!
Oct 27, 2008 Adriana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 16, 2016 Rod rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Abby Stevens
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
May 10, 2017 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rob Bell Book Tour #3

Jesus Wants to Save Christians is Rob Bell's third book (he co-authored it with Don Golden, the Vice President of World Relief) and is a bird's eye view of the Biblical narrative. Using the "New Exodus" framework, Bell shows how the Christian God is a God constantly "hears the cries of oppressed" and seeks to rescue his people from bondage.

Honestly, this is a pretty great book. If you've ever been confused and bored when reading the Old Testament, Jesus Wants to Save Christi
Zachary Taylor
Feb 27, 2015 Zachary Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
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
G. Lyons
Jun 25, 2017 G. Lyons rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slavery. Exile. Empire. Doorposts...

I hear less about this book than the others, but this one was/is by far my favorite. The title is likely more than enough to keep some people away from this book, and that's a shame. This is a well-researched book by Bell and Golden, providing lots of facts and context to supplement their overall message. Loved this challenging book.

5/5 stars
Gary Webber
An absolute must read. It made me beautifully uncomfortable and encouraged many unspoken feelings I've had about western Christianity and the church. It is a quick read, and even if you do not agree with all of the books application, it would be hard to argue the theology, which will then draw you back to the very uncomfortable application you may not agree with. This book should come with a warning label for those who may like and want to keep their mainstream consumer oriented Christianity.
Jan 04, 2009 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Tim Beck
Jan 28, 2009 Tim Beck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 24, 2011 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review:

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

By Rob Bell and Don Golden

The authors in their introduction explain that this book (published in 2008) is an attempt to explain a specific theology or way to read the Bible sometimes known as the New Exodus perspective.

The book gives a broad overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and the profound meaning for us today. The Book of Genesis describes the transition from a pastoral, nomadic society to an agricult
Phil Whittall
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
Adam B.R. Clarke
Mar 30, 2010 Adam B.R. Clarke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Jesus Wants to Save Christians...from themsleves

A review by Adam B.R. Clarke

First off, I’d like to state that although I am extremely positive about this book and the author, I did indeed read other reviews to consider some other perspectives. So, in retrospect, my views are not completely unaffected by outside sources. On that note, my favorite quote comes from Chapter Six where Rob Bell states: “A church is not an organization that surveys its demographic to find out what the market is deman
Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile by Rob Bell and Don Golden wasn't what I expected. What I mean is that I was two-thirds through the book before what I was reading matched the description on the back. And then it was done. Hmmm.

But I liked what I didn't expect to read. What I expected was a list of reasons why the church needed to be more generous, committed to social justice, and so on. I didn't expect that Rob and Dan would first develop a theological framewo
Kelly Hager
May 10, 2010 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this book was amazing. And I'm going to speak in generalizations now, so I'm not saying this applies to every Christian and/or every church. I DO NOT MEAN YOU. :)

The general gist is that modern Christian churches are more concerned with big, fancy worship spaces and preaching that anyone who does not believe or do x, y, or z is going straight to hell. There are debates about whether or not drinking is okay or dancing is okay, but not debates on how best to serve the communities they are se
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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
More about Rob Bell...

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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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