Rarely does a book stir me, really stir me, to the point that while I’m reading, my heart starts beating faster.
Rarely does a book stir me, really stir me, to the point that while I’m reading, my heart starts beating faster. Like when you’re having a conversation with someone and you know exactly what the person is saying, where they’re going, what they’re thinking–and it excites you because not only are you “getting” it, but you know that the direction you are going is somehow right, the direction that God wants you to go.
Jesus Wants to Save Christians does just that.
The style in which Bell wrote this book serves its purpose well. Instead of preaching to the reader about all the things that are wrong with Christians today, he simply tells the biblical story in a way that brings it to life.
Bell starts in Genesis and begins to paint vivid pictures, connecting stories to each other, demonstrating how one story builds upon another, using the same imagery and language as the one before it. There are common themes that flow throughout the entirety of Scripture, themes that can often be overlooked or lost in the thick of the texts. Bell brings these themes to light, demonstrating the threads that flow through the whole narrative. As a result, the reader gets a clear and fluid picture of the biblical story, seeing how the Old Testament illuminates the New in more ways than simply the prophecies about Jesus. In fact, the reader begins to see the weight of particular events, why they mattered, what they meant and how it is all related.
In the process of all of this, Bell identifies several themes that occur throughout the Biblical narrative. Themes like empire, oppression, exodus, exile, body and salvation all of which play out not only in the biblical story but, we soon learn, in our story as well. The story of God, the Israelites, Jesus and the Church takes on a new meaning when you get the “back story” in such a well-constructed fashion. And amidst all of this, you begin to pick up on patterns of behavior that God’s people frequently fall into, patterns which become destructive, patterns which lead us to places we don’t want to go. If you take the time to assess the situation of God’s people today, you may even notice those patterns still being played out.
This book will cause you to think, to re-evaluate, and to hope for something better. Whether you’re a Rob Bell fan already or not, whether you even like him or not, this book is worth picking up. Chew on it, question it, wrestle with it and learn from it. Who knows, you might find out that you are one of the Christians that Jesus wants to save.
Have you read the book? What are your thoughts on Jesus Wants to Save Christians?