A Farewell to Mars
We know Jesus the Savior, but have we met Jesus, Prince of Peace? When did we accept vengeance as an acceptable part of the Christian life? How did violence and power seep into our understanding of faith and grace? For those troubled by this trend toward the sword, perhaps there is a better way. What if the message of Jesus differs radically from the drumbeats of war we hear all around us? Using his own journey from war crier to peacemaker and his in-depth study of peace in the scriptures, author and pastor Brian Zahnd reintroduces us to the gospel of Peace.

A Farewell to Mars Details

TitleA Farewell to Mars
Author
ReleaseJun 1st, 2014
PublisherDavid C Cook
ISBN-139780781411189
Rating
GenreReligion, Theology, Nonfiction, Christianity, Christian, Faith

A Farewell to Mars Review

  • Zach Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    Pardon my French, but holy crap! Okay, well that wasn't French. However, this book is one of the best books I have ever read. I'm a 4th generation Pentecostal/Charismatic believer, I've been in the ministry for 5 years, and I've been saved for 15 years. I'm the Pastor of a Campus Ministry, and have been running in Word of Faith circles for the last 13 years or so, therefore I was very easily able to identify where Brian was coming from. This book is absolutely amazing. Around February I was read Pardon my French, but holy crap! Okay, well that wasn't French. However, this book is one of the best books I have ever read. I'm a 4th generation Pentecostal/Charismatic believer, I've been in the ministry for 5 years, and I've been saved for 15 years. I'm the Pastor of a Campus Ministry, and have been running in Word of Faith circles for the last 13 years or so, therefore I was very easily able to identify where Brian was coming from. This book is absolutely amazing. Around February I was reading through The Gospel of John, when I came across John 1:18, seeing and being rocked to my core about Jesus perfectly revealed God. This was very contradictory to what I had been taught and even taught myself about God turning into a savage beast in the "end times," and that Jesus is holding back the wrath of God, that God changed according to the dispensations and all that stuff. It set me on my "farewell," if you will, to evangelical Christianity. I've held on to my convictions concerning the power of the Holy Spirit, the baptism in the Spirit, and the daily operation of God's power and revelation of His kingdom in daily life, but everything else has been up in the air. I realized that what we try to pawn off on people as the Gospel is really no Gospel at all, because it is essentially just catchphrases and rhetoric. Thank you, Pastor Brian, for sharing your journey and allowing me to bid a farewell to Mars. Also, I finished this book in 2 days, and I'm normally a slow reader.
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  • Randy
    January 1, 1970
    A quintessential vision of the Peaceable Kingdom of Jesus & an invitation to lay down our swords & turn them in plowshares. The last full paragraph..."I know what the cynics will say. I know how the scoffers will sneer. I know the non-dreamers believing only in the brutal ways of force will laugh me off as impossibly naive. But I don’t care. I’ve grown immune to their strain of unbelief. I’ve turned a corner. I believe that what Isaiah dreamed of, Jesus died for. I believe that what Isai A quintessential vision of the Peaceable Kingdom of Jesus & an invitation to lay down our swords & turn them in plowshares. The last full paragraph..."I know what the cynics will say. I know how the scoffers will sneer. I know the non-dreamers believing only in the brutal ways of force will laugh me off as impossibly naive. But I don’t care. I’ve grown immune to their strain of unbelief. I’ve turned a corner. I believe that what Isaiah dreamed of, Jesus died for. I believe that what Isaiah said would come to pass in the last days, Jesus inaugurated in his resurrection. I’ve caught a glimpse of the better world that can be— a world that Jesus came to give and continues to offer us. I believe the world of peace is possible in Christ. I won’t let the doomsday preppers with their Armageddon obsession talk me out of it. Jesus has already spoken the first word of a new world— the word peace. So things have changed. I have changed. I’ve prayed my last war prayer and preached my last war sermon. I’ve given up bellicose flag waving and singing lustily about bombs bursting in air. I’ve bid a final farewell to Mars. From now on I follow the Prince of Peace. I know others will come with me. Maybe you will be one of them. I hope so."
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  • Rick Lee Lee James
    January 1, 1970
    I just finished reading A Farewell To Mars. This is one of the most needed books I have ever read. It resonates so much with what I believe Jesus is saying to His church. I hope every pastor in America will read it because the Gospel of Peace is in fact the Gospel of Jesus. It's as deep as any book by Hauerwas or Yoder that I've ever read but infinitely more readable for the lay person. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the words in this book are the utterances of a prophet. However, as with I just finished reading A Farewell To Mars. This is one of the most needed books I have ever read. It resonates so much with what I believe Jesus is saying to His church. I hope every pastor in America will read it because the Gospel of Peace is in fact the Gospel of Jesus. It's as deep as any book by Hauerwas or Yoder that I've ever read but infinitely more readable for the lay person. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the words in this book are the utterances of a prophet. However, as with all prophetic utterances, I'm sure there will be a lot of opposition to it from those whom Brian describes as "the crowd." However, there will be many others who will be transformed by the words that Christ has spoken Brian Zahnd in this work. It takes the attentive, transparent spirit of a pastor to write a book like this, and a great amount of courage to publish it. This book is a call to all followers of Christ to lay their weapons down and follow Jesus. I encourage you to heed the call and bid farewell to Mars, the God of War, so that you can embrace the way of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
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  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    Very important read. Although I agreed with the overall premises of the book (war is bad, Jesus is political and His agenda is peace, and too many Christians have nationalism confused and muddled in with Christianity), I thought some of his examples were a bit overwrought and far-reaching. However, I do think any Christian would be challenged by this provocative book and be compelled to reconsider how nationalism, nuclear warfare, and current political agendas measure up against the New Testamen Very important read. Although I agreed with the overall premises of the book (war is bad, Jesus is political and His agenda is peace, and too many Christians have nationalism confused and muddled in with Christianity), I thought some of his examples were a bit overwrought and far-reaching. However, I do think any Christian would be challenged by this provocative book and be compelled to reconsider how nationalism, nuclear warfare, and current political agendas measure up against the New Testament teachings of the Prince of Peace.
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  • Ty Melgren
    January 1, 1970
    "We forget that when we see Christ dead upon the cross, we discover a God who would rather die than kill his enemies." I like the title of this book a lot. It's a Missouri guy, like me, trying to convince american christians that war and nationalism are completely at odds with everything Jesus said and did. There's good ideas in here, but it's mostly stuff that's seemed obvious to me for a long time, and while reading this I kept thinking yeah yeah, i know, i've read the gospels, i've read Walt "We forget that when we see Christ dead upon the cross, we discover a God who would rather die than kill his enemies." I like the title of this book a lot. It's a Missouri guy, like me, trying to convince american christians that war and nationalism are completely at odds with everything Jesus said and did. There's good ideas in here, but it's mostly stuff that's seemed obvious to me for a long time, and while reading this I kept thinking yeah yeah, i know, i've read the gospels, i've read Walter Brueggemann and Logan Mehl-Laituri, i've read Shane Claiborne and N.T. Wright . I made that exact mental list on the bus one morning, and then thought shit: my understanding of Jesus has been shaped almost exclusively by white dudes . I asked for Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman for christmas, so I'm reading that next. Gonna need advice from there.
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  • Chris Williams
    January 1, 1970
    Zahnd, whose "Beauty Will Save the World" is fantastic, rants incoherently and cherry-picks from other philosophers and historians. There is an important discussion to be had about Christianity, peace, and the dangers of nationalism. But Zahnd seems to think that pacifism is not just a part of Christianity (and I'm a bit hesitant to totally accept that), but the central point of it. And it reeks of the ranting of someone who was once a conservative nationalist who has now become a liberal and wa Zahnd, whose "Beauty Will Save the World" is fantastic, rants incoherently and cherry-picks from other philosophers and historians. There is an important discussion to be had about Christianity, peace, and the dangers of nationalism. But Zahnd seems to think that pacifism is not just a part of Christianity (and I'm a bit hesitant to totally accept that), but the central point of it. And it reeks of the ranting of someone who was once a conservative nationalist who has now become a liberal and wants to prove how cool he is (I say this as a liberal). Even more troubling is Zahnd's tendency to elevate the Sermon on the Mount above the rest of Scripture, pretty much dismiss the Old Testament, and twist the Bible to match his own over-arching doctrine of pacifism. really, a disappointing approach to an important discussion.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    Succinct and to the point, an excellent argument for Christianity and Jesus' radical message of peace and forgiveness, against the nationalistic, 'Constantinian Christianity' used as a tool of empire and justification for exploitation and warfare.
  • David
    January 1, 1970
    For me, as for many Christians in America, it has often been difficult to separate our commitments to Jesus and our patriotism as Americans. I remember singing songs to the greatness of America at church around national holidays. More recently, I remember being at a Christian conference that recognized a national holiday with a powerpoint presentation that seemed to praise American warplanes.Brian Zahnd seems to have a similar history. In his book A Farewell to Mars, he tells much of his story. For me, as for many Christians in America, it has often been difficult to separate our commitments to Jesus and our patriotism as Americans. I remember singing songs to the greatness of America at church around national holidays. More recently, I remember being at a Christian conference that recognized a national holiday with a powerpoint presentation that seemed to praise American warplanes.Brian Zahnd seems to have a similar history. In his book A Farewell to Mars, he tells much of his story. Once upon a time he was the patriotic pastor, preaching nationalistic sermons, praying war prayers and basically seeing part of his job as a Christian pastor to call for God's blessing to the American military machine. Over time he came to see the idolatry in this and moved to a nonviolent position.When I first noticed this book, I expected it to be the story of how a pastor moved from seeing Jesus as sanctioning American wars to sanctioning nonviolence along with a good bit of argument that Jesus teaches nonviolence. There is a lot of the former, but it was the latter that was pleasantly surprising. Zahnd does not tread the usual ground that people do when arguing for or against nonviolence. His book is not about proving, from the sermon on the mount and elsewhere, that Jesus' followers ought to be nonviolent. Instead he paints a picture of who Jesus Christ is and was and reasons from that into nonviolence.This makes the book both readable and fresh. If you're new to the whole idea of a nonviolent Jesus, this book opens the door for you. And if you've read books on this subject before, this book is unique enough to deserve a reading. At the same time, if you have the usual questions about nonviolence, Zahnd's book does not give answers. For example, he makes the claim that God never commands the killing of anyone, drawing a line from Abraham to Jesus. What about all the stories in the Bible where God does appear to command such killing? Zahnd does not go there. Also, many people bring up how the picture of Jesus in Revelation fits in, will Jesus leave behind nonviolence to take on the war-like qualities of Mars at the second coming? Again, Zahnd does not go there.So do not read this book expecting a full-proof argument for nonviolence that answers all questions. Read it more as a testimony of how one pastor changed his thinking. Zahnd is one of many who is moving towards such conclusions, coming out of an evangelical, God bless American and her wars, background. It'd be interesting to know why so many of us (I suppose I'd fit in this group too) are making this change. Are we just doing a better job studying the Bible? Something to do with the end of Christendom? Some other sociological reason? Questions for another day, I guess. All in all, a great book to read!
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  • Tim McLaughlin
    January 1, 1970
    It had a lot of really solid teaching and ideas. Some of the exegesis seemed a bit contrived and was not adequately supported, and his descriptions of Pilate seem to be built almost entirely on a fictional work he cites at length in the beginning despite the fact that we have enough historical data to have been more clear and accurate about him. But I think he makes his overall case well, and while significant review of some of his more nuanced interpretations is advised, I would strongly recomm It had a lot of really solid teaching and ideas. Some of the exegesis seemed a bit contrived and was not adequately supported, and his descriptions of Pilate seem to be built almost entirely on a fictional work he cites at length in the beginning despite the fact that we have enough historical data to have been more clear and accurate about him. But I think he makes his overall case well, and while significant review of some of his more nuanced interpretations is advised, I would strongly recommend taking the goal of the book seriously.
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  • Chris Bennett
    January 1, 1970
    Compelling. Unsettling. A necessary conversation-starter for a church draped in "old glory."
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    There is so much to unpack here that thinking of writing a review on this book exhausts me. I do not want to spend hours looking up scriptural references to support my arguments. So here is the Cliff notes version:First of all—my one good thing: I liked the chapter about scapegoating and lynch mobs “the majority is almost always wrong.” Zahnd lays out the principle of human behavior that couples our fear with a desire to indict the weakest, the minority in our midst and punish them. When we puni There is so much to unpack here that thinking of writing a review on this book exhausts me. I do not want to spend hours looking up scriptural references to support my arguments. So here is the Cliff notes version:First of all—my one good thing: I liked the chapter about scapegoating and lynch mobs “the majority is almost always wrong.” Zahnd lays out the principle of human behavior that couples our fear with a desire to indict the weakest, the minority in our midst and punish them. When we punish someone—even if it’s not the person we should fear it alleviates our fear.1) Farewell to Mars. I felt gyped that a book with such a cool title ended up being such a disappointment.2) Zahnd is a protestant preacher located in St. Joseph Missouri who has a personal conversion to Christ’s political teachings about peace. He confuses/interprets a lot of Christ’s earthly doctrine about the spiritual mission that Christ is to fulfill with what he believes is Christ’s political doctrine. 3) Zahnd notes that people left his congregation after he started preaching this gospel of peace. He likens himself to Christ and that Christ’s contemporaries didn’t want to hear a message of peace either. In fact Zahnd claims that they killed Christ because He was preaching political peace. I disagree. They killed Christ because Jesus blasphemed when he claimed to be God and the Son of God. I wonder if Zahnd’s congregants had other motivations for leaving. Could it be that the members of Zahnd’s congregation bailed because he’d become a “one-note” preacher ever since his conversion and because they missed hearing about the fulness of the gospel? Is pacifism THE central point of Christianity?4) Zahnd’s zealousness in this one particular area is troubling to me. I feel like he’s missing the larger point of Christ’s mission. The Jews of Jesus’ time were also guilty of misinterpreting the prophesies of Christ. They were looking for a political leader—someone who would free them from Roman oppression. But Christ’s mission was not to save them from the Romans. His mission was to save them from Satan—to save their souls and give them eternal salvation. 5) I do love peace and sorrow at war. I think it would be awesome if we lived in a world where no one wanted wars, but I don’t think that’s possible. We’re living in a fallen world full of natural men, wicked men. When Christ comes again, all of the wicked will be killed and Christ will rule on the earth for 1000 years. There will be no wars. There will be peace. That will be awesome. It would be a great event to live through. But I don’t think that type of peace is going to happen before then.6) Defending our country: God has given us this country—America. It is a chosen land. It will be blessed and we will be blessed to live here as long as we are righteous. God oversaw every detail of this country—including Christopher Columbus discovering America, including the Revolutionary war, including the formation of our government and the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. All of those items were prophesied about to ancient prophets in the American Continent and have been recorded in the Book of Mormon. God established a country with freedoms and liberties, unlike other countries in which freedom of religion could thrive so that he could restore His true church to the earth. 7) I disagree with Zahnd’s suggestion that we need to get rid of all of our weapons of war and bow down in peace—even if attacked. God wants to have a covenant people that are still alive on the earth. How will that happen if we all just bow down and let ourselves be killed or overrun? Both communism and terrorism possess ideologies which are not compatible with any other political ideologies (democracy). Their objective is to take over all of the world and make all of the world communist (or in the case of terrorism to kill everyone who doesn’t believe like they do). Do you really think that we are going to change their minds by simply refusing to defend ourselves or to fight back? Do you really think that their hearts will be softened and changed and that they will become peaceful themselves? I highly doubt that.Alright--now I'm starting to look up scriptures to support my viewpoint, and I just don't want to spend any longer on this review.So that's it. I really didn't like this book. We read it for our Christian book group.
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  • Jared Naidoo
    January 1, 1970
    REVIEW: We sell out when, “...we make religion the whore of the Empire.”
  • Henk-Jan van der Klis
    January 1, 1970
    Modern evangelical Christians stripped Jesus Christ to only being the part of the Godhead, a personal Savior that forgives our sins and grants us a ticket to heaven. What did we make of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, as e.g. Isiah prophesied, and Jesus Christ himself spoke of in the Gospels? When and why did we accept warfare in the name of God, vengeance and us versus them thinking? Brian Zahn rediscovered the missing pieces in his understanding of the Bible, repented from the war prayers he praye Modern evangelical Christians stripped Jesus Christ to only being the part of the Godhead, a personal Savior that forgives our sins and grants us a ticket to heaven. What did we make of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, as e.g. Isiah prophesied, and Jesus Christ himself spoke of in the Gospels? When and why did we accept warfare in the name of God, vengeance and us versus them thinking? Brian Zahn rediscovered the missing pieces in his understanding of the Bible, repented from the war prayers he prayed during the Gulf War and 9/11. He doesn't like to be coined as pacifist, he just wants to be a follower of Christ, a Christian. Zahnd shows that since Cain murdered his brother Able as if he was his enemy, and lied about the murder to God, the evil brought empires to raise and fall, leading to a creation that's waiting for restoration and the Kingdom of God become manifest. Instead of turning to the sword, worshiping the god of warfare (Mars) nowadays, there's a better way. Freedom, not as a patriotic value becoming an excuse for war, but freedom as equivalent for brotherly love. Brian Zahnd reintroduces his readers to the gospel of Peace and bids A Farewell to Mars. An important message for a Church for centuries intertwined with the sword-bearing empires of this world.
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  • Robert Martin
    January 1, 1970
    There are two wars going on in our world right now. The first is the obvious one against terrorism and the brutality of fanaticism in the Middle East. The second, though, is being fought in the hearts and minds of Christians the world over. Specifically, it is a fight to end our addiction to "good" violence, of our implicit blessing of war and even personal violence in the name of Jesus.This book is, with tongue in cheek, the first really significant shot fired in this war, confessing a bloody p There are two wars going on in our world right now. The first is the obvious one against terrorism and the brutality of fanaticism in the Middle East. The second, though, is being fought in the hearts and minds of Christians the world over. Specifically, it is a fight to end our addiction to "good" violence, of our implicit blessing of war and even personal violence in the name of Jesus.This book is, with tongue in cheek, the first really significant shot fired in this war, confessing a bloody past, and looking forward to a future of peace led by the Prince of Peace.I have been a Mennonite Anabaptist all my life, steeped in Peace Theology. Brian Zahnd has captured the essence of it in this book.If you are disillusioned by Christianity, about the implied baptism of "Christian nationalism", you will find no fault with this book. If, however, you are in deep in nationalistic fervor, Christian patriotism, or the idea that war is necessary and a path for good, this book will push your buttons and challenge your thinking... and you need that. Please read this book... American Christianity needs this book.
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  • John Kelley
    January 1, 1970
    This book is utterly amazing! It completely reformulated my views on violence and I can't even comprehend how blinded I was before reading this book! This book is truly God inspired and removes the patriotic blinders that many of us read scripture through! This book is amazing and Brian Zahnd has truly been given a great revelation! My only wish is that he would have explained if/why wars of self-defense or defense of another is wrong or not.
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  • Todd Wilhelm
    January 1, 1970
    "I think I caught a glimpse of truth out of the corner of my eyeA ghost, a whisper, a suspicion, a subtle and subversive rumorSo dangerous that every army would be commanded to march against itSo beautiful that it would drive those who see it to madnessOr sanity..."-A poem by Brian Zahnd. See the link below for the full poem.http://thouarttheman.org/2014/10/25/o...If you wish to read a book that will challenge your traditional American view of Christ and His kingdom you may wish to read this boo "I think I caught a glimpse of truth out of the corner of my eyeA ghost, a whisper, a suspicion, a subtle and subversive rumorSo dangerous that every army would be commanded to march against itSo beautiful that it would drive those who see it to madnessOr sanity..."-A poem by Brian Zahnd. See the link below for the full poem.http://thouarttheman.org/2014/10/25/o...If you wish to read a book that will challenge your traditional American view of Christ and His kingdom you may wish to read this book. The Prince of Peace has taken on a whole new meaning for me. I must admit my thinking on this subject had been affected by a deep thinking friend of mine from college days (GM). Zahnd further challenges me. I believe these men have progressed further along their journey than I; they have grasped more of who Christ our Lord is, and what His kingdom is about. "that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 3:10-14"It is when the state has the church by the throat that a book like "A Farewell to Mars" suddenly offers clarity. Maybe Brian Zahnd's father is right: maybe the majority is almost always wrong." -Scot McKnight, from the Foreword"Understanding Jesus as the Prince of Peace who transcends idolatrous nationalism and overcomes the archaic ways of war is an imperative the church must at last begin to take seriously." -Location 92Jesus Christ and the historical events of his crucifixion and resurrection are not to be separated from the ideas he preached about a kingdom of peace. Or let me say it this way: I believe in the Nazarene who one writer called "that preacher of peace." -Location 107"So here we are, twenty centuries down the road, still wrestling with the conflict we have between the Jesus we love and his unsettling ideas, which we remain skeptical about. It seems we Christians have had a habitual tendency to separate Jesus from his ideas.... For seventeen centuries Christianity has offered a gospel where we can accept Jesus as our personal Savior while largely ignoring his ideas about peace, violence and human society. We have embraced a privatized, postmortem gospel that stresses Jesus dying for our sins but at the same time ignores his political ideas. This leaves us free to run the world the way it has always been run: by the power of the sword." -Location 160"American Christians especially should keep in mind that we as the modern Romans - the privileged citizens of the world's lone superpower - have more in common with Pontius Pilate than we do with Galilean peasants. Commenting on this, Miroslav Volf says: "Pilate deserves our sympathies, not because he was a good though tragically mistaken man, but because we are not much better. We may believe in Jesus, but we do not believe in his ideas, at least not his ideas about violence, truth, and justice." ...In short the problem is this: far too few who believe in the risen Christ actually believe in his revolutionary ideas. There is a sense in which we create religion as a category to keep Jesus from meddling with our cherished ideas about nationalism, freedom, and war." -Location 185"A world that had never seen a Christmas and never celebrated an Easter would still be a pagan world bereft of compassion for the poor, the sick, the weak, the marginalized, the victimized - the very people Jesus brings out of the shadows through his life and teaching. Jesus further establishes compassion as the way we are to relate to the weak and suffering when he makes our treatment of them the criterion for the final judgment in the parable of the sheep and goats. In that parable Jesus famously said, "as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me" (Matt. 25:40 ESV). Jesus has taught us to see the sick, the poor, the prisoner, and the stranger as his brothers... as our brothers... as Jesus himself!" -Location 539"As the climax of the Hebrew prophetic tradition, Jesus did not merely testify against symptomatic sin - in fact, he spent very little time doing this. Rather, Jesus struck at the heart of the systemic evil that has provided the foundation for human civilization. Jesus didn't seem very interested in exposing symptomatic sinners - tax collectors, drunkards, prostitutes, etc. Instead Jesus challenged the guardians of systemic sin - the power brokers of religion and politics." -Location 958"The cross is shock therapy for a world addicted to solving its problems through violence. The cross shocks us into the devastating realization that our system of violence murdered God! ...In light of the cross, we are to realize that if what we have built on Cain's foundation is capable of murdering the Son of God, the whole edifice needs to come down." -Location 1021"In the end, the US Congress would no more adopt the policies Jesus set out in the Sermon on the Mount than they were adopted by the Jewish Sanhedrin or the Roman Senate.The Jesus way and conventional power politics don't mix. So we tell Jesus to mind his own business - to go back to church and to "saving souls" and not to meddle in the real affairs of running the world. We sequester Jesus to a stained-glass quarantine and appropriate a trillion dollars for the war machine. This begs the question of why Christians get so worked up over which side has the most representatives in Congress when the entire system is incapable of implementing what Jesus taught. Do you see what I mean? It's hard to believe in Jesus! To believe in Jesus fully, to believe in Jesus as more than a personal Savior, to believe in Jesus without qualifications, to believe in Jesus as God's way to run the world, to believe in Jesus and his Sermon on the Mount, to believe in Jesus as the unimagined solution for a world gone wrong and not as merely chaplain or cheerleader for our favorite version of the status quo is very hard to do. It is also very controversial." -Location 1051"Just as Jesus called his followers to be great by serving one another, he also calls the nations to the same ethic. The nations who resist the ethic are inevitably hurtling toward their own destruction.So politically I call for my nation to prioritize caring for the poor, the sick, the immigrant, and the imprisoned, and to renounce an ambition to dominate the world economically or militarily. I do this in the name of Jesus. I pledge no allegiance to elephants or donkeys, only to the Lamb. These are my politics for the simple reason that they are clearly the politics of Jesus." -Location 1775"I believe that what Isaiah dreamed of, Jesus died for. I believe that what Isaiah said would come to pass in the last days, Jesus inaugurated in his resurrection. I've caught a glimpse of the better world that can be - a world that Jesus came to give and continues to offer us. I believe the world of peace is possible with Christ. I won't let the doomsday preppers with their Armageddon obsession talk me out of it. Jesus has already spoken the first word of a new world - the word peace. So things have changed. I have changed. I've prayed my last war prayer and preached my last war sermon. I've given up bellicose flag waving and singing lustily about bombs bursting in air. I've bid farewell to Mars. From now on I follow the Prince of Peace. I know others will come with me. Maybe you will be one of them. I hope so." Location 2031 http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blo...
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  • Welles Bristol
    January 1, 1970
    A brave pastor & critical thinker. Must read for a deeper faith.Some excerpts:‘The revolutionary insight that’s been central to my theological journey is a deeper understanding of what the kingdom of God actually is.’‘What does it mean to be a “sheep” nation judged to be on the right side of Jesus and blessed by God? It means to be a nation that cares for the poor, cares for the sick, welcomes the immigrant, and practices humane treatment of its prisoners.’‘Jesus doesn’t call us to give a pr A brave pastor & critical thinker. Must read for a deeper faith.Some excerpts:‘The revolutionary insight that’s been central to my theological journey is a deeper understanding of what the kingdom of God actually is.’‘What does it mean to be a “sheep” nation judged to be on the right side of Jesus and blessed by God? It means to be a nation that cares for the poor, cares for the sick, welcomes the immigrant, and practices humane treatment of its prisoners.’‘Jesus doesn’t call us to give a prophetic interpretation to the latest war and rumor of war. Jesus calls us to be peacemakers and lead the way out of the darkness of retributive violence into the light of Christian reconciliation.’
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  • Ryan Beaty
    January 1, 1970
    Honest and challengingEven when I disagreed I agreed, that's how I describe this book. It is a call to do hard things, even in the line of fire, pun intended. Even if you do not come to all the same conclusions that the author comes to you cannot come away from this book having not been changed and convicted. I highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about exploring and following all of the ways of Jesus.
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  • Brittany Eckhardt
    January 1, 1970
    A thought provoking and convicting read, challenging the church and it’s allegiance to nationalism and patriotism over the gospel of peace.
  • Shannon Greene
    January 1, 1970
    An important and timely read for American Christians who are desiring to live into the Kingdom of God.
  • Joe Summers
    January 1, 1970
    A must read!
  • Ellen B
    January 1, 1970
    A heartbreakingly necessary read for the (American) church today. I only worry that the people who should read it will not.Up front, I will say that, where I am now, I am not the target audience for this book. When I was in high school, shortly after 9/11, I began to perceive the hypocrisy of this so-called "Christian nation." I specifically remember writing something to this effect—whether in my journal or a school assignment, I don't remember. That was 15 years ago. These days, this trait of t A heartbreakingly necessary read for the (American) church today. I only worry that the people who should read it will not.Up front, I will say that, where I am now, I am not the target audience for this book. When I was in high school, shortly after 9/11, I began to perceive the hypocrisy of this so-called "Christian nation." I specifically remember writing something to this effect—whether in my journal or a school assignment, I don't remember. That was 15 years ago. These days, this trait of the American church is all too evident, and as I read this book, my heart is aching.
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  • Jenniet Galvan
    January 1, 1970
    I like books that make me think. And if they make me think deeply they get five stars. I like to think outside the box, especially the evangelical box that I kind of fell into during my 20s, quite happily I might add. I hope that Christians that are in their boxes, might peek outside and take a chance on having some of your deeply held idols obliterated. To me, this book is simply about following Jesus, taking a hard look at yourself and deciding if you are truly following the real Jesus or the I like books that make me think. And if they make me think deeply they get five stars. I like to think outside the box, especially the evangelical box that I kind of fell into during my 20s, quite happily I might add. I hope that Christians that are in their boxes, might peek outside and take a chance on having some of your deeply held idols obliterated. To me, this book is simply about following Jesus, taking a hard look at yourself and deciding if you are truly following the real Jesus or the Jesus you want him to be - "Do we Christians secretly wish that Jesus were more like Muhammad? It's not an idle question. The moment the church took to the Crusades in order to fight Muslims, it had already surrendered its vision of Jesus to the model of Muhammad. Muhammad may have thought freedom could be found a the end of a sword, but Jesus never did. So are Christians who most enthusiastically support US-led wars against Muslim nations actually trying to turn Jesus into some version of Muhammad?" As I was reading this book, I had to take issue with myself because as a historian I love some things that Jesus just does not. I have a mad crush on the warriors - Persians, Spartans, bad ass Scotts (from reading Pontiac's Rebellion), Brits, and the American forefathers! But ultimately my mad crush falls before the throne of Jesus, because as much as I may crush on the war gods, my heart belongs to the Jewish Messiah that preached peace. And then as a teacher here is a passage that probably meant the most to me:"Here's how scapegoating happens at the adolescent playground level. Boys at play (and girls in their own way) generate a lot of competition...The awareness of competition creates a certain amount of tension and anxiety among the children, but the playground crowd knows what to do with it. A scapegoat is chosen. Usually someone who is different, weaker, or less able to retaliate. Maybe the overweight kid, the weak kid, the "sissy" kid, the kid without friends. This unfortunate child becomes the target, the victim, the sacrifice, the scapegoat. The selected scapegoat is mocked, ridiculed, and picked on. He's chosen for this abuse because the crowd has unconsciously agreed that he will be the target of their anxiety. He is innocent, but he becomes the sacrifice...the members of the gang are relieved that "it's not me being picked on, because it's him - the fat kid, the skinny kid, the weak kid, the ugly kid, the new kid, the different kid. The playground is now safe...except for the scapegoat."And even sadder is when this doesn't stay on the adolescent playground, but continues into adult life. When we as adults pick our scapegoats. I don't want to do that. I'm sorry for when I have. These are the thoughts I've had as I read this book. I'm not sure this is a great review, but it is what it is. I liked the book. It challenged me. You should read it.
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  • Geoff Glenister
    January 1, 1970
    The cross is shock therapy for a world addicted to solving its problems through violence. The cross shocks us into the devastating realization that our system of violence murdered God!I am not even sure what to say about this book. It surprised me, in more ways than one, and I am a bit overwhelmed after finishing it today. I read a lot of books - I read a lot of difficult, very scholarly books. So, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't expecting this book to be so good. I read one user's review of th The cross is shock therapy for a world addicted to solving its problems through violence. The cross shocks us into the devastating realization that our system of violence murdered God!I am not even sure what to say about this book. It surprised me, in more ways than one, and I am a bit overwhelmed after finishing it today. I read a lot of books - I read a lot of difficult, very scholarly books. So, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't expecting this book to be so good. I read one user's review of the book where he paid it compliments, but said that the subject matter is second nature to him because he's read so many other authors write about this subject. And while the subject matter of this book is still to a certain degree new to me, I have also read a number of books that deal with the topic. But Brian Zahnd surprised me because he dealt with his subject simply, elegantly, beautifully, imaginatively, and provocatively. He is able to bring in just enough detail to demonstrate that he has done his homework and to help the reader build an understanding of context, but not too much - not to the point of being boring. And he tells stories that illustrate his point - including personal ones that show his own humanity. He is open and honest about his own failings, and this helps him to drive the point that there is never an excuse to judge. I found this book to be very inspiring - it even inspired me to resurrect my own writing and write a blog post again. And at the same time, it was convicting. But it was also beautiful.The final chapter especially surprised me. I didn't expect it. It is titled "Us and Them", and it contains only one line:There is no them; there is only us.I had tears when I turned the page and saw this brilliant and appropriate ending.Peace be with you.
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  • Lon
    January 1, 1970
    This might be the most important book I've read in the last couple of years. And, that is saying something. I've read some good books, by great authors. Every chapter Zahnd opened the scriptures to me in fresh ways. I've read Yoder, Brueggemann, Hauerwas, Girard; but Zahnd described Jesus' politics and this world's fundamental evil in such a way that it was made clear and convicting. Jesus told Pilate, his brothers, Caiphas, and Jews in Jerusalem that his kingdom did not work like theirs (or our This might be the most important book I've read in the last couple of years. And, that is saying something. I've read some good books, by great authors. Every chapter Zahnd opened the scriptures to me in fresh ways. I've read Yoder, Brueggemann, Hauerwas, Girard; but Zahnd described Jesus' politics and this world's fundamental evil in such a way that it was made clear and convicting. Jesus told Pilate, his brothers, Caiphas, and Jews in Jerusalem that his kingdom did not work like theirs (or ours). If it did his followers would fight for him and kill. Zahnd eloquently writes about Jesus' Kingdom of forgiveness, sacrifice, and mercy; instead of collective killing for a perceived "security" and "freedom." His chapter on Scapegoating was the best. He describes well the human propensity for a relief valve and the crowd violence that results. This describes what children do on playgrounds, what churches do to pastors, what majorities do to minorities and so on. Many of us remember wisdom passed onto us by our fathers. Zahnd recalls his father, who was a judge, saying, "The majority is almost always wrong." He ends with this artwork and reminds us that God's Kingdom was inaugurated in Jesus' death and resurrection. Isaiah's well known passage about beating swords into plowshares; it's here already for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Leo Tanguma's "The Children of the World Dream of Peace"
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  • Ross H
    January 1, 1970
    I started this book expecting yet another "progressive evangelical" book that didn't say anything new or interesting, but it ended up being challenging and thoughtful. Zahnd speaks at times as a pastor and at times as an academic theologian, and I have to admire his ability to blur the line between the two. Though this book is aimed at a general Christian audience, Zahnd does not dumb down his message or his approach; this book is both accessible and intelligent.I was particularly impressed with I started this book expecting yet another "progressive evangelical" book that didn't say anything new or interesting, but it ended up being challenging and thoughtful. Zahnd speaks at times as a pastor and at times as an academic theologian, and I have to admire his ability to blur the line between the two. Though this book is aimed at a general Christian audience, Zahnd does not dumb down his message or his approach; this book is both accessible and intelligent.I was particularly impressed with his discussion of the crucifixion. Each chapter explores Christ's death in new ways while building on the work of previous chapters, and by the end this book is as much a sermon on Atonement as it is a call for Christians to oppose war and imperialism. Zahnd makes an impressive, subtle case for the two being closely related.I wish that I could give this 4.5 stars, but because Goodreads doesn't deal in halves, I'll go with 4. Zahnd occasionally engages in some sort of spotty sociology, and makes some sweeping claims that he doesn't defend as thoroughly as he ought to. He also repeats himself more than is completely necessary; often, this is to expand upon a point, and it's forgivable then, but occasionally he repeats his ideas instead of arguing for them.
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  • Derek Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    All lives matterThis book captures an attitude of peace in the world that should be clearly seen in the scriptures. Maybe Brian could be reaching a bit with some of his arguments,but ultimately he is right in that we should be peacemakers.The God of war should be left in our dust and we need to change our minds from one that sees the strong as right just because they beat up someone else.I accepted Christ when I was 16 and I knew my life needed to be different after I did. Even then I was unsure All lives matterThis book captures an attitude of peace in the world that should be clearly seen in the scriptures. Maybe Brian could be reaching a bit with some of his arguments,but ultimately he is right in that we should be peacemakers.The God of war should be left in our dust and we need to change our minds from one that sees the strong as right just because they beat up someone else.I accepted Christ when I was 16 and I knew my life needed to be different after I did. Even then I was unsure of what all would change, but it has been interesting to find that day after day there is more of me that can become more like Christ instead.I am a lover...not a fighter. The main message of this book is true in my life. I would much rather show love towards anyone than take up a fighting stance against them.If we are following Christ then it should be a default attitude.Step into this book with your guards up too high and you miss out, but come with them at half staff and you should be able to see the truth.
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  • Barbara Blackburn
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely groundbreaking and earth-shaking for me. It resonated with the idea that has been burning in my soul for so long, that to truly follow Jesus means actually listening to him, and what he said. It is not using him as a ticket out of hell, it is respecting him, loving him, listening and respecting him and seeing that his way is the way of Peace. Too long we've made him our puppet - forcing him to approve of our warlike, bloodthirsty utterly sinful quest for revenge and/or dominance.This Absolutely groundbreaking and earth-shaking for me. It resonated with the idea that has been burning in my soul for so long, that to truly follow Jesus means actually listening to him, and what he said. It is not using him as a ticket out of hell, it is respecting him, loving him, listening and respecting him and seeing that his way is the way of Peace. Too long we've made him our puppet - forcing him to approve of our warlike, bloodthirsty utterly sinful quest for revenge and/or dominance.This book nails us between the eyes, and does it humbly, because the author admits his own former agreement with the status quo, that to be a good Christian meant being a good American, and being patriotic, supporting our wars and cheering them on. Now, he reveals, what God has revealed and it isn't just for him, it is for all of us called by his name.Read this book and embrace peace, remember who we really serve.This is a call to lay down our swords, for all who call themselves by Christ's name.
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  • John Powell
    January 1, 1970
    This book will challenge you even if you don't expect it to.I'd seen Brian Zahnd quotes floating around, and I liked them, so I thought I'd check out this book. I expected to agree with everything he said - which was mostly true. But I was deluded in thinking that because I already agreed with him, the book would simply affirm me where I am. Wow, was I wrong.This book will challenge you where the rubber meets the road. Sure I believe in Jesus. Yes, He is the Prince of Peace. Really? Then how doe This book will challenge you even if you don't expect it to.I'd seen Brian Zahnd quotes floating around, and I liked them, so I thought I'd check out this book. I expected to agree with everything he said - which was mostly true. But I was deluded in thinking that because I already agreed with him, the book would simply affirm me where I am. Wow, was I wrong.This book will challenge you where the rubber meets the road. Sure I believe in Jesus. Yes, He is the Prince of Peace. Really? Then how does my life reflect that I am following the Prince of Peace? Or are those just words with no meaning?This book shines a painfully bright light on how the church (i.e. people like me) has approved of violence and war. A Farewell to Mars will cause you to re-evaluate your own thinking on these topics. And not just these topics. Seeing Jesus as the Prince of Peace who is establishing God's Kingdom on earth changes everything.
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  • Bryan
    January 1, 1970
    A very well written and tightly reasoned book. I have long been opposed to violence and war, and I believed that the Gospel of Jesus demanded such. This book provides some very cogent arguments for just such a stance. Christ's death on the cross, a death by violence, represented the death of violence. Christ's kingdom, His peaceable kingdom was started when he was here on earth and now that He has risen, and is at the right hand of God, this kingdom endures, and it is a kingdom of peace, not of A very well written and tightly reasoned book. I have long been opposed to violence and war, and I believed that the Gospel of Jesus demanded such. This book provides some very cogent arguments for just such a stance. Christ's death on the cross, a death by violence, represented the death of violence. Christ's kingdom, His peaceable kingdom was started when he was here on earth and now that He has risen, and is at the right hand of God, this kingdom endures, and it is a kingdom of peace, not of war.Christians have too long allowed Christianity to act as the chaplain of our nation, and others, somehow expecting God's blessing on us as we go to war against evil in the world. The problem is, war is not how evil should be battled, but rather by peace. We are to be the peacemakers of Christ's kingdom.
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