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Knowledge Base .: Archives Fiction and Non-Fiction Reviews .: Religion and Spirituality .: THE SECRET MESSAGE OF JESUS


Author: Brian McLaren

 ISBN:  0-8499-0000-X

The following review was contributed by: Penny Watkins: CLICK HERE  to read more of Penny's Reviews.

The Secret Message of Jesus is written in the voice of a searcher, someone who is looking for truth.  He speaks as someone who has spent a long time pondering the Scriptures and the Jesus that he finds there.  He speaks the words of someone who has had to clear away the brush of doctrine and orthodoxy in order to find a clear view of what Jesus actually said in the New Testament.

Brian McLaren’s thesis is that the Kingdom of God is not some future heavenly realm, inhabited by post-death spiritual beings.  He says that the Kingdom of God is closer than we believe, that it is here and now, between and among us.

Living in the Kingdom of God is living as Jesus instructed us to.  It’s subversive, countercultural and transformative.  Nothing happens overnight, and Kingdom changes—such as the repudiation of slavery—may take hundreds or thousands of years.  Kingdom living does, in the end, transform individuals, cultures, nations and the world.

McLaren’s call is to live out the Kingdom values of helping the poor and oppressed, working toward peace and justice, and loving even our enemies.  We are called to turn away from the values of the world kingdom and embrace the values of God’s kingdom, and this is far more radical and revolutionary than we understand. 

McLaren’s message resonates deeply with those of us who want something more than church, something more than good doctrine.  His message is a deep, sounding, thrumming call to follow the Christ, to join in bringing the Kingdom of God into our present reality, where it changes everything.

The Secret Message of Jesus is clearly and compelling written.  McLaren’s style is graceful and grace-filled.  He doesn’t judge or alienate his readers; he simply points out that they—we—can be better than we are.  This book is a reiteration of the Good News; the news that all things are being made new and right.  It’s a message of hope; hope that the Kingdom of God will prevail, and hope that we, too, can become transformed people, and can participate in Christ’s simple mission to change the world.


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