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Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  642 ratings  ·  84 reviews
“Scholarly, pastoral, prophetic, and eloquent. The invitation to follow Jesus instead of worshiping Christ could not come at a more important time, or be issued by a more credible source.” — Desmond Tutu

“Robin Meyers emerges in Saving Jesus from the Church as a national voice for a new Christianity. He is a well read scholar and a superb communicator. He writes with a refr
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by HarperOne
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 ·  642 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Jan 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
There is one word for this book:


But at the same time: I think every Christian should be forced to read this. It's good to know what the enemy is up to. And especially how gullible most modern church goers really are. (hint: look at the Goodreads reviews - some are probably even Bible owning church dwellers).

I've read lots of crazy books with heretical thoughts but I think this one wins. The saddest things is that so many book reviewers actually accept this scholarship as trustworthy. How p
Megan Yvette Barrett
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Incredible. A must read for all Christians and agnostics/atheists who have always found Jesus the man more incredible than Christ the "son of man."
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, book-club
Robin Meyers has put into words what I have been struggling to articulate since childhood. Thank You!
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book - always thoughtful, inclusive and well-intentioned, as well as challenging and heretical at times. In short, Rev. Robin Meyers has a unique view of Christian spirituality and communicates this in a fascinating, maddening, uplifiting and compelling way.

Ostensibly, Rev. Meyers is a (very?) liberal Protestant. Yet, given his view of the need for Christians to return to the original practice of the faith, he might also be considered a conservative (or purist) of sorts. Esse
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
I feel rather conflcted about this book, largely because I was ready to throw it out the bedroom window when I first started and was prepared to mostly agree with the last half of it. Robin Meyers attempts to 'save' the human Jesus from the distortions (he feels) which create the divine Christ in the imaginations of many of his (evangelical) supporters. This latest entry in the religious culture wars, even while disavowing those wars, really represents an extended polemic against the excesses of ...more
Jess Dollar
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was SO FREAKING GOOD I finally learned how to highlight with my Kindle in order to save passages. And I saved a LOT of passages! Problem is, it's a library book so I need to either buy it or re-borrow it every time I want to look at my highlights. Normally I would write them all down in my reading notebook but there are just too many awesome things highlighted in this book to be transposed.
Where I am coming from: I am not religious, am not a Christian, but love religion and love the g
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a must-read for liberal Christians who are up for the challenge as told in the title: to stop worshiping Christ the "son of God", and start following Jesus the teacher.
Nov 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
Unfortunately, another "Remove God from Jesus and all will be well" book (too bad it isn't biblical). Too bad; I'd hoped for much better.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
Excellent in so many ways... worth a re-read just to take it all in.
Joseph Soltero
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joseph by: St. Bartholomew's Church
Another reviewer said it best... "mixed feelings".

I appreciate and believe in the overall core message of this book. The institutional church, if it is to speak to an emerging generation, needs to emphasize more the act of following Jesus, i.e., feeding the poor, clothing the hungry, healing the sick (and not just physically), reaching out to the outcast, rather than focus on the worship of Christ.

That being said, there are very serious errors in this book that led me to take it with a grain of
Patrick M.
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
It's funny. If you turned this book into a questionnaire, I'd probably agree with 90-95% of the positions therein. And I've been known to express some of the same sentiments probably even more forcefully and bitingly than Myers does.

So why can I only give it two stars? Well, I think Rev. Myers has a case of blogger's disease. I don't even know if he blogs, but he sure sounds like a professional blogger or (maybe worse) a professional Internet commenter - always ready for debate and always on th
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
This is certainly one of those books you have to read with an open mind... dissecting the facts, considering the reasoning, and accepting his or forming your own opinions. As a highly educated minister, Meyers digs deep - cracking the bedrock of many assumptions about basic Christian beliefs. If you read this with a grumpy face, you'll miss a lot.

As a philosopher, he questions many important things. Is "faith" the same as "belief"? And what are the differences and the redemptive qualities of eac
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I have always had an aversion to creeds and the "I believe" obsession of many churches. I especially have a problem with the blood atonement doctrine. Meyers offers an interesting alternative to this mind set that has me rethinking my faith.
Sarah Martinez
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Definitely drags you out of your comfort zone and makes you THINK. Something we all need from time to time.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
I can’t recommend this book to anyone due to its weak content and a religious book that is written out of context. The theology basis of this book fails to emulate the teachings in the Bible and is in fact in contrary to it, which is very dangerous false teaching lurking around in the church. This has got to be the most disappointing book I’ve ever read and couldn’t get past the first two chapters.
Laurel Bradshaw
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
As a lifelong UCC/Congregationalist, the author is preaching to the choir here. This is not a book that will change the beliefs of fundamentalist Christians, but does provide "moral support" and perhaps some talking points for those of us who have often felt dismayed at being marginalized as "not TRUE Christians" for our emphasis on social justice rather than personal salvation. This is not a "new" Christianity, but a restoration of the original "intent" of Jesus, as far as I am concerned. It is ...more
May 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
A thought provoking, bold book - a joy to read - well-written in a sermon like rhetorical style. This is memorable "preaching". Meyer's emphasis is almost exclusively on "following" Jesus rather than "worshipping" him - on the historical Jesus, the revolutionary Jewish peasant, rather than on the "Logos" or the sacrificial "Lamb of God". He regards ethics rather than theology as the essence of Christianity. Boldly argues against orthodox dogmas - especially original sin, the blood atonement, ind ...more
Oct 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As even the title shows, Meyers is talented at including witty sayings that grab one's attention. Yet, when one looks beyond these, there still is substance to Meyers position.

The biggest criticism I would hold for the book is that Meyers has a distorted perspective of where most Biblical scholars stands. He often writes as if more progressive Biblical scholarship has won out as the dominant view among scholars, even is not the dominant position held by most pastors and lay people. While the Bi
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am still struggling with the possibility of letting go of my belief in Jesus' virgin birth and bodily resurrection, but I can see where the Church has used His "Christ-ness" to overshadow what He said as a Rabbi.

It's much easier to "be washed in the blood" than to take up your cross and follow Yeshua. It's easier to be a Christian Soldier, worshipping an "Awesome God" than to do what He says, giving up material things and showing true compassion for our neighbors (which include undocumented al
George Miles
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was hard to read in that it was very challenging and made me think - a lot. And I ultimately did not agree with everything Meyers had to say. So why the 5 stars? Because this book was hard to read in that it was very challenging and made me think - a lot. And I ultimately did not agree with everything Meyers had to say.

The concept of a difference between worshiping Christ and following Jesus is one with which I have been at least somewhat familiar for over 25 years. And pretty much agr
M Christopher
Feb 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Having met Robin Meyers and heard him speak, I was very disappointed in this book. While I found parts of it apt and even important, the overwhelming impression I was left with was of another classic liberal theologian pontificating with classic liberal arrogance on the basis of timeworn "revolutionary new theology" that only seminary students find interesting any more.

I am assured by friends that his second book, The Underground Church, is far more like the Rev. Dr. Meyers I met and heard -- wi
Constance Chevalier
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book leaves me with a profound understanding of what it should be "to follow Jesus, not worship Christ" with so much indepth, theological wisdom and explanation! I must have my own copy to highlight and tell others about. Reading the Prologue hooked me. The Epilogue left me wanting to read this UCC minister's other books. He includes understandings of Reinhold Niebuhr, W.H. Auden, Tillich, and others. I like how he defines our 'Galilean sage', includes the Gospel of Thomas and refers to Bib ...more
Lynn S
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is definite not an orthodox take on Christianity. The author calls the virgin birth and other staples of Christian teaching into question.

At the same time, the book is a powerful argument for following the teachings of Jesus (no Christ). It removes the veil of church traditions, the focus on Christ, and the teachings of organized religions. It instead brings the teachings of Jesus to the fore and reminds us of the two most important commandments: Love the Lord God and love your neighbo
Bo Gordy-Stith
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Drank it up in a little over a day. Meyers describes the shape of a new reformation: a church that lives its love for Jesus by loving others and creation unconditionally - rather than a gatekeeper for those who want to "believe things in order to get things." As a United Methodist pastor for 25 years, I could relate to many of the stories and lessons learned Meyers shares about pulpits, living rooms and hospital rooms. As a passionate disciple and follower of Jesus, the unorthodox path Meyers de ...more
May 11, 2009 rated it liked it
I picked this book up for the cover. I don't think I'm Meyers' target audience, which I would say is people who admire the social parts of the Christian message but are stopped from identifying themselves as Christian because they can't believe in the virgin birth or the resurrection. Meyers doesn't advance any new theology - it's pretty much all quoted directly from Matthew Fox and Shelby Spong. Instead, he argues that those who agree with him should take the church back from people who require ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I wasn't sure about this book. I'm a Done. A Christian who has left organized religion after many, many years and became a Christian who follows Jesus. Meyers book offers an alternative to leaving organized religion. Staying and following Jesus. Many call his church liberal, but in all honesty his church is following the teaching of Jesus much more than most in organized religion who tend to follow Paul's teaching while ignoring the teaching of Jesus. As if Jesus our Lord and Paul the m ...more
Wayne Siggelkow
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Incredibly educational read which reveals so much history regarding the development of the early church and the bible. It was a challenging read as Meyers conclusions and personal beliefs surprised me intially for a professor of New Testament. However I discovered great truths that helped me understand so many things in a new way, that for me, instead of wanting to shun my faith, it has freed me to embrace faith in a far more authentic way by not having to ignore and justify things that had prev ...more
Thurlow Weed
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very insightful. The Church has, for the most part, forgotten about the critical importance of the teachings of Jesus. It prefers to focus on doctrines and theologies, rather than focusing the practical application of Jesus' directives and teachings. Robin illustrates for us how we can get back to the essentials of walking in the path Jesus guided us to, that path that too often the Church has lead us away from.
Matthew Kern
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
The first time I came across Robin Meyers I was watching his Beecher Lectures from 2013 on YouTube (here is the first of the 3 part series - He is compelling and challenging. His modus operandi is to be defiant in order to allow us to be more like Jesus.

So, when I picked up this book suggested by a coworker I was not surprised by the defiant and unorthodox views found in the book, but they still are powerful and compelling nonetheless. With a title lik
Alex Long
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall it's a very good book.
It is somewhat dated. You can tell it was written in 2009, by both the weird white Jesus on the cover and where it stands on certain issues (the validity of gay marriage isn't automatically taken for granted and there's these random, ignorant jabs made at new age spirituality.)
The main thrust of the author's argument is sound. Most expressions of American Christianity are biblically illiterate and use high Christology to ignore obvious messages of Jesus that distu
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Dr. Robin Meyers is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC), a tenured professor in the philosophy department at Oklahoma City University, an author, a syndicated columnist, and an award-winning commentator for National Public Radio. He has been the Senior Minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC church of Oklahoma City, the fastest-growing UCC church in the Kansas-Oklahoma confe ...more

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22 likes · 16 comments
“Indeed, a quick glance around this broken world makes it painfully obvious that we don't need more arguments on behalf of God; we need more people who live as if they are in covenant with Unconditional Love, which is our best definition of God. (p. 21)” 45 likes
“Condemnation feels good and it is now a staple of religion, politics, and the media (both left and right), but it changes nothing. Compassion, on the other hand, changes everything. (p. 121)” 14 likes
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