Thanks once again to my good friends at Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze for providing me a complimentary copy of Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola’s Jesus Manifesto.
Any of my blogging friends who like to read, seriously look into BookSneeze.
It’s a great way to stay ahead of the game on influential books that may be coming out… for FREE!
That being said… on with the review…
There are some books that I buy that end up sitting on a shelf for months before I get around to reading them.
And then there are some books that I simply cannot put down.
Jesus Manifesto easily falls into the latter category.
Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola join together to flesh out ideas previously found in the online version of the Jesus Manifesto.
The basic premise of the book is so simple that you wonder if such a book really needed to be written.
It shouldn’t take a new book to let the Church know the importance of the Supremacy of Christ.
Though, as I read through, I found myself agreeing with what was being said.
Not only that, but I found myself looking back on my own experiences and realizing that these were things that needed to be said.
I found myself seeing past the “simple” idea that Christ should be central to everything and realizing the boldness of the book.
In a time where we see so many “me-centered” books on the shelves, when there is so much attention given to the “prosperity gospel,” and when churches are shying away from the big picture in order to be more “seeker sensitive,” Jesus Manifesto stands up to point the Church back to her first love, her bridegroom and redeemer, Jesus the Christ.
Throughout the book, examples can be seen of ways that Christ has been demoted in the Church.
Or at least minimized to a singular picture of Jesus, whereas Sweet and Viola maintain that the Jesus of history cannot be separated from the Christ of faith.
To receive Christ truly means to receive all parts of him: not only the glory and power of His resurrection, but also the fellowship in His sufferings.
This may well be the most important piece of Christian literature written in our generation.
Not because I’m a fan of Leonard Sweet (because I am) and not because I’m a fan of Frank Viola (I am).
But I believe it because they do not shy away at all from the exaltation of the fullness of Christ.
You can look and easily see that these are not the opinions of two men, as there are twenty pages of notations in the back of the book, of which over half is directly from the Bible!
I would highly recommend Jesus Manifesto to anyone in the church who wants to know more wholly who Jesus is.
Anyone who is on staff at any church, or teaches at any level in the church should read this book.
Especially if you are tired of the same old cliches and a “boxed-in” Christ.
However, this is not a book I would likely give to someone who would be classified as a “seeker,” or even someone who is a new convert.
For even as simple as it is, it is quite complex and could be confusing for a new believer.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Peace and love.