Jesus Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God

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Dec 09, Virginia rated it it was ok Shelves: christian , dnf , read The premise of this book sounded so interesting. I looked forward to reading about a God who would live up to the title of this book. Untame-able, indeed! However, Galli, whose writing I do enjoy on Christianity Today does not quite reach my expectations with this offering.

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I found the ideas somewhat watered down, bland, and boring. Nothing mean nor wild about it. Truly disappointing. The Deep Jesus This is exactly the sort of book for someone bored of the Jesus presented in church. Much of the time that Jesus seems pitched at the understanding level of a first grader--which is great if you're a first grader, not if you're an adult. This is a Jesus for mature and maturing people. Sep 18, David Pierce rated it really liked it. Extremely insightful work that creates much thought. Galli has written something great and useful here. Apr 29, Chris Hecox rated it liked it.

Mark's view of Jesus is very important. The first half of the book is actually pretty lame but the second half delivers big time. Very challenging read. Dec 05, Barbara rated it really liked it Shelves: bible-studies. Jesus will not be tamed. Jan 11, Garrett rated it it was amazing. I really enjoyed this book. After the first few chapters, like other reviewers have mentioned, I felt like the author touched on the subject of the chapter, gave a brief biblical example, and then proceeded to use real life experience or others stories to make his point.

It seemed to really be lacking of anything substantial in the way of portraying Jesus as "mean and wild". I was beginning to think perhaps this is not the book for me. However, as the chapters progress, it became more clear and I really enjoyed this book. However, as the chapters progress, it became more clear and concise, the author used more scripture and biblical references with fewer personal stories and anecdotes By the end of the book I had trouble putting it down, only to make notes or stop to think about what I had just read.

Overall, after reading this, I have a deeper desire to find similar books, not because this book lacked anything, but because it left me wanting more of the same. I would encourage anyone who truly desires a deeper understanding of Jesus to give this book a read. Mar 26, Mike Crews rated it it was amazing. I bought this book because the title intrigues me. I have not been disappointed. Galli uses the Gospel of Mark to remind us that the Lion of Judah is not tame. I find his observations challenging and in spite of the title delightful. I especially enjoyed chapter "Mercifully Irrelevant" in which Galli writes: "What the church should be in God's sight is not glorious, powerful, or successful by our standards, but faithful.

This means the church, and every member in it, must die to dreams o I bought this book because the title intrigues me. This means the church, and every member in it, must die to dreams of relevance and success.

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We have to let all that be crucified. It also means letting the church be the church, the flawed institution that God has used time and again to further His kingdom in this world Relevance, and power and success are finally a mystery, not so much something that can be manipulated by church growth science as something to pray for in humility and faith.

If I could give this book 10 stars I would.


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It is not often a book makes me think and feel so deeply. I recommend it very highly with the warningdon't read it unless you are ready to be challenged! Nov 10, Mara Jule rated it liked it. Galli challenges readers to remember that a holy God is not a tame, malleable puppet.

The book is the start of a conversation about who Jesus really is.


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And while I wouldn't suggest Galli's has everything right, he can throw you out of your comfort-zone concerning who our Lord is. As a spur to deepening a relationship with Christ, Galli definitely set you out on new trajectories. But I would challenge each of his premises through a deeper study of the scripture. I am always hesitant to trust any Galli challenges readers to remember that a holy God is not a tame, malleable puppet. I am always hesitant to trust any theology that is not frequently referring back to Scripture. A handful of passages, disjointed for their original context, might only be proof-texting that is, taking a passage out of context to prove your point.

Not that I perceived Galli as being altogether off the mark.

But, like I said before, the book works well as a starting point for the reader to do his or her own study. As a provocative discussion started, it would be quite fascinating to do this book as a study in a church group. Oct 09, Steve Bedford rated it did not like it Shelves: christian. I wanted to like this book. I agree with its premise, and was hoping that the thesis would be better borne out, but the execution was lacking.

The majority of the support for his arguments were based in stories from outside the gospels themselves, so most of his claims remained unsubstantiated from the text or the historical context. He'd make a claim, then jump to a tangentially related story from the 12th century, or his son's boy scouts, to support it. The worst part was at points he would ov I wanted to like this book.


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The worst part was at points he would overreach into some pretty grey territory. At one point he used the "Oh God, Oh God, why have you forsaken me" account to talk about how God sometimes forsakes us in our lives, that God isn't fully reliable, that sometimes he doesn't come to our rescue as a matter of nature, seemingly simply because he is mean sometimes.

This is a terribly flimsy argument about the problem of evil, one that doesn't account of our sins or other spiritual agents. Disappointing, in general. Jan 25, Heidi rated it really liked it. Galli is an evangelical Anglican, and I'm a mainline Episcopalian, so I'm sure there are things we'd disagree about.

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But his approach to Jesus and scripture is vigorous and inspiring for me. It does help to see Jesus both as meek and mild AND mean and wild. Admittedly some of his points about shame, physical force and intimidation, and fear make me squirm, but I found myself wanting to understand the point he was trying to make, rather than dismiss it all out of hand. It was helpful to read his Galli is an evangelical Anglican, and I'm a mainline Episcopalian, so I'm sure there are things we'd disagree about.

It was helpful to read his critique not only of mega churches, legalistic evangelicalism, prosperity gospel, and "church planting for cool people" but also his critique of a tolerant God, laid back theology, and that mainline churches can be boring, bland, and showcase a loving Jesus without any anger or bite to him.

Mar 20, Ebony rated it it was ok Shelves: religion. I was expecting a book about Jesus. Essentially the message is that God as Jesus loves us so much that he has to be mean to us and make us suffer. Galli suggests it is more important to be loving and be perceived as mean than it is to be nice and noncon I was expecting a book about Jesus. Galli suggests it is more important to be loving and be perceived as mean than it is to be nice and nonconfrontational. This, he argues is the true spirit of Jesus. Despite the random personal narratives and the distracting jaunts through history, there is truth and conviction in this text.

Aug 21, Kharissa marked it as to-read Recommends it for: Christians.

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From what I've read thus far, this is quite the read! It shines a light on some aspects of Chrisitanity most individuals would rather keep in the back of their minds. God does love us and desires us to see HIM completely However, such times build on the genuine faith and shine light on issues beyond our comprehension The book illuminates God's passion and how it sometimes is more than grace and mercy or the fuzzy, warm feelings in your stomach. His mission to save us and direct our lives can bring us to our knees Aug 10, Diane rated it really liked it.

I didn't expect to like this book, because I thought it would be another of the Christian "self-help" books that really aren't very helpful. However, I found it to be an engaging read on many of the hard teachings of the Gospel. The author's thesis is that Christians and the church are focused on being relevant and comfortable to the point where they often miss Jesus' message entirely.

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I really learned a lot from the author, and felt that he dealt with a difficult subject with grace and dignity. Jul 11, Jeni rated it really liked it.

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Loved this book. I hope to read it once a year for a while - there was just so much in it that needs to become part of me. It's not a big book, and it was an easy read. I was so convicted about my cavalier attitude toward this awesome, mysterious, all-powerful, sometimes-distant God who is so loving, but not in a mushy, indulgent way.

He loves me enough to speak truth, withhold harmful things, block my path and withdraw his presence for a time. Jesus is not a teddy bear, and he doesn't cater to Loved this book. Jesus is not a teddy bear, and he doesn't cater to my me-me-me demands no matter how much I whine. And I am so glad. Nov 02, Lorna rated it really liked it Recommends it for: highly.

May 02, Melea rated it liked it Shelves: religion. Christianity Today editor Galli explores the less lovable side of the Christian deity, offering a well-written, thoroughly researched look at Jesus. He uses 17 passages in the Gospel of Mark to present a Jesus who is much less loving, gentle and patient than many Christians would like to believe.

This Jesus can be stern, confrontational, purposefully confusing and even impatient. He sometimes shames and scares us, but loves us enough to draw us inexorably toward him: "For Jesus has come to us, the real Jesus—mean, wild, and pulsing with an unnerving and irresistible love. Kendall's Out of Your Comfort Zone , have also traversed the God-is-dangerous territory, this one contributes much to the discussion; Galli's writing is clear and concise, his logic smooth, his knowledge of early Christian saints helpful, the discussion questions on target and his conclusions inescapable.

Readers will come away with a disconcerting new understanding of "Jesus mean and wild. View Full Version of PW. More By and About This Author.