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The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth That Could Change Everything Paperback – 3 Feb 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (3 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849918928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849918926
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.2 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 351,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Brian D. McLaren (MA, University of Maryland) is an author, speaker, activist and public theologian. After teaching college English, Brian pastored Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area. Brain has been active in networking and mentoring church planters and pastors for over 20 years. He is a popular conference speaker and a frequent guest lecturer for denominational and ecumenical leadership gatherings in the US and internationally.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not a Christian. Having said that I do believe that Jesus Christ is the most perfect being to have ever walked on the face of the earth. And I also believe that he died that I may be saved. On a daily basis I do my best to put my trust in God.

However, Christianity for me has always been about being good enough for heaven or being doomed to hell. And I'm sorry but I don't accept that. And that's why I don't call myself a Christian.

This book will take seekers away from the evangelistic portrayal of Christianity to a new and more encompassing understanding of why God sent his only son to pay such an awful price for our sins.

This book is much more than another attempt to get us hooked on religion. Indeed I don't think it would have too much success if that was its aims. Instead Mr McLaren uncovers what Jesus was about, what he stood for and what his vision for the world consisted of. Reading it with acceptance will take you to a new understanding of what it is to be human.

This is a fresh approach and it works.
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Format: Paperback
I've often puzzled at why the church seems so different from what I read in the Gospels. Church tends to focus on Jesus saving our sins etc. What I'm interested in is what Jesus said about how to live our life - being kind, giving, humble, welcoming to prostitutes etc. The author agrees and is also a vicar and learned man of God so it made an interesting, and at times inspiring, read. I did lose the thread occasionally in the first half but the second half is excellent. If you're not Christian (and I'm not really) then it might be a tad too focused on scripture as the means to get a message across. However the author is a very good writer, which makes it a great read.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been fortunate to be able to read a pre-release galley of Brian McLaren's new book, the Secret Message of Jesus.
The title seems a little too like Steve Chalke's 'Lost Message of Jesus', and I'm not keen on the title itself, using the word secret. Having said that, when you read the book, and explore the message of Jesus, historically, theologically, biblically as the book does, you could be left thinking, I wish more people new about this.
It's not an emerging church book, and will lay out for a lot of people what Brian believes about Jesus, the Gospel, and christian mission. I found it greatly inspiring and gave me an understanding of Jesus, his connection to the church, and mission throughout history, and our hope in him for holistic life and mission today.
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I have been a fan of Mclaren since being introduced to the "New Kind of Christian" trilogy. Whilst the discussions in these books rang true with me, I found the underlying messages difficult to assemble into a coherent whole. In the "Secret Message" Mclaren resolves this for me.

However, this is no dry textbook. It is set of challenges to me to go away and re-read the gospels and the rest of the New Testament and do some real thinking. It will disturb the comfortable religious traditions and ways that we all have grown up with. But that is a good thing and makes faith stronger.

I am now on my second reading and by coincidence I have been finishing off Karen Armstrong's "The Battle for God". Her historical account shows us how Jesus's message has been distorted and abused over the centuries by politicians, priests, fundamentalists of all persuasions, evangelists etc. By stark contrast, Mclaren's book explores and opens up what he believes Jesus really wanted us to understand.

Sadly the vocal tele-evangelists, fundamentalists and other religious authorities are likely to condemn this book outright, fearing perhaps that the people in the pews might start to think for themselves.

I have one criticism. The book's title and cover are more suggestive of a book such as the "Da Vinci" code. Nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps the publishers wanted a more eye-catching title than some of McLaren's earlier works!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I feel a little guilty for giving this book only a 3 star rating. It is a 'must read'for those evangelicals who have begun to wonder whether there is more to the Gospel than they have been taught. For such people, this book could transform the way they understand Christianity forever! And for the better.

My reservations focus upon the author's apparent suggestion that his insights are in some way new. Perhaps, given his status as an evangelical writer and preacher, he is reluctant to admit it, but he says nothing that 'liberal' Christian thinkers have not argued for many decades.

I am also a little irritated that McLaren (like the Fundamentalists he decries) ignores Biblical scholarship by accepting that Jesus said the words attributed to him in the Gospels.I get the feeling that within McLaren is a Christian 'liberal' struggling to come out.

Still, despite my criticisms, the book is a worthy read. Evangelicals will (I hope) find it an eye-opener. Other Christians will be pleasantly surprised at how far some evangelical teachers have come in their appreciation of the life and teaching of Jesus.

Overall, I enjoyed the Book and found it useful and inspiring.
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