Review [L. Sweet/F. Viola :: Jesus Manifesto]

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.
It shouldn’t.

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.


5 thoughts on “Review [L. Sweet/F. Viola :: Jesus Manifesto]

  1. Hello there! Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your review. I just joined Book Sneeze and saw your review preview and decided to follow up on it. I do have a question about your side bar message. In it, you speak as though you can help people come closer to God, or learn about Him. You make the statement that you “won’t lay anything ‘ill-fitting’ on “us”. As long as you stick to the scriptures of God’s Word, how can that be ill-fitting. Are you speaking of “not being “doctrinal” and aiming toward a specific church denomination? It’s like when I give my Bible Studies, I always tell people, “I’m not here to convert ‘you’ to my religion. I’m here to help you understand the Scriptures better and maybe even gain a closer relationship with God, and I read the scripture about there shall be no private interpretation. I like that scripture because that’s the number one excuse of people. I’ve heard “well, that’s Your interpretation, or “everyone interprets the Bible different. God’s word says that is NOT so. Anyway, I may have misinterpreted your statements. If so, please let me know so I can apologize. OOPS! I didn’t mean to get on my soap box! I apologize again. If it’s any consolation, I write like I talk, and my hubby gets frustrated with me because he is the quiet type, and I never hush. LOL! As I said, I really did enjoy your review, and am going to follow your blog.

    God Bless!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      As for my sidebar, “I” make no claims that I can do anything.
      That is actually Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30 taken from The Message.
      Those are key verses to me as I continue to seek out who God is shaping me into, and I loved the language of that paraphrase.
      Hope that clears up your question!

  2. God the Father has a plan for us all, and as beings of the flesh, we easily forget this and place our worldly priorities above the One who matters–Jesus. I thank God for His ever watchful eye on us and His bringing together sisters and brothers in Christ. Jesus Manifesto was recommended to me at a time and place least expected, and its content was/is something I needed to hear. Read this book, tell your friends, take its messages to heart, and find yourself closer to peace.

    Blessings to you Kyle!
    –a Starbucks frequenter

  3. Hey man, I am reading JM right now. I really dont know how I ended up with a copy of it. I didn’t request it on booksneeze, but it ended up in my mailbox somehow. Anyway, I agree, it’s already piercing. I’m only a couple of chapters into it, (which is better than I should be due to the John Maxwell dive I’m currently in), but I have already gone back and read Colossians and pulled more out of it than ever before. Thanks for the review. I cant wait to wrap it up and write mine.
    In the fight

  4. Really liked your review of this book–I’d like to add it to my list of ones to read. But being that I’m a relatively new seeker of Christ, I will put at the bottom of the list. 😉

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