Monday, May 31, 2010

Book Review: Jesus Manifesto

In almost every town of any size you visit you can find a Christian bookstore full of countless books about theology, worship, mission, ministry programs, doctrine, leadership, and countless other things. The question that always comes to mind for me is: Why are all these books needed?

If you asked Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola you’d probably get an answer something like this: They’re really not. They're just static that's getting in the way of what's really important: the Lordship of Jesus.


In Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ Sweet and Viola attempt to explain what they see as the main problem with Christians today and to offer some insight as to what to do about it. The main problem, they suggest, is that Christians have forgotten how to be Christians because we’ve displaced Jesus Christ from his rightful place and have supplanted him with a host of other, although usually noble, less-worthy options. We’ve made our faith about missions, rules, theology, doctrine, congregations, morals, principles, ethics, denominations, personalities, pastors, and ministries. While none of these things are inherently bad, none of them can adequately replace Jesus as head of the Church and head of our lives. All these things apart from Jesus, say Sweet and Viola, are dead. Correspondingly, major theological themes in action, such as love, justice, mercy and compassion, are all good, but are not the end or the means. They are simply byproducts of a true relationship with Jesus.


Jesus Manifesto is a much-needed critique of what passes for Christianity today. Sweet and Viola call upon Christians to refocus on our relationship with Jesus and to stop living lives of imitation of Jesus and to begin living lives of participation with him. In Jesus we see God fully self-emptied, full incarnate. And in relationship with him the Christian life comes naturally.


I was pleased to receive this book and reflect upon the ways I have displaced Jesus in my own life. And I'd recommend it highly to anyone who wants an insight into a more fulfilled life, a life beyond self.

To find this book on Amazon.com click here.

To find this book directly from Thomas Nelson click here.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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