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The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus
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The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  265 ratings  ·  41 reviews
A new way to follow Jesus that draws on old ways of following Him The Underground Church proposes that the faithful recapture the spirit of the early church with its emphasis on what Christians do rather than what they believe. Prominent progressive writer, speaker, and minister Robin Meyers proposes that the best way to recapture the spirit of the early Christian church i ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 13th 2012 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.09  · 
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 ·  265 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Bob Buice
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
“We have so long defined ourselves by who and what we are not that we have almost forgotten entirely who and what we are— a strange, peculiar, and dangerous people. Welcome to the Underground Church movement— beyond liberal and conservative— back to subversive.” ~ Robin Meyers

The Underground Church, a mythical, somewhat metaphysical, present-day spiritual community, is intended to bring back the ideals and piety of early “Followers of the Way”. Ignoring denominations, going beyond liberal or con
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
This is an outstanding examination of the current state of the church and a vision for a new church that is more like the person the church was supposed to emulate.

I have the great privilege to be a member of Mayflower Church where Robin Meyers minsters. This book spells out his vision of what the church should be and what Mayflower is trying to become. We want to be a place where all feel included regardless of their beliefs and/or lifestyles. We have no doctrine, simply a covenant to help each
Dawn Hutchings
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Robin Meyers has done it again. When a writer articulates the thoughts that have been rolling around in your brain its difficult not to shout out "Alleluia!". I shall now go back and re-read Meyers' previous offering: "Saving Jesus from the Church". Meyers has an uncanny ability to cut to the heart of the matter. His books are a must for all parish pastors!!!
Warren Hicks
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an important book for those who believe the church's future is found in rediscovering mission at the core of Jesus' call to the faithful of all stripes. Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest Meyers' accessible and wise offering.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Invigorating and Challenging

This review contains some of the faults I found with the book, but let the review reader know this: I think Meyers' thesis is correct and I agreed with his suggestions for how that can be accomplished--Christians on both sides of the political aisle (because there are, it seems, only two) would do well abandon the intellectual camps they know, to embrace the dangerous life of faithfulness to Jesus. Unfortunately, the intellectual camps of conservative and liberals are
Jun 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
A poorly written rant.
Christopher Westman
Feb 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: physical
An interesting take on the internal problems facing the current church that rings true to a lot of the reasons underpinning the decline of church attendance and the rise in premature rejection of Christ. Unfortunately it's mostly a poorly organized rant.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book frustrating. It talks about general concepts of how a church "should be", but gives hardly any examples of how to do that.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
Found it pedantic, rather than subversive, but that may be a fault in me.
Je lis donc je suis
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was hard to rate. As to what the author is saying and his eloquence of prose, 5 stars. This is a message the Church needs to hear. As someone who currently lives in a country that continues to directly employ a kind of Constantinian model of Church and state, I see how the Church having an official seat in government harms the very soul and mission of the Church. As a result, we have a Church that looks the other way to an abortion rate of over 3 per woman of child rearing age per year ...more
Scott Holstad
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book even though its idealistic vision is so utopian that its recommendations can surely never be acted upon by most Christians. It's a heartfelt book with a vision -- one of love and caring for all. I like that. Even though he separates himself from the emergent church group, there are some similarities. I've read other Meyers books though, and sometimes he comes across as really ticked off. In this book, he really tries to balance his insights and comments between conservat ...more
Andy Zell
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus by Robin Meyers is a provocative look at church. The main problem with the church, as Meyers sees it, is that it has been co-opted by Empire (first the Roman Empire under Constantine, today the American church by the government and/or political parties). He outlines ways in which the church should disentangle from Empire and get back to its roots as a countercultural force. Meyers envisions followers of Jesus from all denominations a ...more
Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*
I love Robin Meyers, and this book, like his others, is right in my wheelhouse. It focuses on bridging the divide between "conservatives" and "liberals," while encouraging a return to what Meyers calls "Underground Church." However, while his arguments are strong (I can see him building on thinkers like Brueggemann and Yoder, and meshing with contemporaries like Zahnd), he is a little light on Biblical references for me. He talks a lot about the pacifism of Jesus, for example, but spends surpris ...more
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a good one.

This is a really great combination of history (of the historical Jesus and early church), biblical interpretation (especially of the parable of the leaven), and inspiration on how to better be church. It's challenging -- especially as I think about why the traditions of the church are important. It affirms some of my ideas about being the church in the world, but in a way that challenges me to actually do it.

I'm also curious about who the intended audience is. On the one han
Sarah Kelzenberg
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With amazing depth and breadth, Robin gradually describes a living movement of the Spirit that is universally embraceable by all of us. The Underground Church is not an organization bent on perpetuating its rules and doctrines. It is a way to live in our present day world, working together with others in a ways that affirm that "it is more important to be loving than to be right." After all, we are the Body of Christ, we are one.
Philip Garside
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book a couple of years ago. It is chilling to reflect on the warnings Robin gave about the direction some parts of the church were heading in when he wrote the book and compare this to the contemporary political and religious scene in the USA. Christians in all parts of the world need to stay focused on the simple message and example of Jesus - love God, love neighbor, love self.
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The title is a little bit provocative, but his message is very thoughtful. I understood the need of transfering the church to more open. I think the changes of the times led the church to ebb and flow repeatedly, but Robin Meyer's messages urge to change from the foundation.

I like his metaphors and beautiful sentences, especially from the bottom clause of page 121 through page 122.

I wonder if the Catholics in the United States will read this book.
Kayle Sneed
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding. Robin Meyers has a way of clearly stating everything that has always bothered me about the mainstream Christian church and then providing plausible solutions that exceed all expectations. After years of cynicism regarding Christianity, this book makes me want to give it another shot. Sign me up for the Underground Church, where all you need is love.
Tommy l. james
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Underground Church is a book every Christian needs to read. Perhaps the greatest challenge Meyers presents is the challenge to the Church who has become way too much like the culture we live in. One thing for sure, the early believers stood in contrast to the culture and in the power and spirit of Christ, they helped change the world for the better.
Alex Decker
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book for what it was: wishful thinking. Some of the areas were pretty far fetched (church run banks?) but the point was that we need to do a better job of reaching out as Christians rather than Baptists, Episcopalians, etc. Mr. Meyers gives us all something to shoot for that no matter what your religion is should be something considered.
Ellen Johnson
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
Excellent points but also lots of irrelevant stuff and repetitive. This is the second time I've checked it out of the library. First time only made it thru Chapter 1, but this time halfway. Astounding how Christianity changed over the years but I doubt if we can go back to any original garden of Eden.
Will Holcomb
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I think I enjoyed the first part of the book mostly because of the historical perspective with respect to Constantine. It is a book I wish I could get so many people to read but know they never will.
Jul 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish this. (Made it to the end of Chapter 5.) Too meandering and discursive for me. I'm sympathetic to Meyers' views, but I found it hard to find the substance beneath the clever turn of phrase.
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this thought-provoking book more than five stars, I definitely would! In today's age of "nationalistic Christianity", this book provides a much-needed breath of fresh air! If you're seeking to be a follower (verb) of Jesus, I highly encourage you to read this book.
Steve Hirby
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theo-group
Clarion call to rouse the churches out of their comfortable sleep in the bed of the dominant culture in hopes that they can become wide-awake witnesses to and practitioners of "The Way" of Jesus. Excellent; challenging; hopeful despite the enormity of the challenge.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. Myers has a wonderful vision that I hope all churches can become. Will remember to read some of his other books.
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
what every church should be when it grows up!
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone who wants to know what it takes to be a disciple.
Daniel Hampton
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read it. It will change your life.
Mar 20, 2012 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Have just started this book, but can already see that it will be on the excellent level of Meyers' previous books.
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