Book Review: The Secret Message of Jesus- Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything by Brian McLaren

Secret Message of Jesus

The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren is my second book that I have read by this seemingly controversial author.  For those of you who are not familiar with controversies in modern Christianity, Brian McLaren is viewed as one of the main voices in the Emergent Church Movement.  In this book, McLaren presents a new view of Jesus that is intended to redefine our theology of how we view Jesus Christ.  His argument is based around this idea of God’s kingdom coming to earth which he bases strongly out of both the Beatitudes (Matthew 5Open Link in New Window) and the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11Open Link in New Window: 2-4).  He presents this new theological idea of us as Christians seeking to live out the upside down gospel of loving the unlovely and touching the untouchable.  This is one thing that I think McLaren is right about.  We should be the hands and feet of Jesus on the earth seeking to extend grace and love to others.  The problem that I see with this book comes in when McLaren begins to question traditional interpretations of scripture.  The major thing that stood out to me as something that was very questionable if not totally unbiblical was his interpretation of the entire book of Revelation.  He presents this book as a form of Jewish fiction meaning he views the entire last book of the Bible, which is traditionally held as John’s visions and pictures taken from his encounter with God and glimpse of heaven, and takes it as an allegory of how the world may end up if we as Christians do not step it up and seek to bring the kingdom of God on the earth.  This seems to presuppose the idea that the world can evolve into a better state.  When I look at the world around me and some of Newton’s Laws of the physical world (law of degeneration), I do not see how this improvement is possible.  If we as people are able to fix the world that we live in and restore an Edenic paradise where do we need God.  Where is the picture of a totally messed up world that has no other hope than a Savior who will take the mess and fix it?  Where is the place for God to receive the ultimate glory from a resurrected creation that is transformed to its true design?  I am still struggling with some of McLaren’s theology, but one take away from this book that is very applicable is that we need to seek to bring the grace and love of God to a world who does not know what they are missing.