Jesus Freaks by dc Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs, is a companion volume to dc Talk's album of the same name. It is a book for teenagers about martyrdom, containing dozens of profiles of figures ranging from Stephen, whose martyrdom is described in the Book of Acts, to "Anila and Perveen," two teenage Pakistani girls and Christian believers. In 1997, Perveen was killed for running away in order to avoid marrying a Muslim man; Anila was imprisoned for helping her friend escape. In an introduction to the book, Michael Tait explains its purpose: "In a world built on free will instead of God's will, we must be the Freaks. While we may not be called to martyr our lives, we must martyr our way of life. We must put our selfish ways to death and march to a different beat. Then the world will see Jesus." The book's design is hip and easy to read, and its summary of Christian persecutions that continue today is useful--and frightening.
Formed in 1987 by Toby McKeehan, Michael Tait, and Kevin Max Smith, DC Talk was one of the most popular bands throughout the 1990's. Together the band has released five studio albums: DC Talk (1989), Nu Thang (1990), Free at Last (1992), Jesus Freak (1995), Supernatural (1998), and Solo (2001). The group unofficially disbanded in 2000, with each member attempting their own solo projects. Ever since, DC Talk has been on hiatus indefinitely, and they have yet to officially break up or reunite.
What do I think? This book is more than a book. Not the Bible, but once you pray before you read it, an emotion overtakes you at the realization that this is it. I rarely feel chills or get the sudden urge to do something outrageous for God, but this book pushed me on. Not to just dive in and die, but everything. This book is a blessing. Although it was written in 1997, it feels like it was in today. So many stories impacted me. The way I think and view things. Made me realize how much of a selfish human being I am. This book made me want nothing more that to pick up my heavy cross, and follow Jesus for the rest of my life. I couldn't stop talking to people about it. I would read stories in my class. For morning worship. I'd stay up late and...in all honesty... not want this book to end. But it has come to an end. And I can only pray with all of my soul...that my name will be the next in that book. I am Peter. A broken soul, one who is not perfect. One who curses, who gets angered easily. He who was the worse of the twelve. I am just like Peter. But then there is hope for those such as me, which lets me know that through God all is possible. I never want this fire within me to go out. I want it to burn bright, consuming all in its path. I am 16 years old, and I am a Jesus Freak.
dc Talk was the band that got me not only into CCM, but popular music in general. They were my favorite musical act when I started middle school, and still are now. Despite going through obsessive phases of other entertainment ranging from Pokémon to Diff'rent Strokes (a dark time in my life; to this day, I can't see or hear any reference to that show without cringing) to Lizzie McGuire and the Disney Channel to the Star Wars Expanded Universe, my fandom of Toby, Mike, and Kevin never wavered. To this day, they're the third highest played band or artist on my Last.FM, which has been keeping records of what I listen to since 2007; in fact, the only artists to get more plays are former dcT members T-Mac and K-Max. Other affiliated bands, such as the Newsboys and Audio Adrenaline, are also in my top ten. While my tastes in music have broadened widely since those days--seriously, I have everything from Josh Groban to Jaci Velasquez to Relient K to Hilary Duff to John Williams to Ledger on my iPod--dc Talk's music still holds appeal; in fact, instead of just enjoying the music, I now understand what their songs mean.
For Christmas in 2000, I received this book as a gift; I read it back then...but, I didn't quite understand it. In fact, reading it now, I find that it seriously cut me to the heart. For far too long, I've believed that people who have done me wrong should pay the price; it's the kind of justice you see happen to villains in Disney movies or Nintendo video games. However, despite what you see in entertainment, that's not God's way; God has said that it is His to avenge, and fighting back against those who have harmed you is sinful. Now that I've finished reading these stories--which are not for the faint of heart; there may be triggers for those who are sensitive to graphic violence--I'm not even going to think about taking action against my persecutors; it's not up to me or any other mere mortal to give them what they seemingly deserve. Instead of plotting or fantasizing about revenge, I'll take Elsa's infamous advice and let it go.
I read this book as a child, and it utterly brainwashed me. It contains a few enlightening pieces of information, but I consider it a piece of unabashed propaganda. (Some of) the people in this book are willing to give their lives because they believe that Jesus is the savior of mankind who can save the souls of convinced people. I wish that the value of speaking the truth did not rest in such uncritical acceptance of words on pieces of paper that have been altered, mistranslated, and reinterpreted over thousands of years.
There is only one story from the book I found remotely redeeming in this respect.
That said, this book uses strong appeals to ethos and emotion to sway the reader.
This is not Foxe's Book of Martyrs. I say that before some nut begins to compare the two. Foxe's book is a genuine classic that should be required reading. This is a very good book that deals with the death of (mostly) modern day Christians. I will warn you that if you read this book you will feel small. Most of today's Christian complain about the price of gas and milk and talk about what great tribulation they go through at work because the boss expects them to do their jobs. Jesus Freaks talks about those who have been imprisoned, tortured and killed because of what they believe. They gladly went to the grave holding on to their belief in Christ. If all Christians had that kind of faith the world would have already been converted. Every one ought to check this book out, it is an easy read but it speaks volumes to the heart.
This book was recommended to me a few yrs back by my pastor. It states it is geared towards teens and I did have my teenager read it as required reading after I read it. This is a phenomenal book I think all believers should read. The stories are true,gripping you from page one. The stories are short but powerful. The book tells about courageous men and women of all ages who took a stand for Christ from around the world. The courage these brothers and sisters displayed was nothing short of remarkable. They gave their lives for Christ! This is happening today! Jesus was not kidding when he said “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" (John 15:18-19) At first I thought this book may be a bit depressing due to the torture/killing of these courageous souls...however it had just the opposite effect. The stories are uplifting and strengthened my faith deeply. I'm looking forward to reading the second book soon....
For Christians and Messianic Jews -- eye-opening and faith building. For all others -- just a good way to see how far faith can take a person when it is all they have left. Well written, tugs at the heart strings; I will never forget these stories.
My family and I do devotion 4-5 nights a week together, chpater by chapter. As we go through the Bible I like to pick up various devotions that are Bible based, but inspirational or fun to read afterward, as we consider the Word being applied where the rubber meets the road.
One section a night takes about a 100 nights. As there are nearly that many mini 3 pages bio's of those who have gone before us. This one has been great for that purpose speaking to the hearts of children, youth, adult alike. Reminding us of our real call and walk is not being about ourselves, but as Luke 9:23 calls us to. To Deny ourselves, Due to self, and Follow Jesus. What a grand adventure that is! So many times we think dying sacrificing our lives for the gospel sake is the ultimate. Sometimes it is. But Ohhh to be a living sacrifice for a lifetime (Romans 12:1-2) What a call that is. So pick up this book and may it encourage you to be in Thee Book living for Jesus. More and more every day.
This book will challenge your Christian walk. At the time in my life I read it, I was going through a really difficult, post-adolescent time and it woke me up. Whatever I was going through, I wasn't a martyr, I just had a rough time. I could be going through much worse for much less. It inspired me to be a stronger, better Christian. It spurred me towards seeking God's calling for my life, and being obedient to answering that calling.
Highly recommend this book to teenagers, college age kids, young adults, middle-age adults, old adults. Anybody ages 14 and older.
This book is often marketed to young adults, but I think that's more because older adults often give up a lot of the zeal for God that comes with youth. It's just too easy for us (especially in the well-off, consumerist west) to forget or blow off any idea that there really are times when we might have to literally give up everything - our family, our religious community, or home, even our life - because someone more powerful than us demands it.
This book is a collection of short (1-2 page) stories, letters, and so on, each providing a glimpse into a life-event of someone who had to make a hard choice to stand for Jesus no matter what. Reading these stories is meant to inspire and teach us from the examples of others who did it right by hanging on to Jesus and Jesus alone, through even the hardest trial of their lives.
The only thing I do not like about the book is the feathered pages. Sure, it's pretty and "cool" looking, but it makes it a real pain to turn pages as you're reading.
This is a great book for someone new to Christianity, because it tells the stories of some modern-day and older martyrs. The book presents the stories in little snapshots of the moments when these people stood up for Jesus even in the face of death or torture. Some of the stories have the potential to be very moving, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is unfamiliar with the sheer heroism and love for God that martyrdom portrays.
However, the language is dumbed-down and the stories lack the background of the person who gives up their life for God. In the end, I think I'd rather read the biography of just one person than the snapshot of the one moment of martyrdom simply because it helps you to understand why they made that choice and all the good they'd done ("white" martyrdom) leading up to it. I guess my main complaint is that the stories felt to me like I was missing too much.
Jesus freaks is many stories about people’s life with God in their lives, and people even risking their lives for God. Jesus freaks is all true stories.
In all the books of Jesus freaks, the people are brave and courageous. They won’t ever give up on what they believe on even if if mean dying because they were preaching the gospel.
The highlights for me is when they pray for the people torturing them and when they convert others to christianity.
My favourite part was when they didn’t give up even if someone was threatening them. Also I liked the parts where miracles happen that couldn’t have happened without God.
Some parts of the book weren’t as exiting as other parts. The writer sometimes goes into to much depth. It get a bit boring, but most of the stories don’t get boring and usually make you want to read faster to see what happens.
I definitely would recommend this book to others. If you like true stories of true fighters and believers of God who put their faith first, this book is definitely for you.
Jesus Freaks is a book that describes martyrs and how they came to be classified as such. The book follows the path of Christian martyrs from the time of Christ up to modern day believers. The book gives individual stories of those that have been persecuted all over the world. It also contains information on the Christian presence in other countries today and how you can make a difference.
I am thankful that I live in America where I can practice the Christian religion. After reading this book, I have a new found appreciation for my freedom of religion. I am amazed at how modern day Christians must suffer in other areas of the world in order to practice and share their beliefs.
This book is pretty amazing. Contrary to being depressing, it is actually extremely encouraging, and humbling as well. It really, really opened my eyes to the plight of many Christians worldwide, and I just can't believe that people have gone through this type of thing.
One criticism I had was that I think some of the stories belonged more to the realm of Christian legend than historical truth, but most of them weren't like that. Great read, and it really helps to bring you into an awareness of the persecuted church in both ancient and modern times.
Jesus Freaks is a collection of 1-2 page, very short, biographies of Christian martyrs throughout history. For what it is, it's decent. It's certainly not an in-depth look at each person's life; usually each story focuses on the events immediately leading to the person's death. If you are looking to get a broad understanding of Christian martyrdom throughout history without much detail, this is a good read. Many of the older stories are from Foxe's Book of Martyrs. The book is printed in conjunction with Voice of the Martyrs, so it has a tinge of their agenda, too.
Read this with my son and it only took us almost exactly two years. Haha It’s beautiful and heavy and sparked many conversations. I’m in awe what Christians go through in other countries but know that it might not be long before some of things we read are closer to home.
My son read the original version of this book and, to my knowledge, he still possesses it. I received this book from the publisher for my honest review and opinion. A Jesus Freak is one who is willing to for Jesus no matter what. As I read each of the stories they would lead me to reflect if I would do whatever it takes for my faith in Jesus. Would I be willing to lay down my life for Him? This is such a powerful book I believe each of the stories should be read and thought about. This makes it a book I would recommend to the highest level.
I am so glad that this book was revised. Thank you to Bethany House for providing me this book and thank you to dc Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs for being willing to bring this book back.
I was unable to rush through this book. The narratives are so intense and moving that I could bear it only a few pages at a time. I believe it would be much easier to be an outright martyr than to be tortured, especially tortured over a long period of time. I wonder about myself, about my dedication and courage. So ... not everyone in the book is a martyr, but those who were tortured and later released also have my utmost respect and gratitude. They kept the faith. My edition of the book had a lot of updates through 2011, and there is a website link to use to learn about more recent happenings. Some of the requests for prayer for the persecuted, listed by country in the back, had not been updated ... for instance, Iraq and Saddam Hussein. The earliest martyr written about was, of course, Stephen as written in the book of Acts.
The history of William Tyndale and the Plowman Bible is a rich part of Christian history that you will want to know. This section ends, "Tyndale's translation was so accurate that 75 years later, when the King James Version of the Bible was published, it was based largely upon Tyndale's work. In fact, about 90 percent of the words remain exactly as he wrote them!"
Links are provided and suggestions listed for those who are ready to involve themselves more in praying for or assisting international Christian prisoners.
Isaiah 42:6-7 "I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison. "
Jesus Freaks is a book of short stories united under a consistent theme. They are stories of people who have been persecuted for their Christian faith. The stories range from the time of the early church up until the 1980s-90s. It is a challenging book to read as you are reading through story after story of people being killed, tortured, and imprisoned for their faith. It forces one to face the reality of persecution that believers in places like the US and Europe don't have to deal with. Another unexpected challenge was the presence of love in many of these stories and how many of those being persecuted prayed for and loved those who were doing horrific things to them. It really should make us evaluate how we react to those who simply make fun of those who follow Christ or are simply not following Him themselves.
A couple of things set this book back for me. One is that it is just tough to go through story after story of persecution. It may be eye-opening and true, but it is not necessarily what I would call enjoyable reading. My other detraction is a nitpick. That is that in their handling of some of the 12 disciples they don't do a good job of letting us know that with some of the disciples the stories we have are not completely certain. It's a nitpick I know, but it bugged me for some reason.
"Jesus Freaks" is a compilation of the compelling stories of people who have chosen faith in Christ over preserving their own life. Patterned after the famous Fox's Book of Martyrs, it makes every Christian wonder if we could be strong enough to stand up for our faith in the same way. My major problem with this book is that it includes stories of the martyrdom of the apostles. In telling the stories, the book gives details from Scripture which are fairly accurate, ut then adds details about their actual deaths which, in most cases is speculation based on tradition. Yet the book never delineates between the two. Tradition says Peter was crucified upside down but we don't know that for sure, yet the book tells the story as if it really happened, as if it were just as accurate as the telling of Peter's escape from prison as recorded in Acts 12. So I found myself asking, "If I can't trust the stories told about Biblical characters, how much can I trust the accounts of the other martyrs? Can I trust the the information given in quotes is accurate? How much of this book is fluffed up? I don't doubt one bit that Christians have been martyred; I merely question the accuracy of the reporting in this book. So, while it is worthwhile to read, I would say, read with caution and a questioning mind.
I stopped reading this book pretty early on. It seems like it was primarily written for 15-year-olds, which is, by no coincidence, how old I was when it was published. I'm sure that it was marketed to 15 year old me and some part of my brain put it down as, "You should probably read this book some day."
But don't read it when you're 30 and more cynical than your 15 year old self.
That said, stories of people standing up for what they believe in can be encouraging. What is less encouraging is the attitude that everybody who is not a Christian must be some terrorist, bent on destroying Christianity. Just because someone is a Muslim or a Communist doesn't make them anti-Christian. The "Us Vs. Them" attitude of this book turned me away early on.
La respuesta es no. Este es mi libro de no ficción favorito. Es una recopilacion de relatos acerca de personas que fueron asesisanadas directamente por sus creencias religiosas, en este caso el cristianismo. Fue impresionante la crudeza en el que está narrado y como hay fechas my actuales, en la llamada época moderna, aún ahora siguen sucediendo tragedias por causas religiosas y este libro te ayuda a sensibilizarte sobre ese tema.
great book about christian martyrs. I read about half of this book a year ago and decided to finish it this past week. the stories were encouraging but also sad. each story was short only about 2-3 pages in all. I definitely struggle with books like these because I read one chapter and then I feel done. takes me awhile to finish them. I have foxes book of martyrs and I think I might read it next. recommended.
In the year 2000, D.C. Talk partnered with Voice of the Martyrs to compile this collection of stories of Christian's who have suffered (and many who were killed) for the sake of the name of Christ. Reading story after story is convicting and overwhelming, but I was also encouraged by the faith these brothers and sisters displayed as they trusted God and the promises of His Word, living out the verse "to live is Christ and to die is gain."
In an attempt to be more relatable and accessible, this book utilizes The Message and the New Living Translation for all of its Bible quotes. They also retell the stories of some of the apostles in story form. I wish they used less trendy versions of the Bible, and quoted more directly from scripture when telling biblical accounts, but over all this book is worth the read.